Ile St. Louis
Passage Vivienne
Luxembourg Garden

PICA Spring 2020 Semester in Paris

Program Structure:

The Paris Institute of Creative Arts offers a semester-length program in Paris each Autumn and Spring. All coursework is U.S. accredited through Whittier College (based in California) which is part of Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC). PICA semester program students take 4 or 5 courses for a total of up to 15 credit hours. Humanities classes meet for a total of 45 hours per semester; studio arts classes have 60 hours in-class contact. Some classes will be offered by partner institutions. Most students will take at least a French language class with the Insitute de Langue et Culture Françaises but perhaps also one or two other humanities courses in English or French (depending on a student’s level in French). For students who do not have a high level in French language, all classes other than the French language class, will be in English.

Semester Programs:

  • Fall Semester (September-December) Total Credits: 15
  • Spring Semester (February-early May) Total Credits: 15
  • Year-long Program (September-early May) Total Credits: 30

Subjects: Art History, History of Fashion, History of Cinema, History of Photography, French Language, Literature, Creative Writing, Digital Photography, Black & White Photography, Printmaking, Book Arts, Painting, Drawing.

Class Offerings

PICA offers a focused offering of classes which include visual art classes, art history, French language and other humanities classes. Some of these courses are offered by partner schools in Paris, most notably the Institut de langue et de culture françaises (ILCF) where students take French language courses as well as a selection of humanities classes in English.

Class Structure & Instruction:

Academic Lecture Classes: These classes meet for a total of 3 or 4 hours per week. Classes combine in-class lectures, discussion and, in some classes, on-site visits. Most academic courses are reading and writing intensive and will require a minimum of 3-5 hours of work per week outside of regular class-time.

Studio Art Classes: These hands-on courses meet for a total of 4 contact hours per week. Studio courses combine practical lessons, in-class demonstrations, slide presentations and gallery/museum/Paris site visits. When possible, students go on-site to work or visit exhibits or museums of relevance to the subject being studied. All courses require outside work and in-class critiques, both group and individual. Advanced studio courses may require written assignments and many require students to keep a sketchbook.

Grading and Evaluation: Students are graded using the American University model of evaluation.

Field Trips: Many courses integrate on-site visits to museums and exhibitions and at times require day trips. These excursions are considered an integral part of the course curriculum and attendance is mandatory. Most fees for these excursions are included in tuition fees.

Activities for all students covered by the activities fee:

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Museum Card (giving free access to most National Museums)
  • Two to three day or weekend excursions per semester
  • Two to three culture events (dance, museum or theater performances)

Registering for Courses:

  • Once students have been accepted into the program they will receive a list of available courses for pre-registration.
  • Students will select five first choice classes and three alternative courses for pre-registration.
  • Students are required to take a French language class (except for students are bilingual in French and English).