Portfolio Review Requirements

The Art and Design Department requires a portfolio review as part of the admissions process. Each student applying to the University as an Art and Design major in a B.A. or B.F.A. degree program must submit a portfolio of work before acceptance into the program is granted. Typically, portfolio reviews are conducted during the University’s Fall Open House programs, Spring Portfolio Review Day in March, Scarlet and Grey Day in April (for students admitted to the University), select National Portfolio Review Days each fall, and select days during the summer. Specific dates and Instructions for Scheduling a Portfolio Review are listed on the website. (Contact the Office of Enrollment Management for more information.) In-person reviews are preferable to those based on work mailed to the University in the form of slides or disks.

In the portfolio review, faculty look for both an interest in and commitment to art. This is important since students will be contemplating a professional career in art if they pursue the B.F.A. degree.

The type of work that could constitute a portfolio might include the following:

  • Design and color studies
  • Drawings from observation (still-life, landscape, figure, etc.)
  • Self-portrait (any medium)
  • Prints (blockprints, screenprints, etchings, etc.)
  • Paintings
  • Reproductions, or examples of any designs or illustrations done for high school publications or other organizations
  • Architectural renderings or drawings
  • Photographs
  • Slides of sculpture
  • Examples or slides of ceramics or metals and jewelry

Portfolios should consist of 15-20 pieces, and must include some examples of drawing from observation.

It is not necessary to have all the items listed above in a portfolio, but students should include those that best represent their abilities and talents. All art programs look for evidence and skill in drawing from observation, a sense of color and design, and evidence of other creative abilities and creative thinking.

When works are small and can fit into a portfolio, then the originals are desirable. Matted works are acceptable without acetate coverings. Large, fragile, or complex works can be submitted in the format of a slide sheet or disk. (Allow enough time to prepare slides to ensure clear, color-correct representations of the work.) Students who send their portfolios should send only slides or disk.

Digital Portfolios

  • Images should not exceed 800 ppi x 600 ppi. Acceptable file formats are the following:
    • PhotoShop PSD
    • PhotoShop TIFF
    • JPEG high quality
    • Acrobat PDF
  • Other file types must be self-running and Macintosh-compatible. Please check with the Department of Art and Design before submitting. Disks should be organized in a logical manner. A list of files with descriptions, including size and medium of original, is required with the disk.
  • Unreadable disks will not be reviewed, and you will be contacted to send another disk or submit in person.
  • The Department and the University assume no responsibility for lost or damaged files.
  • The Department discourages students from submitting portfolios exclusively through a website.
  • The Office of Enrollment Management will not return disks unless a self-addressed, postage paid envelop is provided.

Application without a Portfolio

A student who does not have a portfolio or have a limited portfolio still can apply to Arcadia University. If accepted to the University, the student can enroll as an undeclared major. During the 10th week of the second semester, the student must submit a portfolio to the Art and Design Department for evaluation and consideration for entry into the program. In addition, students must take the three Art and Design foundation courses: FA 102 Studio Art Foundations I, FA 103 Studio Art Foundations II, and FA 104 Drawing I. A student must meet with his or her Art and Design adviser to receive guidance on how to build a portfolio. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the portfolio at the designated time. A student who fails to submit a portfolio by the required date will be denied admission to the Art and Design program.

Transfer Students

A student transferring into the University as an Art and Design major is required to submit a portfolio. The contents of the portfolio should be selected to reflect the student’s abilities in the proposed area of concentration but also should contain work representing the student’s overall abilities. A transfer student without a portfolio should follow the guidelines for “Application without a Portfolio.”

Change of Major within the University

A student who wants to change his or her major to Art and Design is required to submit a portfolio as part of the change of major process. A student who does not have a portfolio is required to submit a portfolio at the completion of the three Art and Design foundation courses: FA 102 and FA 103 Studio Foundations, and FA 104 Drawing I. A student must meet with his or her Art and Design Department adviser to receive guidance on how to build a portfolio. The student is responsible for submitting the portfolio to the Art and Design Department at the completion of the foundation courses for consideration for entry into the program. A student who fails to submit a portfolio by the required date will be denied admission to the Art and Design program.

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