College of Arts and Sciences

Portfolio Review

About the Review

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. 

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
  • Images 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 presented digitally.

Review Days for Spring 2020

All portfolio reviews for students entering fall 2020 should be submitted online (see below).    


Online Portfolio Submission

If you are unable to complete an in-person portfolio review, you can submit a digital portfolio online at  

  • Please upload 10 to 20 high quality images of different works. Be sure to include some examples of drawing from observation.
  • In the "Additional Details" section for each piece, please indicate:
    • If there is a title,
    • What mediums were used, and
    • The size of the original piece.

All applicants should also submit a short statement (250-500 words) which answers the following question:

Describe when and how you discovered that you were interested in art and/or design. Why have you decided to pursue it as a major at Arcadia University?

If you are applying to Arcadia University as a transfer student: 
  • Please also upload a copy of your college transcripts.