Specific Portfolio Requirements by Area

If you are interested in applying directly to Fine Art, Photography, or Design, you must indicate your preference in your application form or letter, and with your portfolio and required written statement. This allows you to be evaluated based on what you anticipate the direction of your studies to be, and to begin taking major-specific courses during your first year. Each area’s preferred portfolio content list are discussed below. Students who wish to be admitted without a specific area of interest should submit artwork that they feel represents their best accomplishments, using the suggestions below as guidelines.

Candidates for direct admission to Fine Art

First-year candidates in Fine Art (painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, ceramics, installation, multi-media, or art education) must submit portfolios of 12–20 finished pieces of artwork. A variety of mediums is preferred. Drawing mediums can include pencil, ink, charcoal, or pastel. Painting media can include watercolor, acrylic, or oils. Ceramics, photography, mixed media, collage, and digital output are other possibilities. Sketchbooks may be included to help demonstrate a student’s working process and technique, but do not count towards the 12-piece minimum.

Approximately 6–10 pieces of the portfolio should consist of representational work done from personal observation, not from photographs, other artworks, or imagination. Examples of real-life observation subjects can include still life, portraits and self-portraits, figure studies, landscapes, and interior studies. If possible, these should be full-page compositions that measure at least 18" x 24". Some of the work should be in color and include a variety of objects or figures portrayed in relation to each other. Not all the representational works should be single objects centered on a page. The balance of the portfolio may be works of the student’s choice, including other media such as sculpture, digital art, photography, design pieces, abstract representations, or creative imaginary works.

The portfolio should be accompanied by:

  • A typed, double-spaced, one-page statement of the student’s interests and ambitions in the fine arts
  • A list of works specifying title, date, medium, and caption for each image.

 

Candidates for direct admission to Photography

First-year photography candidates seeking entry to the Fine Art Photography or Photojournalism majors are asked to submit a portfolio of 15–20 prints in black and white, color, or both. These prints can be silver-based, traditionally processed, or digital, and should be produced by the applicant. Students residing within 200 miles of the Corcoran are required to present their portfolio of prints in person for review. In addition, all students should submit a copy of their portfolio on a CD, DVD, or in 35 mm slide format to the Office of Admissions.

The print portfolio should be accompanied by:

  • A typed, double-spaced, one-page statement of the student’s interests and ambitions in photography
  • A list of works specifying title (if any), date, medium, the print producer, and caption, if any, for each image Applicants with an additional interest in video may submit clips totaling no more than five minutes in length on a DVD readable by both Mac and PC computers.

    Successful portfolios will demonstrate a commitment to the photographic medium and creativity in depicting one’s subjects. This encompasses a basic mastery of camera controls and composition, evidence of imagination, and a concerted exploration of a particular photographic theme.

 

Candidates for direct admission to Design

First-year design candidates pursuing Digital Media Design, Graphic Design, and Interior Design majors should submit a portfolio of 15–20 projects. Projects can include graphic design, digital media design, interior design, or artwork from a variety of media.

Graphic and digital-media design portfolio contents can include posters, magazines, brochures, book covers, logos and symbols, environmental graphics, packaging, advertising, business cards, T-shirts, calligraphy, skateboard graphics, CD covers, digital illustrations, web-site designs, digital video, animations, photography, drawings (including still life and self-portraits), painting, mixed media collage, and photo-collage.

Interior Design portfolios can include free-hand perspective drawings, free-hand sketch drawings of plans, sections, and elevations or details from journals depicting buildings, sculpture, and interiors (these drawings can be in a medium of the student's choice), drawings completed in Photoshop, Illustrator, or AutoCAD, and work executed in InDesign.

The portfolio should be accompanied by:

  • A typed, double-spaced, one-page statement of the student’s interests and ambitions in design
  • A list of works specifying title, date, medium, and caption for each image Applicants with an additional interest in video may submit clips totaling no more than five minutes in length on a DVD readable by both Mac and PC computers.

    Conceptual thinking, creativity, craft, and the use of form and image will be considered during portfolio evaluation.

 

ADDITIONAL BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ART STUDIES APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Portfolio requirements for applicants to the Bachelor of Arts in Art Studies program are the same as for the BFA program. BA program applicants should submit artwork that they feel represents their best artistic accomplishments, using the suggestions above as guidelines.

In addition to a portfolio, BA applicants must submit a writing sample that addresses one of three topics created by Art Studies faculty, and provided by the Office of Admissions. This essay will replace the one-page portfolio statement required for BFA applicants. Essay topics change annually. Writing skills and academic accomplishment are strongly emphasized in admissions decisions for the BA in Art Studies program.