Portfolios may be submitted in either paper or electronic format and should include the following:

  • Applicant’s name and contact information
  • Table of contents
  • A description of the applicant’s individual contribution to any group or professional design projects
  • Academic, personal, and/or professional projects. Each project should include:
    • Project title and date
    • Whether the work was done for academic, professional, or personal purposes (if academic, provide the course title and number)

Electronic portfolios must be sent as .pdf files. Online portfolio links with not be accepted.

Students interested in art or design, though perhaps they have no formal academic background or experience in design-related fields, may already have several examples of their work that can form the basis of a good portfolio. In this case, the following questions may further aid the development of a successful portfolio:

  1. Does the portfolio tell a story about who the student is and why his or her work deserves attention?
  2. What type of work best represents the student’s multiple artistic abilities and draws attention to the type of design he or she is interested in studying?
  3. Is the best work selected?
  4. When and how should certain aspects of the work be emphasized?

First-year, entry-level applicants should demonstrate an elemental understanding of three-dimensional form and space, composition, and a basic understanding of light/shadow, depth, and color through sketches, drawings, photography, crafts, sculptures, etc.

While there is no one type of successful portfolio, remember that the reviewer is curious to see student’s best work and will make a decision based on the creativity displayed. NewSchool recommends that students edit their work by presenting each project in a clear, concise, and legible manner. Do not include too many projects. Think of the progression of the work: Does the work show how each project builds on another, or are they standalone projects that show the student’s diverse talents?

Students with a formal academic background and/or experience in design-related fields may receive Advanced Standing and be placed in a higher-level design studio.

The portfolio is a self-presentation tool that creatively communicates the student’s design outlook and level of development through a variety of media and skill sets. The portfolio should include a selection of design work.

The portfolio will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Ability to develop convincing visual narratives through graphic presentation methods and written descriptions that convey the design development process: research and inspirational material, concept generation, study models and drawings that demonstrate process/thinking, and final presentation of design solutions.
  2. Demonstration of fundamental abilities to design and communicate design solutions using two- and/or three- dimensional representation skills in any media (digital, hand drawings, sketching, drafting, modeling) as they relate to plans, elevations, perspectives, models, space planning, diagramming and distribution, layouts, forms, colors, and finishing aspects.
  3. Demonstration of an understanding of functional and experiential issues related to the design of architecture, built environments, and/or artifacts, such as structural, environmental, and building systems; spatial generation, organization, perception, and design solutions; and specific project results reflection contextual and programmatic demands.
  4. Ability to effectively organize the graphics and visuals of the overall portfolio including titles, styles, page composition, reference, and information hierarchies.
  5. Examples of work completed outside of professional education, such as photography, paintings, sculpture, music, etc.

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.