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.

This option is for students with no formal academic background or experience in design-related fields. These students are using the portfolio to demonstrate their potential in design. The faculty who assess the portfolio will be examining how student tells a story rather than the student’s already established design or technological skills.

  • The submission of design project work is NOT expected
  • The submission of examples of creative and/or scholarly items is expected. This may include expressions and activities, such as art or craft projects or installations, freehand sketches, photography, poetry, creative or scholarly writing, or compositions
  • The compilation of work will demonstrate a high level of critical thinking and the ability to think creatively
  • This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate how they apply a design lens to their varied academic backgrounds
  • The portfolio is intended to show interest and potential aptitude for design
  • The portfolio should include technical or professional achievement prior to their enrollment at NewSchool

This option is for students with academic backgrounds or experience in design-related fields. These students may petition for Advanced Standing to be placed in a higher-level design studio. Please note that the potential for Advanced Standing will be affected by student performance in previous design coursework.

The portfolio of students who wish to receive Advanced Standing will be assessed by the following criteria:

  • Students are expected to submit 15–25 projects (not pages) with a table of contents
  • Demonstration of fundamental abilities to design and communicate using the standard kills of the profession (digital, hand drawing, drafting, and modeling) as they relate to a variety of representational methods (e.g., plans, sections, elevations, perspectives, and models
  • Demonstration of an understanding of structural, mechanical, environmental, and enclosing systems
  • At least one example of site development
  • Use of a strong design project to show strengths in design work, the process behind the design, tools used, and the resolution of technical issues
  • Use of creativity to demonstrate their design outlook and skill level

For IPAL 4+2 candidates, there are additional requirements for the portfolio. The format of the portfolio is similar to the above-indicated portfolio format for graduate applicants, however, IPAL 4+2 candidates must specifically include progression of maturity in design projects, manifesting appreciation of the design process, technical skills, constructability, and representational techniques.

A professional portfolio is required for those who have already established AXP (Internship) status with the NCARB. Information on the fulfillment of the number of hours per NCARB categories of AXP must be included.

Also, an additional component should be included in the Statement of Purpose, which is a summary of qualifications (3–5 sentences) listing your most pertinent experiences for the program in which you are applying.

Examples of items for the summary of qualifications:

  • Prior or current engagement in practice
  • Established AXP record with the NCARB
  • Volunteer work and/or travel related to professional activities
  • Membership and/or leadership in any architectural collaterals, agencies, task forces, and committees (such as local or national AIAS, CSI, Habitat for Humanity, Design-Build Institute, Green Building Council)
  • Professional certifications such as LEED and ICC

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.