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Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios are an important part of the application process. While not all programs require a portfolio, it is recommended to submit one. Below you’ll find a list of reasons you may be asked to submit a portfolio, as well as portfolio guidelines for each program.

Reasons to Submit a Portfolio

  • To be considered for enrollment into the architecture and design programs that require a portfolio.
  • To be considered for advanced placement. Students seeking to transfer credits for advanced placement are required to submit a portfolio for review.
  • To appeal your application. Students not meeting the minimum GPA requirement (Undergraduate: 2.5, Graduate: 2.7) may submit a portfolio as part of the appeal process.

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 will 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 skillsets. 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 the NewSchool of Architecture & Design Enrollment Team.

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 the 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 skills 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

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 a solid understanding of formal design language, the attributes of colors, and the use of design elements and principles through examples of their work. They should present a juxtaposition of graphics and texts.

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. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical foundations
  2. Show clear progression of skill and thought presented through the compilation of pieces
  3. Present examples of projects spread across multiple mediums and media channels
  4. For students seeking a specialization, the following would be expected: Animation (Digital CD or DVD); Web and Mobile (Working website, proper coding behind the website); Graphic Design (Digital or printed works of art)
  5. Demonstrate how themes are incorporated and synthesized into their unique work

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.

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.

For all IPAL tracks, please also include 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 IPAL 4+2 candidates, there are additional requirements for the portfolio (including an existing 1,250 AXP hours). 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.

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.

Undergraduate Architecture

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 will 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 skillsets. 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 the NewSchool of Architecture & Design Enrollment Team.

Graduate Architecture

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 the 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 skills 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
Graphic Design & Interactive Media

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 a solid understanding of formal design language, the attributes of colors, and the use of design elements and principles through examples of their work. They should present a juxtaposition of graphics and texts.

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. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical foundations
  2. Show clear progression of skill and thought presented through the compilation of pieces
  3. Present examples of projects spread across multiple mediums and media channels
  4. For students seeking a specialization, the following would be expected: Animation (Digital CD or DVD); Web and Mobile (Working website, proper coding behind the website); Graphic Design (Digital or printed works of art)
  5. Demonstrate how themes are incorporated and synthesized into their unique work

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.

Interior Architecture & Design

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.

Additional IPAL Portfolio Requirements

For all IPAL tracks, please also include 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 IPAL 4+2 candidates, there are additional requirements for the portfolio (including an existing 1,250 AXP hours). 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.

For more information, contact our Enrollment Team.

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