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Undergraduate Portfolios FAQ

Is a portfolio required for admission to Washington University?

If you are applying to the College of Art, a portfolio is required. If you are applying to the College of Architecture, a portfolio is optional for first-year admission but required for transfer admission.

How is my portfolio weighed in my application and how is it reviewed?

Your portfolio is a significant part of your application, and is given careful consideration alongside your transcript, test scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. Representatives from the Sam Fox School will review your portfolio and meet with University Admissions representatives to evaluate all your application materials.

How do I submit my portfolio?

You may submit your portfolio digitally through SlideRoom, or you may have your portfolio reviewed in person at a National Portfolio Day or by scheduling a review during a campus visit.

Applicants who would like to be considered for the Conway/Proetz Scholarships in Art or the James W. Fitzgibbon Scholarships in Architecture must submit a portfolio in digital format through SlideRoom.

How many pieces should I include in my portfolio?

Your portfolio should include 10-20 images, showcasing your best and most recent work.

How many unfinished pieces can I include?

The majority of your portfolio should feature finished works, but you may include 2-3 sketches or quick drawings to demonstrate technical and observational skill.

What do you look for in a portfolio?

Strong portfolios will demonstrate both sophisticated technical skills and conceptual depth.

Does my portfolio need to include a range of media or subject matter? Can all my work be from a single series?

Whether your interests are wide-ranging or focused, your portfolio should demonstrate your facility to work with subjects, media, and processes that interest you. You may include drawing, fashion design, graphic design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, video, photography, architecture, et al. Your portfolio may be drawn from a single series, or you may include unrelated works.

I don’t have architecture or design work to include in my architecture portfolio. Can I include artwork instead?

Absolutely! Artworks should demonstrate observational or technical drawing skill, as well as 2-D and 3-D design/compositional skills. If you are applying to the College of Architecture, a portfolio is optional.

I would like to show several different views of a 3D model. Can I combine multiple images into one file?

Yes, but the more images you include, the smaller and more difficult it is to see each individual image. We recommend tiling no more than four images into one file.

Where should I add a project description for images in my digital portfolio?

For each image you upload, SlideRoom provides a text box for a project description. Please upload your description here rather than embedding a description in your image file.

Can I upload a pdf of all my images in one file? Can I link to my website instead?

PDFs are allowed, but you must upload each image as a separate file in SlideRoom.

Can I link to my website instead of uploading images individually?

You may not include a link to your website in lieu of uploading your portfolio images in SlideRoom.