Portfolio Review

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Art Education Portfolio Review FAQ

Purpose of Review

We want to place students into departmental majors most appropriate to their abilities, interests, and preparation. The review process determines which students will be admitted to the Art Education K-12 major for the B.F.A. degree. The faculty will use the review to gain knowledge of such things as your creative potential, motivation, academic skill, and communications abilities, and professional dispositions.

Students with art teaching interests initially are admitted into the pre-Art Education program, completing general art courses required for all majors in the department. The quality of your work in these studio courses is highly important in determining your placement, as is your record in general academic work. 

What happens in the Art Education portfolio review?

You will sign up for a 15- minute interview with our art education faculty members Dr. Alison Aune. During the interview, you will present your portfolio of artwork and be asked questions about why you wish to teach art, as well as other related questions about your artwork, your goals, and any past art education experiences. As part of the review process, the faculty review your current UMD transcript, your APAS, your writing sample, and your professional dispositions. 

When is the Review

The review occurs twice a year during the fifth week of class in the fall and spring semesters. Students who fail to show up for the review must wait a year to take it again. Transfer students should contact Dr. Aune ([email protected]). As a pre-art education major, you will be notified via e-mail of the date and time for the pre-meeting to sign up for review slots, so it is essential that you check your UMD e-mail at least every 48 hours. 

What do I need to do to apply?

  • Successfully complete at least nine credits of art core courses during your first semester at UMD. One of these may be an art history course.
  • Students must be accepted into the School of Fine Arts and be a declared pre-art education major.
  • Earn a minimum GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 in art classes and 2.5 overall. If you do not meet this GPA requirement, you may continue to take art courses required for all art majors in an effort to improve your GPA, and apply when you meet the requirement. In some rare circumstances in which individuals do not meet the GPA criteria, they may petition to consider enrollment for the Portfolio Review. See Dr. Alison Aune. 

If you do meet the above requirements, enroll in Art 0903, Art Education Review, for your second term of Art and Design Department study. This is a no-cost, non-credit course number. Note that you must enroll by the end of the first week of the semester in which you apply for entry to the program. Attend the mandatory pre-meeting usually held the 3rd week of the semester
(announced via e-mail to all pre-art education students) for students who will be reviewed.

What if I have art classes from another college or university?

Transfer students with art credits from another school or credits completed in the U of M system while not registered in the UMD School of Fine Arts should see Dr. Aune immediately when the term begins to determine the optimum time to go through the portfolio review. 

What do I bring to the review interview?

Select ten of your best and most creative works from your art and design department core studio courses. Bring 2D work in a portfolio (You may buy one in the Bookstore to fit the size work you have. You also may construct one yourself from cardboard and foam core; these must open flat.). If you have 3D work samples, bring these separately. Do not bring work on computer disks; please make hard copy printouts. While it is not necessary to mat work for the review, be sure all your work shows care in presentation and is clean. If you need assistance selecting work, seek advice from your art core course professors. On the back of each piece of 2D or 3D work, write your name; the title of the work, if any; the date it was completed, the class in which it was completed, and the medium or media.  Students must come prepared. You must bring an unofficial, current copy of your UMD transcript and an APAS for your first semester/s of study. This will show the courses you currently are registered in and your grades. Copies of UMD transcripts and APAS documents are available through my.ArtAr Bring a concise, well-written, one page typed sample of your writing, addressing the topic of why you want to be an art educator. 

Can I include work done on my own, from another college or university, or in high school?

The reviewers want to see work you have completed since beginning the program at UMD. 

Transfer students may submit up to 5 items of work from art classes completed at another accredited college or university as part of their 10-piece portfolio. Such work must be clearly marked on the back as from another school. 

What if I am not accepted?

Students who are not accepted at the time of their first application have several options. One is to take additional art core or studio courses to work to prepare an improved portfolio and reapply the following semester. You may reapply once.
Another option is to consider the other programs in the department, which include Studio Art, Graphic Design, or a BA in Art History. See your advisor for more information. 

What can I do to prepare for the review?

Put as much effort into your first semester courses as possible. Think about your future life and career goals and about why these are important to you. Take good care of the artwork you do for each class you have. 

How do I find out if I am admitted?

All students who apply receive a formal letter informing of them of the review results within two weeks of the interview. 

Note for Post Baccalaureate Students

Art 0903 (Art Education Portfolio Review) is required for all post-bac students. Post- bac students should register to take Art 0903 during the first term of enrollment. All requirements listed above apply to post-bac students with the exception of the professional disposition forms. 

Art Education Portfolio Review Checklist

Eligibility to apply is contingent upon

  • Initial major coding as a Pre-Art Education student (see advisor to check your coding.)
  • Successful completion of at least 9 credits of art core courses, one of which may be in art history. 
  • A minimum GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 in art classes and 2.5 overall. Consult the art department administrative assistant at the art office reception desk in H 317 to confirm your GPAs and receive a permission number to register in Art 0903 Art Education Review. If your name does not appear on her lists, see the art department head.

If you are eligible

  • Enroll in Art 0903 Art Education Review before the end of the first week of the semester. 
  • Attend the mandatory pre-meeting and sign up for a review time.
  • Prepare your portfolio, which must include: 
    • Ten of your best and most creative works from your art department core studio courses labeled on the back of each piece with your name; the title of the work, if any; the date it was completed, and the medium or media you used. 
    • A current unofficial copy of your UMD transcript and APAS.
    • A concise, one page typed sample of your writing, addressing the following topics: 
      • Your reasons for becoming an art educator. The role of art education in today’s society. The experiences you have had working with primary, middle and/or high school students. A contemporary artist who has influenced you and why.
  • Appear promptly for your scheduled review time with your portfolio, prepared to 
  • Speak with the review faculty about your work and your interest in being a teacher. 

Graphic Design Portfolio Review FAQ

Purpose of the Review

We want to place students in departmental majors most appropriate to their abilities, interests, and preparation. The review process determines which students will be admitted to the Graphic Design major for the BFA degree. The faculty will use the review to gain knowledge of your creative potential, motivation, academic skill, and communication abilities.

Students with graphic design interests are initially admitted into the pre-graphic design program, completing general art and design courses required for all majors in the department. The quality of your work in these studio courses is highly important in determining your placement, as is your record in general academic work. 

What happens in the graphic design review?

You will sign up for a ten minute interview with several of our graphic design faculty members. During the interview you will present your portfolio of art and design work and read your essay about why you wish to be a designer, as well as answer related questions about your work, your goals, and past experiences in art and design. As part of the review process the faculty look at your current UMD transcript, APAS, and your writing sample.

When is the interview?

The highly competitive review takes place annually during the Spring Semester.  Some transfer students may be eligible to apply for the spring review during their first semester at UMD if they meet pre-requisites. As a pre-graphic design major enrolled in Art 0901, you will be notified via e-mail of the date and time of the mandatory meeting to sign up for review slots, so it is essential that you check your UMD e-mail at least every 48 hours. 

What do I need to do to apply?

  • Successfully complete at least nine credits of Art & Design core courses during your first semester at UMD. One of these courses may be in Art History.
  • Earn a minimum GPA (grade point average) of 2.0 in Art & Design classes and 2.0 overall. If you do not meet this GPA requirement, you may continue to take art and design courses required for all Art & Design majors in an effort to improve your GPA and apply when you meet the requirement. Remember, the highly competitive GD portfolio review takes place only during spring semester.
  • If you meet the requirements above, enroll in ART 0901 Graphic Design Portfolio Review for the spring semester of Art & Design Department study. This is a no-cost, noncredit course, but enrollment is mandatory for the review. Note that you must enroll by the end of the second week of the spring semester in which you apply for consideration for entry into the GD major. The Department of Art & Design and the Area Chair in Graphic Design will check student eligibility after course registration.
  • Attend the mandatory information and sign-up meeting, announced via e-mail to all eligible students enrolled in Art 0901. In rare circumstances, students who have nine credits in Art & Design but do not meet the minimum GPA criteria may petition the Design faculty to consider enrollment for the portfolio review. See the Art 0901 instructor or GD Area Chair for an appointment.

What if I have art classes from another college or university?

Transfer students with art credits from another school or credits completed in the U of M system while not registered in the UMD School of Fine Arts, should contact the GD Area Chair before their first term begins to determine if application in the first rather than the second semester of UMD study is advisable. 

What do I bring to the review?

  • Select ten of your best and most creative works from the Art & Design Department’s core studio courses. Bring 2D work in a portfolio (you may buy one upstairs at UMD Stores to fit the work you have.You may also construct one yourself from cardboard or foam core; these are to protect your work). If you have 3D work samples, bring these separately. Do not bring work on CDs or DVDs; please make hard copy printouts. While it is not necessary to mat work for the review, be sure all your work shows care in presentation and is clean. If you need assistance selecting work, seek advice from your Art & Design course professors. On the back or bottom of each 2D or 3D work, write your name, the title of the work (if any), date completed, the class in which it was completed, the instructor, and the medium.
  • Bring an unofficial copy of your UMD transcript AND your APAS which show courses completed and in progress. Be sure to “open all” and expand course and grade listings. Both are available online at http://www.d.umn.edu/students/
  • Bring a concise, well written, one page, typed sample of your writing, addressing the topic: Why I want to major in graphic design or graphic design & marketing. Please prepare your statement on 8½" x 11" paper, double spaced 12 point type, with 1 inch margins.
  • Bring a separate sheet with your name typed in 72pt size on 8½" x 5½" paper.

Can I include work done on my own from another college or university, or in high school?

The reviewers want to see work you have completed since beginning the program at UMD. 
Transfer students may submit work from art and design classes completed at another accredited college or university as part of their ten piece portfolio. 

How many students are accepted into the program?

A maximum of 60 students may be accepted. The faculty choose those students who display work of high quality and have clear potential as graphic design professionals

What criteria are considered to determine admission?

  • Quality of your portfolio work and its presentation
  • Grade point average
  • Ability to speak about your work
  • Your writing ability

What if I am not accepted?

Students who are not accepted after their first GD portfolio review have several options. One is to take additional Art & Design core studio courses to prepare an improved portfolio and reapply for the next year’s spring portfolio review. You may reapply once.

Another option is to consider the other programs in the department, which include Art Education, Art History, and Studio Art (with an emphasis in Digital Art and Photography; General Studio; Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking; or Sculpture and Ceramics). Many of these majors require an application and/or a portfolio review for admission. See the Art & Design Department Administrative Specialist for details. 

What can I do to prepare for the review?

Put as much good effort into your first semester courses as possible. Think about your future life and career goals and why these are important to you. Take good care of the artwork you do for each class you have. 

How do I find out if I am admitted?

All students who apply receive an email informing them of their Graphic Design Portfolio Review results within one week of the review. 

Graphic Design Portfolio Review Checklist

  • Review time and location
  • Prepare your portfolio, which must include
    • Ten of your best and most creative works from your Art and Design core studio courses, labeled on the back of each piece with your name, the title of the work (if any), the date it was completed, the class in which it was completed, and the medium or media you used.
    • A current unofficial copy of your UMD transcript, available at the Student Assistant Center in the Wedge and online at http://www.d.umn.edu/students/ Please make sure it’s your full transcript and not merely a cover page.
    • A current copy of your APAS, available at the Student Assistant Center in the Wedge and online at http://www.d.umn.edu/students/ Please be sure to “open all” and expand listings to see all your courses and grades.
    • A concise, well written, proofread and typed one page statement. 8 ½” x 11” (letter) paper, 1 inch margins, double-spaced, with 12 point type addressing the following:
      • Why I want to major in Graphic Design at UMD. or Why I want to major in Graphic Design Marketing at UMD.
    • A separate sheet with your name typed in 72pt size on 8 ½” x 5 ½” paper. This will be included for identification in a digital snapshot of your portfolio taken by the faculty during the review.
    • Appear promptly for your scheduled review time with your portfolio, prepared to talk with the review faculty about your work. Your review will last 10 minutes.

In addition to having completed nine credits in Art & Design with a GPA of at least 2.0 overall and in Art & Design courses, you will be evaluated using the following criteria on a five point scale based on the Graphic Design Program’s student learning outcomes.

  • Understand the Interdisciplinary and contextual nature of Design.
  • Ability to prepare and present work
  • Understanding basic design theory
  • Solve visual communication problems
  • Employ the design process for problem solving
  • Use of design tools
  • Use critical thinking skills in design critique and evaluation

Our expectation is that your knowledge in these areas would meet basic entry level to mid level minimums. 

Studio Art Portfolio Review FAQ

Purpose of the review

We want to place students into departmental majors most appropriate to their abilities, interests, and preparation. This review process determines which students will be admitted to the Studio Art major and, if admitted, whether you will be in the B.F.A. or the B.A. program. The faculty will use this review to gain knowledge of your creative potential, motivation, academic skills, and communication abilities. Students with studio art interests are initially admitted into the pre-studio art program and complete pre-studio courses required for all majors in the department. The quality of your work in the pre-studio is highly important in determining your placement, as is your record in general academic work.  

What happens in the studio art review?

You will have a twenty-minute interview with three studio art faculty members. During the interview, you will present your portfolio of work from the pre-studio courses. Additionally, you will be asked questions about your desire to complete a studio degree, your statement, work, goals, and past experiences in art and design.  

When is the interview?

After completion of your first semester (and a minimum of 9 art and design credits), you should plan to participate in the review the following semester. The review occurs in both the fall and spring on the Friday of the eighth week of the semester. You will be notified of the date and time of your review via email.

What do I need to do to apply for entry into the Studio Art Major?

  • Successfully complete 9 art credits as follows: 6 credits (2 courses) selected from the pre-studio courses (Art 1010, Art 1011, Art 1012, Art 1013) and 3 credits (1 courses) from art history (ArtH 1303, 1304, 1305) or Visual Literacy (Art 1900)
  • Earn a minimum GPA (grade point average) of 2.0 in art and design classes and overall. If you do not meet these GPA requirements, you may continue to take art and design courses required for all majors in an effort to improve your GPA. You may apply when you meet the GPA requirements.
  • If you do meet the above requirements, enroll in ART 902 Studio Portfolio Review.

This is a no-cost, noncredit course. You must enroll by the end of the second week of the semester in which you apply for entry into the program. After course registration, the Department of Art and Design and the Studio Area Head will check your eligibility.

How should I prepare for the review?

  • Artist statement – prior to the review date, prepare a concise, spell-checked, a minimum of two pages, artist statement, reflecting your best writing ability. Your statement should be double-spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.
    • Your statement should contain the following elements:
      • Discuss the artists you are interested in and how you learn about them. These artists may be of any discipline, style, medium, or craft. Include the following: bio, work style, and influence on the world of art.
      • Discuss what type of art you are most interested in developing and mastering and why.
      • Share an experience you have had with art or art-making that may explain why you want to study art.
      • Submit your statement a week prior to the review to the Studio Area Head via e-mail as a MS Word document.  
  • Ten best works – Select ten of your best and most creative works from the pre-studio courses.
  • Checklist of works – Prepare a checklist of the works you are submitting, indicating the following: title, date, dimensions, medium(s), class in which the work was produced, and any other information that you feel is relevant to the work. For work created by a team, include names of all involved and your role in the production. Submit your checklist along with your artist statement to the Studio Area Head via e-mail as a MS Word document.
  • Current APAS – Your APAS is available online.

What criteria are considered to determine admission?

  • Presentation and quality of your work indicating your creative potential
  • Overall ability to clearly write and speak about concepts underlying your work See the Portfolio Review Rubric for specific criteria.

How to prepare the portfolio?

The actual work is required for review. No photo documentation will be accepted unless there are substantial reasons for not being able to present the original piece. Exemptions to this policy require prior approval from the Studio Area Head and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Flatwork should be submitted in a portfolio (purchased or constructed) that shows the work to its best advantage, meaning clean, sturdy, and professional.

Sleeved portfolios are not allowed unless the pages can be removed. All works must be presented and displayed at the same time.

Work produced in digital-based classes should be submitted as high-quality prints rather than on a disk. Time-based works should be submitted on a DVD, with a three-minute maximum. If necessary, record the specific three minutes of a long work you want us to review. If you need assistance regarding the presentation of your work, seek advice from your instructor with whom your work was created.

How do I find out if I am admitted?

All students who apply receive a formal letter informing them of the review results within two weeks following the review. A list of accepted students will also be posted on the bulletin board near the Art and Design Office as soon as determinations are made. 

What if I am not accepted?

Students who are not accepted at the time of their first application have several options. First, they carefully consider the suggestions and feedback the review committee has made regarding their selected works after the portfolio review. Next would be to take additional pre-studio core or studio courses, prepare an improved portfolio, and re-apply the following semester. They may only re-apply once. Another option is to consider the other programs in the department, which include the B.A. in Art History, the B.F.A. in Graphic Design, and the B.F.A. in Art Education K-12. Check with the Art and Design Office (317 Humanities Building) for more information. If you decide to change to one of the other majors in Art and Design, you will need to complete a change of major form available from the Art and Design Office. 

I have a series of work that I feel needs to be seen as a whole - is that possible?

Yes. A complete series can be included as "one" piece in the 10-piece portfolio, or individual works may be shown at the student's discretion. 

Should I mat and/or frame my work?

No. That's not necessary. A professional submission is one where the work is shown to its best advantage in a clean portfolio that opens flat and is large enough to completely protect the work. 

Must I sign, title and date each work?

No. This information should be included in your review checklist on a separate sheet. The individual works need not be signed/dated, etc. 

I have work that requires advance installation for proper viewing. Will I have time to do that?

Yes. Students are notified in advance as to where and when the review will take place. These rooms can generally be made available for pre-review set-ups beginning the evening before the scheduled review. (Alert the Studio Area Head in advance) Students will have to do their own planning regarding securing easels, pushpins, or other display needs. Breakdown will likely have to occur after all the interviews have been completed and should also be planned by the student. 

I am very close to the required GPAs and am doing well this term. May I take the review now?

No. The specified minimum GPAs for art course and for overall academic performance are set. You may reapply when you meet the minimum requirements. 

I'm having difficulty selecting my "best work." What can I do?

Take some time to remember the critique and the grade you received and solicit feedback from objective viewers. Faculty are generally available to discuss strengths and weaknesses in student work, but they will not make these selections for you. Consider this as the first part of the review. Your selections indicate your grasp of the criteria. Whatever you select, you should be prepared to articulate your reasons for doing so. 

I am a transfer student. When shall I apply for the portfolio review?

We encourage you to apply for the portfolio review as soon as possible after transferring to UMD. You may submit works from art and design classes completed at your previous institution as part of your ten-piece portfolio.