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All students who intend to pursue the B.F.A. in Art, Architectural Design, Graphic Design or the B.S. in Industrial Design must submit a portfolio to be artistically admitted to the school.

Students who wish to be considered for a SADAH merit scholarship must attend an in-person or virtual Portfolio Feedback Day.

Candidates who have already been artistically admitted to SADAH and who have completed their Foundations courses will submit a second portfolio that showcases their most recent work in order to be admitted to their desired major.

Portfolios are not required at any time for students pursuing Art History, Art B.A. or Art. B.S. degrees.

➔ For questions about scheduling a tour, the application process and more, contact SADAH's Recruitment & Records Specialist Michael Penney.
What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a showcase of your work that expresses your versatility, skills and artistic voice. The portfolio review process is designed to assess your potential growth as a student, and is required for both admission to the school and admission to your major.

Portfolios are reviewed for evidence of four criteria:

  • Technical Skills
  • Inventiveness
  • Expressiveness
  • Handling of Design or Composition

Show your versatility. Include work that displays your ability to apply your talent and vision across different types of media. Try to include both 2D and 3D pieces.

Show us your skills. Demonstrate your techniques, knowledge of composition and drawing ability. Try to include the pieces that show your highest level of craftsmanship, framing, abstraction, etc.

Show us your artistic voice. How do you use materials to communicate your ideas? Include examples of how you see issues from multiple viewpoints, what makes your art unique to you, how you express your artistic identity.

  • Studio or design projects based on copying photographs or images from magazines are discouraged.

Portfolio details:
First-year student portfolios should have 10-12 examples of work you have created in the past two years. Transfer and change-of-major students should provide 12-16 examples.

You can include a broad range of pieces into your portfolio like paintings and drawings, ceramics and sculpture, photography and digital art or design, animation, woodworking, CAD, etc.

Images (up to 5MB each), Video (up to 250MB each), PDFs (up to 10MB each) and Models (Sketchfab). You may also link to media from YouTube and Vimeo.

Portfolio Feedback Days

Portfolio Feedback Days are an opportunity to meet with faculty, learn about your chosen major and concentrations, and take a tour of the school. SADAH faculty will look at your portfolio with you and give advice on which pieces to keep and what to work on. They also will talk with you about your artistic and professional goals and current art-related activities like exhibits, clubs or awards. This is a private session.

Students must participate in a Portfolio Feedback Day to be considered for any SADAH merit scholarships, which vary in amount up to the full cost of tuition. Portfolios should be submitted as early as possible for scholarship consideration. 

Admission decisions are not made during Portfolio Feedback Days.

SADAH holds several on-campus Portfolio Feedback Days each year.

Admission Portfolio

When you submit an application to JMU, you also need to submit a portfolio to SADAH via SlideRoom to be artistically admitted to the school. Once you are admitted to the school, you are a candidate for your chosen major.

We highly recommend attending a Portfolio Feedback Day so that you can get advice about your portfolio before you officially submit it.

What if I miss the deadline to upload my portfolio to SlideRoom?

What if I am accepted to JMU but not artistically admitted to the School of Art, Design and Art History?

208 Portfolio Review

Complete all required Foundations and other prerequisite classes during your first two years. During your second year at SADAH, you will enroll in ARCD/GRPH/INDU 208: Portfolio Review, a 0-credit, pass/fail course that functions as a prerequisite to enrollment in 300-400 level design courses. During this class, you will develop a portfolio to submit for admission to your chosen major. Once you are admitted to your major, you can progress to upper-level classes and complete your degree. Area coordinators will determine specific dates and times for reviews.

Although there is no 208 course for the Art B.F.A., students will go through a similar process.

What if I am not admitted to my chosen major?

Register for a Portfolio Feedback Day

Attending a Portfolio Feedback Day is highly recommended, but not required, for admission to SADAH. 

Register for an upcoming session:

Nov. 6, 2021

Dec. 4, 2021

Jan. 15, 2022

Feb. 5, 2022

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