All students applying for study in the Division of Art for the B.A., B.F.A., or B.F.A./M.I.T. degree programs must submit a digital portfolio of 15 works in addition to applying for admission through SMU’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Each degree program is a 4-year course of study beginning with Foundations (ASAG 1300 Observation and ASAG 1304 Spaces) which forms the initial core of your studies.
The portfolio is the most direct statement of your desires and capabilities as an artist. Consider it carefully. To the greatest extent possible, you should have work in a variety of media, work from observation as well as imagination, work based in assignments as well as work done on your own. In sum, the portfolio should tell us something about your skills but more importantly, your thought.
Please be sure to indicate the significant amount of time engaged in artistic endeavors on the Extracurricular Resume and Application which you submit to the Office of Admission as part of the application checklist.
Portfolio submission is through SMU SlideRoom, a digital portfolio system that was developed by one of our alums. SMU SlideRoom allows you to upload digital images of your work in exactly the way they will be seen by reviewing faculty. You should also note that in the Forms section, you are asked to provide additional information about the portfolio. This includes: a resume of your artistic studies and accomplishments; a statement about your artistic interests and the direction of your work; and answers to the following questions. Please be concise.
1. With what media are you comfortable? What media would you like to explore? This includes both traditional media as well as experimental and digital media. How do you see that exploration as important to your study?
2. Tell us something about one of your works in this portfolio. Why is it important to you? What were the obstacles you encountered working on this project? What inspired it? Is it an individual investigation, a response to an assignment, a work within a larger series?
3. Why are you interested in the study of art, in general and at SMU? Do you have any specific interests you’d like to explore? Is there something specific about our program at Meadows that will aid that exploration?
General Portfolio Guide
Every portfolio is different, because it reflects each artist’s interests and unique artistic strengths. Take your time in selecting it. It can include highly finished works but also sketches and notebook pages. SlideRoom accepts all media, including video and sound files. Your first goal is to present your thought process as clearly as you can; your second is to give an idea of the range of your experiences in art.
The portfolio should consist of about 15 images. You should include work from direct observation, work that shows your experience with different media, and work that demonstrates a sustained investigation over a number of images.
Good photography is important. A poor quality image, dark or out of focus, will hurt your presentation. Here is a link to a video about photographing artwork—there are other videos online as well.
Notice that we have a selection in SlideRoom to upload a trial portfolio to get comments from our faculty before you load the final one.
If you have questions about the portfolio submission, please contact:
Rosa Reifsnyder, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Art and Department of Art History: firstname.lastname@example.org
Incoming Undergraduate Student Portfolio Deadlines:
- First-Year Early Action & Early Decision I: November 15
- First-Year Regular Decision & Early Decision II: February 1
- Transfer Applicants Spring: November 15
- Transfer Applicants Fall: April 1
Transfer Students: Note that all transfer students are required to complete college algebra or a college-level math course before transferring to SMU. We strongly encourage you to plan ahead and check with your transfer admission counselor to ensure that you have satisfied this admission requirement.