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11 days ago
Admissions Advice

When applying for art and design, how much weight does your portfolio carry vs academic record for admission chances
Answered

4.13 gpa and applying to both art schools and general universities.

arts
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3 answers

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Accepted Answer
11 days ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! I agree with both @CameronBameron and @Kaitlyn5394 here. They both provide great insight into the fact that all Art & Design programs are not created equal. If one is more focused on the Art/Design aspects and is highly selective, you can almost bet that your portfolio is going to matter a lot more than academics. And vice-versa -- if you are applying to an Ivy League Art/Design program, like the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Dual Degree program with Brown University, BOTH academic and portfolio components of your application have to be stellar because you are under review by both Brown and RISD admissions committees.

Hope this helps!

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11 days ago

The simple answer is that both matter because, you will not be spending 100% of your time in STUDIO. To graduate, I'm certain there are many non-studio courses from art and design history, to reading and writing about art and design using your expository writing skills, studying the business and professional aspects of art and design (like how to market your art, curate the best pieces for a gallery show or museum, and other core requirements. Art Schools are a business just like Business Schools are a business, so they want the best student who aligns with their goals of curating the best possible class of cohorts that have the potential to be successful in the Art and Design world and return the favor when they become established.

Let me answer it a different way. If you are a perfect student academically but can't draw, you don't have a good chance whatsoever to get in. You can't throw money at the problem. Within any new freshman class, I think there are 3 categories of admits. 1. Naturally gifted artists (they might get a slight haircut on the academic requirements like test scores), 2. Grinders or those who have put an extreme amount of effort to get the same results as those naturally gifted. (these have a 50/50 balance between academics and raw talent). 3. Those who have untapped potential that the admissions officer sees in their portfolios but realize that they haven't done art long enough or come from marginalized backgrounds. (these are the riskier admits so they prob. want to make sure they can keep up with the work so they need good stats and grades.)

The mixture of these 3 groups will form the Freshman class. After 1 year, some students from each group will change majors or transfer or just drop out. That's the normal order of things. By the time senior year rolls around, you never know who is going to emerge top of the class.

But the rule of thumb is, the better your portfolio is the better art school you will get into.

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11 days ago

Hi, I would say that it definitely depends on what school(s) you are applying to. For example, if you are applying specifically to an arts and design school, I would say that your portfolio is going to matter more because they focus less on academics. However, if you are applying to an academic university with a good arts program (like NYU) then I would say both are equally important. With that being said, my advice would be no matter where you apply, make sure that your art portfolio is strong! In the end, if you submit a strong GPA AND a strong portfolio, you are going to stand a really good chance of being admitted. Best of luck to you, hope this help!! :)

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