Portfolio Guidelines For Application To The Art Department

An art portfolio is required of first year applicants and transfer students for acceptance into our Art Education (K-12) program. Students transferring to the Art Department from other departments at PSU who wish to pursue the Studio, Design, and Art Education degree programs are also required to submit a portfolio. No portfolio is required for application or transfer into the BA in Art History.

Deadlines/AddressPortfolio FormatPortfolio Contents

For Fall admission, portfolios should be sent by May 1

For Spring admission, portfolios should be sent by December 1

Send portfolios to the following address:

Deb Stalnaker
Art Department, MSC 21
Plymouth State University
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264

Email Zip Files, Web Portfolio, Images to:

In subject line please write your name_, [Graphic Design, Art Education, or Studio Art] + Portfolio Application.
Example: (JaneDoe_Graphic Design Portfolio Application)

Portfolios may be presented in one of three ways. Whatever format you choose, be sure to include information on a separate page about each work including the media, size and date of completion.

  1. Digital Portfolio: You may choose to submit your portfolio in a digital format. Your digital portfolio should be Macintosh or PC compatible, on CD-ROM, Flash Drive, or emailed as a Zip File, in one of the following formats: PDF files, Photoshop, PowerPoint, Flash, JPEG or GIF. If you submit individual images, images should be a preferred file size of less than 1 MB per image. If you have completed video work that you wish to submit, please submit it in a compacted file size to save space overall.
  2. Web Portfolios: Be sure to send your URL address. Videos may also be submitted as part of a digital or web format portfolio.
  3. Physical Portfolio: These may be delivered personally to Art Department office, D&M 207. Please call ahead if you intend to deliver your portfolio and please plan to leave it several days. We are sorry that we are unable to do in-person portfolio reviews.
Studio / BS Art Education

The portfolio should consist of 10-20 items and should include work that clearly shows your skills, strengths and interests. You can show work in a variety of media and techniques as well as show a group of works with a specific theme or focus. For example, your portfolio could include some of the following:

  • Images
    • Drawings in any drawing medium from direct observation, from research or from your imagination
    • Works in color including oils, acrylics, pastel, watercolor, etc.
    • Three-dimensional objects, either functional or sculptural, in wood, metal, ceramic, plaster, etc.
    • Printmaking including etching, intaglio, silkscreen, block prints, mono-prints, etc.
    • Photographs, black & white or color, digital or silver based
    • Video, film, computer or digital multimedia pieces on CD or DVD
    • Graphic design, environmental graphics, package design, etc.
    • Site-specific works such as murals, installations or performances
    • Collaborative works (describe your role in the collaboration)
    • Mixed-Media works
  • An Inventory Sheet—Include an inventory sheet listing the sizes, mediums, and a short description of each of the projects being submitted in your portfolio.
  • Written Statement—The portfolio must include a written statement, sent with the portfolio and not to exceed one page, outlining the PSU major or option you are applying to and what you see as your future career in the visual arts. Please put your name, street address and e-mail address on the written statement.If you are not granted admission to the Art Department based on this initial portfolio review, but you are admitted to the university, you may choose to enroll in the University Studies program and take foundation level studio art courses for the first year. You may then re-submit your portfolio of artwork from university art classes at the end of that year and, with Art Department approval, transfer into the department with a Change of Major form at the Registrar’s Office.

Your portfolio should be sent directly to the Art Department at the time of application and will be evaluated and returned to you. Evaluation criteria include creativity, skill with media, originality, composition and presentation. Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped mailer for the safe return of your portfolio.

Graphic Design

The portfolio will be evaluated by the Portfolio Review Committee, which is comprised of graphic design faculty. The portfolio should consist of:

  • Examples of Visual Work—Submit a portfolio of about 12–15 pieces of your work. You may include examples of the following: graphic design, typography, illustration, motion graphics, web design, photography, and conceptual drawings (examples of conceptual thinking). You may also include formal drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, sketchbook pages and/or collage work. Your portfolio may consist of class assignments, self-initiated projects, and/or freelance work. If possible, please select work that shows your proficiency with both digital software and traditional art making materials.
  • An Inventory Sheet—Include an inventory sheet listing the sizes, mediums, and a short description of each of the projects being submitted in your portfolio.
  • An Artist’s Statement—In your statement, we recommend that you specifically write about your interest in graphic design. Please describe any design projects or design related experience(s) you have had, and your future design goals. The statement should be rather short—perhaps two or three paragraphs at the most—to give us an overview of your goals as a designer and your reasons for applying to the PSU Graphic Design Program.

Things to Keep in Mind when Submitting Your Work

If you can show a variety of types of work, that is preferred. If you haven’t had any graphic design classes or experience yet, that’s okay, just show any artwork you have completed such as drawings, sketches, paintings, printmaking, 3D work, etc. You may wish to shoot pictures of larger studio work you have completed (paintings, sculpture, ceramics pieces, etc.), so you may use a digital camera, a scanner, or a film camera to capture your images or copy images created digitally for these types of work. All images should be in sharp focus and be tightly cropped to fill the frame. If you submit individual images, images should be in JPG or PDF format with a preferred file size of less than 1 MB per image. If you have completed video work that you wish to submit, please submit it in a compacted file size to save space overall.