Undergraduate Portfolio Requirements

Portfolio Requirements

Applicants to the undergraduate program in the School of Visual Arts at Boston University may either upload their portfolio online, or attend an on-campus portfolio review day. Portfolios are to consist of at least fifteen (15) and not more than twenty (20) samples of work. The portfolio review committee is especially interested in seeing examples of the applicant’s ability to work from observation.

There are three required samples of work:

  • At least one portrait drawing (a self-portrait or portrait from life)
  • At least one still-life drawing (from actual objects)
  • At least one composition of recognizable objects (a drawing or painting)

Portfolios consisting primarily of photography are not acceptable.

The Early Decision portfolio submission deadline is November 15, 2013.

The Regular Decision portfolio submission deadline is January 31, 2014.


Portfolios can be submitted at http://bucfa.slideroom.com, which also contains file specifications and upload instructions.

If you have any questions about the portfolio submission and review process, please call the School of Visual Arts at 617-353-3371, or email us at visuarts@bu.edu.

On Campus Portfolio Review Days

The Boston University School of Visual Arts offers two on-campus sessions for final Portfolio Reviews.  A Portfolio Review is for applicants who choose to present their final admissions portfolio on campus in addition to submitting it online. Both portfolio days give students the opportunity to meet with faculty members and staff and to take student-led tours.

Portfolio Review Days:

  • Friday, January 24, 2014 12 pm-2 pm | Portfolio Review Day
    Join us for a final in-person portfolio review and tour. The portfolio review day includes a brief introduction by the director, an individual faculty review and a student-led tour. This gives us the chance to see your actual portfolio pieces and you a chance to meet members of the BU School of Visual Arts community.
  • Monday, January 27, 2014 8:45 am-5 pm | School of Visual Arts Shadow Day
    (half day options available)
    The School of Visual Arts Shadow Day invites applicants to participate in classes and experience a typical day at the BU School of Visual Arts. Students can attend classes offered between 9-12 and/or 2-5. We will provide lunch, an information session, tours and final portfolio reviews between 12-2. Spend the whole day with us or choose to come in the morning or afternoon. Available classes include:

Morning Session
Time Based Sculpture
Drawing 1
Drawing Concepts
Sophomore Graphic Design

Afternoon Session
Sculpture I
Sophomore Graphic Design
Painting 3
Drawing I
Introduction to Printmaking

To register, call 617-353-3371 or email visuarts@bu.edu.