Undergraduate Admissions: Art

In addition to the university's general requirements, B.F.A. applicants are required to submit a portfolio online via Cornell AAP SlideRoom. A portfolio interview is strongly recommended but not required. The Department of Art considers the strongest applicants to be those who would like to study both fine arts and liberal arts in a university setting.

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Portfolio Guidelines

Applicants must submit their portfolios online at Cornell AAP SlideRoom. The portfolio should consist of high-quality images of 18–20 pieces of work, including at least four examples of freehand observational drawing. The portfolio should contain examples of work from at least three of the department's studio practice areas: drawing, digital media, painting, photography, print media, and sculpture. Applicants should choose the media that best reflects their highest level of skill and conceptual development. While there is no requirement that any particular subject or style of work be included in the portfolio, the faculty admissions committee would like to see a selection of work that has made been made both independently and in school or workshop settings. Step-by-step instructions for portfolio submission are available online at Cornell AAP SlideRoom. Acceptable file formats include image files (JPG, PNG, GIF) and video files (MOV, MWV, FLV, MP4). Portfolios will be added to all other admissions materials for review by the Department of Art admissions committee.

The deadlines for portfolio submissions are:

  • November 1 (early decision first-year applicants)
  • January 2 (regular decision first-year applicants)
  • October 1 (spring transfer applicants)
  • March 1 (fall transfer applicants)

Do not send CDs, DVDs, thumb drives, videos, cassettes, slides, or notebooks of photos. Do not send original works of art by mail.

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Interview

A portfolio interview is strongly recommended but not required to apply to the Department of Art. The portfolio interview offers the opportunity to personally present work and discuss it with either a faculty member in the art department or an alumni of the B.F.A. program. Interviews with faculty are offered on campus only on Mondays and Fridays. Most are scheduled in the fall, with external transfer applicants able to schedule interviews in February as well. Learn more about visiting the campus here. Alumni interviews are coordinated between the applicant and the alumni, at the convenience of both parties.

We are no longer taking requests for in-person interviews for first-year applicants.

The deadlines for fine arts portfolio interviews are:

  • November 1 (early decision first-year applicants)
  • January 2 (regular decision first-year applicants)
  • October 1 (spring transfer applicants)
  • March 1 (fall transfer applicants)

Interview requests must be made well in advance of the deadline.

About the interview:

Applicants will be expected to share their portfolio-in-progress with an art faculty member or B.F.A. alumni. The interview is also a time to discuss art and other interests. Possible topics of discussion may include your interest in pursuing art in college, your experience with and exposure to art, and your personal creative and intellectual interests.

The Department of Art admissions committee will not begin to consider an application until all requirements, including a portfolio, have been submitted.

Secondary School Subjects/Standardized Test Requirements

Sixteen units of secondary school subjects must be completed, including four of English and three or four of foreign language (three years of one language or two years each of two languages).

The SAT Reasoning Test or ACT (with writing) is required. The TOEFL is required of all international applicants whose first language is not English.

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Important Information for Transfer Applicants

Students considering a transfer into the B.F.A. program should be aware that, if admitted, a transfer credit evaluation will take place. This process requires syllabi from any class for which an admitted student seeks credit, as well as a portfolio of work for any studio classes. Applicants should prepare these materials in advance so they can be submitted promptly if an offer of admission is made. Admitted transfer students will have two weeks from the date of admission to submit all transfer credit materials. AAP will not accept transfer credit materials before an offer of admission is made.

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