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. The media of the work represented is optional, but it is to the advantage of the applicant to include work representing several of (but not necessarily limited to) the following media: drawing, digital media, painting, photography, print media, and sculpture/installation. Applicants should choose those media that best reflect their highest level of conceptual and technical 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 been made both independently and in school, and that reflects the applicant's creative interests at this point. 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.

Deadlines for portfolio submissions:

  • 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.

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


A portfolio interview is strongly recommended but not required to apply to the Department of Art. The portfolio interview offers the opportunity to present work and discuss it with a faculty member in the art department or an alum of the art department. Interviews with faculty and alumni are offered virtually during the fall semester. External transfer applicants interested in a fall semester start are able to schedule interviews in February.

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Deadlines for fine arts portfolio interviews:

First-year Applicants:

  • Early Decision applicants: Interview must be requested by October 20 and completed no later than November 1, 2022.
  • Regular Decision applicants: Interview must be requested by December 9 and completed no later than January 2, 2023.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to volume and the timing of application reading, we will be unable to accept any interview requests made beyond the respective Early Decision and Regular Decision deadlines. As a reminder, an interview is not required when applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts. 

About the interview:

Applicants will be expected to share their portfolio-in-progress with their interviewer. 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.


Standardized Test Update

The SAT/ACT is not required.

The TOEFL or IELTS is required of all international applicants whose first language is not English.

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 classes 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.

Internal transfer is an option for current Cornell students who wish to transfer between colleges at Cornell. It is also an option for current AAP students who wish to transfer into a different AAP program.

Students interested in transferring into an AAP program must follow a college-specific internal transfer application process. To find out more about the undergraduate programs within AAP, and the process for transferring, you must meet with a member of AAP's Office of Admissions in 135 Sibley Hall.

Students may also transfer from outside of Cornell. Learn more about external transfer here.


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