Admissions & Portfolio Requirements for the School of Art
Students seeking admission to the School of Art begin by applying for admission to the University, using the regular admissions procedure. In addition you will need to file separate application materials to the School of Art. All this is outlined below.
Admission to the University
All prospective students should review guidelines and application deadlines found on the Office of Admissions Web site. Priority consideration for admission will be given to outstanding students whose applications are complete and postmarked during the priority filing period for the term for which they are applying. Applications postmarked during the priority filing period may have an advantage when space is limited. When you're ready, Apply Online!
For information on graduate admissions please visit the Graduate MFA admissions page.
We encourage all prospective undergraduate students to make an on-campus visit. Visit the Office of Admissions Web site to make your reservation for an open house or campus information session.
Admission Procedure to the School of Art
Beyond the admission process to become a general student at Illinois State University, students who major in the School of Art must also pass an additional review before being admitted to the School. All applicants to the School of Art who anticipate eventual entry into either the Graphic Design, Studio Arts, or Teacher Education sequences must submit a portfolio of art work and one writing sample for review by the School of Art prior to being admitted (see specific requirements below.) Applicants to the Art History sequence are not required to submit a portfolio but must submit an art history or humanities writing sample instead.
Digital Portfolio Requirements
The digital portfolio will be considered in relation to all other admission materials, including class standing, ACT/SAT scores, and prior college-level records.
Include all of the following in your digital portfolio:
- This form must accompany all portfolios submitted to the School of Art Admission Portfolio Reviews Portfolio Requirements Spring and Fall 2013 form.
- *8-12 artworks in any medium and that you consider to be your best work.
These must be individually identified and indexed.
*Notes: Digital portfolios must conform to the following specifications:
- File Format: JPEG file format only
- Resolution: 300 dpi
- File Size: approximately 700 x 700 pixels / approximately 1.0 MB (1000 KB)
- File Name: identify each image with name and number (e.g., Jones-001.jpg; Jones-002.jpg; . . . )
- Additional Requirements:
- Include all portfolio JPEGs in their own file folder on a single CD.
- Include any other documentation in a separate file folder on the same CD.
- Include on a sheet of paper a list with the title/description, medium, and size of each artwork in the portfolio; identify each artwork on the list with the same number as the JPEG filename
- Optional: include a "contact sheet" with small (approximately 1x1") printed color images of the JPEG files (these printed images augment but do not substitute for the JPEG files).
- Please do not use Powerpoint or other presentation programs or formats; the portfolio should be comprised of clearly identified and properly formatted JPEG files. Check that your files are openable and viewable from your CD; if reviewers cannot open your CD, your application cannot be reviewed.
- Tips for shooting digital images: Use a digital camera of no less than 3.2 megapixels; 4.0 to 6.0 MP cameras are even better. Make sure that the artwork is squared in viewfinder, well-lit, and in focus. It is important to record color and exposure accurately, so be sure to set the proper camera exposure and "White Balance" for the lighting conditions (consult your camera manual). It is also important to eliminate distracting backgrounds by filling the viewfinder as much as possible with the artwork (but not cropping the artwork) and by using a neutral cloth or wall; if these cannot be controlled, then you are encouraged to carefully crop out the distracting backgrounds in a photo editing program. Accurate and simple representations of your artworks are paramount.
- Transfer students: Work submitted should reflect college-level art classes already taken.
- Required Essay (at least 250 words):
Send us an essay that shows us your best writing. It can be on any subject and can be either one you wrote specifically for this application or one you wrote for a class. The essay may, but does not have to, relate to art. Transfer students: If this is a class-related essay, it must be from a college-level course.
High school students: an unofficial copy of your high school transcript.
Transfer students: an unofficial copy of your college transcript.
Current Illinois State University students: a copy of an up-to-date Academic Progress Summary available from the Student Services and Referral Center in Moulton 107.
Portfolio Delivery and Return
- For return shipping, include a self-addressed mailing container and sufficient postage.
- Portfolios must be mailed or delivered to the office of the Illinois State University School of Art, Center for the Visual Arts (CVA) Room 119.
- Portfolios not ready for return shipping will be held for pickup, and will be discarded according to the following process:
When the review committee has made a decision, you will receive a letter from the school informing you of your admission status. You will have 3 weeks from the date of that letter in which to pick up your portfolio if you did not include postage. Please note: any portfolios not picked up within the 3-week period will be discarded.
Send materials to:
The School of Art Admissions Committee
Illinois State University
Center for the Visual Arts Room 119
Campus Box 5620
Normal, IL 61790-5620
During the second or third year in the School of Art students must go through a second admissions procedure in order to be admitted to one of the Major sequences: Art Education, Art History, Graphic Design or Studio Art. The requirements for admission to these sequences vary and are available in the Undergraduate Catalog (pdf). (search for Admission-Retention Requirements under the sequences).
Portfolio Application Deadline Calendar for Spring and Fall 2013 Admission
Each review session lasts approximately 2-3weeks. At the end of that time, decision letters will be mailed to the address you supplied in your portfolio. Decisions will NOT be available over the phone.
September 24, 2012: Open to Transfer Applicants (applying for Spring 2013). Submission by this date will ensure consideration for advanced registration. All portofolios recieved after September 24th will be held until the next session.
October 15, 2012: Open to Transfer Applicants (applying for Spring 2013). All portfolios received after October 15th will be held until the next session.
October 29, 2012: Open to Transfer Applicants (applying for Spring 2013) and Freshmen Applicants (applying for Fall 2013). This is the FINAL SESSION available for Spring 2013 admissions.
February 11, 2013: Open to Freshmen and Transfer Applicants (applying for Fall 2013). Submission by this date will ensure consideration for advanced registration. All portfolios recieved after February 11th will be held until the next session.
February 25, 2013: Open to Freshmen and Transfer Applicants (applying for Fall 2013). All portfolios received after February 25th will be held until the next session. Transfer students are strongly recommended to submit the portfolio no later than this date.
March 18, 2013: Open to Freshmen and Transfer Applicants (applying for Fall 2013). This is the FINAL SESSION available for Fall 2013 admissions.
Late portfolios will be considered on a case-by-case basis.