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Admission Requirements

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Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Department of Art and Design offers two Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs. These are the BFA in Fine Arts (BFA-FA) and BFA in Visual Communications (BFA-VC).

Application for the BFA-FA or the BFA-VC program is a two-step application process. Admission to either program is first processed through the UD Admissions Office. Deadline to apply is January 15. Admission into these programs is competitive and requires the submission of a portfolio (See below). If you wish to apply to the department without a portfolio you can apply to the Bachelor of Arts degree program.

Step 1: The Common Application to the University; please see the Application Checklist.

Step 2: Submit a digital image portfolio and 500 word essay for the Department Review Process.

International Students

​Upon receipt of your application, the University Office of Admissions responds to all Department of Art & Design applicants with a letter outlining the requirements for admission.

Portfolio Requirements

In addition to your application to the University of Delaware, students applying directly to the BFA in Fine Arts (BFA-FA) or the BFA in Visual Communications (BFA-VC) degree programs must submit a portfolio of creative work and a written essay. The portfolio and essay will be evaluated by the Department Admissions Committee (DAC). 

Portfolios and essays must be uploaded by midnight January 15 via SlideRoom (see below).

Portfolio reviews are not conducted in-person. We do, however, encourage students to visit the University of Delaware campus during one of our many Blue and Gold open house events or by contacting the Admissions Office for a tour

During the Department Admissions Committee review, applicant portfolios are ranked into three categories:

1. Admissible* 

2. Not admissible 

3. Wait-listed (the portfolio will be reevaluated against new applications at a subsequent date)

* Please note that a positive evaluation from the DAC is not a guarantee of admission. Students majoring in the Department of Art & Design must also meet the academic requirements for admission to the University. In the event of a negative evaluation from the DAC, students who are academically admissible may be offered an alternative major by the Office of Admissions. 

You will be notified of your acceptance to either the BFA-FA or BFA-VC program by the Admissions Office by Mid-March.

Please do not contact the Art and Design office to inquire about the status of your application.

Submit a minimum of 15 and maximum of 20 individual pieces.Portfolios are evaluated for creative expressive potential including: understanding of materials, excellence of craft, composition, conceptual thinking, originality, and technical expertise within a variety of media. 

We recommend that you limit pieces to a maximum of 4 from any of the following categories:

  • drawing

  • painting

  • photography

  • computer graphics 

  • 2-dimensional design

  • sculpture

  • ceramics

  • 3-dimensional design

  • video

  • other

In the event that a website is included, up to three screen grabs of the web site are to be submitted (a screen grab is a JPEG of the web page, not the web page itself).

As your work is uploaded, you will be asked to provide the following for each entry:

  • title of the piece

  • medium

  • category for the piece

  • size (width, then depth)

Submitting a Portfolio through SlideRoom

In order to submit a portfolio to the department, first create an account on the University of Delaware SlideRoom website: https://udart.slideroom.com/

Be sure to upload to the "First Year" program and designate which BFA program (Fine Arts or Visual Communications) you wish to apply to.

  • Secure Registration: Upon registration, applicants are emailed an activation link for security and to ensure their information is accurate. You must use the link in this email to activate your account. Applicants can access their account from anywhere in the world by using their email address and password. The applicant can edit until they are ready to send their portfolio. Do not submit your portfolio until you have completed and reviewed all requirements. You may not "unsubmit" your portfolio for changes later.

  • Technical Support: Contact SlideRoom by emailing support@slideroom.com.

Essay Requirements

    • Topic: The department is looking for applicants who will shape the character and vision of the department. We are looking for visually creative people who are unique, passionate and talented. In your essay, describe what qualities you feel you will bring to the department and your college-level educational experience and why. The maximum length for the essay is 500 words.

    • Suggestions: It is reasonable that the lack of a formal art education may negatively impact the portfolio. If this is the case, the merit of the essay as a measure of an applicant's admissibility is emphasized. If you feel your art experience is lacking you should refer to that issue in your essay.

    • Please note that this essay is in addition to the essay required by the Office of Admissions’ application. Applicants should also be aware of the importance of the University's other requirements such as academic record, letters of reference, extracurricular effort, etc. to the evaluation from the Office of Admissions.

TIPS for Submitting Your Portfolio and Essay:

Submit a minimum of 15 and maximum of 20 individual pieces.Portfolios are evaluated for creative expressive potential including: understanding of materials, excellence of craft, composition, conceptual thinking, originality, and technical expertise within a variety of media. 

We recommend that you limit pieces to a maximum of 4 from any of the following categories:

  • drawing

  • painting

  • photography

  • computer graphics 

  • 2-dimensional design

  • sculpture

  • ceramics

  • 3-dimensional design

  • other

In the event that a website is included, up to three screen grabs of the web site are to be submitted (a screen grab is a JPEG of the web page, not the web page itself).

  • As your work is uploaded, you will be asked to provide the following for each entry:

  • title of the piece

  • medium

  • category for the piece

  • size (width, then depth)

Capturing Digital Images of your Work

You may use a digital camera or scanner to capture your images for your application portfolio.

Using a digital camera is the easiest way to create images of your pieces. Almost all digital cameras save the images in the required JPEG file format for uploading images to your portfolio application. One of the best ways to take the photo is with indirect sunlight, being careful to avoid glare. Also avoid confusing or textured backgrounds as much as possible.

You can use a scanner to create images of your work that fit on a scanner. Larger pieces are more easily captured with a camera as it is difficult to scan in several sections of the piece and then collage them together in an image editing program. You can also use the scanner to digitize prints or slides from a film camera. Be sure your scanner accurately captures color and produces sharp images. It is likely that a camera shop will digitize your prints more accurately than your scanner.

Size and Uploading your images

If you would like to manipulate your images in an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop, you can tightly control the cropping, focus and color of the image. These programs make it easy to crop the images to focus attention on your work and not borders or frames. If you are comfortable doing this, you can save time uploading images. Warning: be sure to save your images as high-quality JPEGs. Low quality JPEGs tend to look blurry with a loss of accurate color. For good image quality and fast upload, images should be sized no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels @ 72 dpi. Video files must be kept under 20MB.

Write your essay

Give the essay a title. Spell check. Proofread very carefully for content and grammar. Do not use any text formatting (multiple fonts and font sizes, bold and italic) as that will not be preserved when pasting the essay into the text area. Be sure the title of your essay is at the top and on its own line. We are interested in the content of your essay, not the design of your essay. Your essay must address the issues requested by the DAC.


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Admission Requirements
  • Department of Art & Design
  • 104 Recitation Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2244
  • artdepartment@udel.edu