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Apply Now - Undergraduate - Incoming Freshman

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Freshman Application Process

Students seeking to major in the Department of Art & Design at the University of Delaware must submit a portfolio of creative work and a written essay to be evaluated by the Department Admissions Committee (DAC). This is in addition to your application to the University of Delaware.

# 1: Apply to the University of Delaware by submitting the common application by January 15.

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 portfolio and essay requirements for admission.

# 2. Submit your digital portfolio and essay for review by the Department Admissions Committee. Portfolios and essays must be uploaded by midnight January 15 via SlideRoom.

The DAC will not evaluate original portfolios. Portfolio reviews are not conducted in-person; rather, portfolios are submitted through the SlideRoom website. We do, however, encourage students to visit the University of Delaware campus during an open house. Please visit Office of Admissions for more information.

During the DAC review, applicant's portfolios are ranked into three categories:

1. Admissible* 2. Not admissible 3. Wait-listed (Applicant's 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. The DAC will notify the University's Admissions office of its ranking.

# 3: You will be notified of your acceptance to both the Art & Design Department and the University by the Admissions Office by Mid-March. Please do not contact the Art office to inquire about the status of your application.


Create an account on the University of Delaware SlideRoom Site:

Be sure to upload to the "Freshman" program.

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. Logging In will result in an error unless you activate your account first.

Open 24-7

Applicants can access their account from anywhere in the world by using their email address and password. Their private account is totally secure and accessible to them at all times. The applicant can edit and upload as much as they like until they are ready to send their portfolio. Do not submit your portfolio until you have completed all possible edits. You may not "unsubmit" your portfolio for changes later.

Technical Support

Applicants can contact SlideRoom anytime for technical support by emailing

Easy to Upload

SlideRoom provides all the tools necessary to upload, label, arrange and preview portfolio items. The uploader allows applicants to browse their computer for files they wish to upload, which may include images, videos, MP3s or PDF documents. SlideRoom accepts a wide range of standard file types and sizes to make everything easy for applicants.

Preview Portfolio

Applicants see their portfolio just as reviewers will see it before they submit.

Label & Organize

Applicants can add a Title, Dimensions, Medium, Year and any other applicable information to their portfolio pieces by simply double clicking on any item. The system will remind applicants to add this information to any unlabeled portfolio items.

Add 500 word Essay

Cut and paste your essay into the form.

TIPS for submitting your portfolio:

1. Select your Work for your Portfolio Application

The application portfolio requires a minimum of 15 and maximum of 20 individual pieces.

Portfolios are evaluated for creative expressive potential including: understanding of materials, excellence of craftsmanship, 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 Web site 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 submitted to the online application, you will be asked to provide the following for each entry:

  • title of the piece
  • medium
  • category for the piece
  • size (width, then height)

2. Prepare Digital Images of your Work

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

Image Quality

All images need:

  • sharp focus
  • accurate color
  • tight cropping without wide borders to frame the image
  • the enter and edges of the piece evenly

One of the best and easiest ways to take the photo is in bright sunlight, being careful to avoid glare. Also avoid confusing or textured backgrounds as much as possible.

Capturing images with a digital camera

Using a digital camera is the easiest way to create images of your pieces. You can shoot many images and know quickly if you are capturing high quality images. Almost all digital cameras save the images in the required JPEG file format for uploading images over the internet to your portfolio application.

Film Camera

Using a film camera to create images of your work is acceptable. Once you have completed your photography, take the film to a camera shop where they can create a CD with digital versions of your images. Be sure that the images are saved in the JPEG file format and are at least 700 pixels in width or height.


You can use a scanner to create images of your work. This will work well for pieces that fit on your 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 your camera shop will digitize your prints more accurately than your scanner.

Requirements to upload your images

If you feel the need 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. 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.

Write Your Essay

Essay 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, please 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 for your essay

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 Admission's 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.

Write your essay in any word processor. Give the essay a title. Take advantage of the spell checker. Print it out and 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.


All undergraduate financial aid and scholarship programs are managed and decided by the Office of Student Financial Services.


Important dates to remember when applying for admission to the University of Delaware and the Department of Art & Design.

December 1

Submit the Common Application to receive priority consideration for merit scholarships and/or admission to the Honors Program.

January 15*

Submit the Common Application to receive consideration for admission.

Submit portfolio and essay to Department of Art & Design via Slideroom.


Decision Notifications Mailed

May 1

Deposit Deadline

*Students who apply after the January 15 deadline will be considered on a "space available basis."

Fall Financial Aid Deadlines

January 1

FAFSA Filing (ASAP after January 1)

February 15

Recommended Date

March 15

Final Filing Deadline


All undergraduate financial aid and scholarship programs are managed and decided by the Office of Student Financial Services.

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Apply Now - Undergraduate - Incoming Freshman
  • Department of Art & Design
  • 104 Recitation Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2244