Portfolio Requirements for Admission to the Art Major

First-year and Transfer Students Applying for the BFA in Art,
the BFA in Digital Animation, or a BS in Art Education

students engage in advanced drawing critique

The requirements below apply to applicants to the following degrees:

  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Animation
  • The Bachelor of Science in Art Education
  • Learn more about these degrees

The School of Art & Design admits students in the Fall (August) and Spring (January) semester each year.

Scroll down for entrance information about admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Art History and the MAT in Teaching Art.

NOTE: Only Six (6) studio art classes can be taken prior to admission as a major:

  • ART 1100: Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory
  • ART 1150: Drawing I
  • ART 1200: Three-Dimensional Design
  • ART 2150: Drawing II
  • ART 2550: Computer Applications in Art
  • ART 2990: Concept, Creativity, and Studio Practice
  • Learn more about these foundations courses.
  • For transfer students, current students or new, incoming first-year students

    Portfolio Submission Deadline

    • August 1
    • October 1
    • November 1
    • February 1
    • March 1
    • April 1

    Portfolios submitted after 5 p.m. on these dates will not be reviewed until the next possible submission date. Approximately 3 weeks are required to complete the review from the time of the posted deadline.

    Function of Entry Portfolio

    The point of the Entry Portfolio is to show competence with elemental skills required by foundation courses listed above. Work of a more specific media toward an intended concentration is submitted later in the program.

  • When selecting work for your portfolio, keep the following in mind:

    • The majority of the portfolio should consist of hand-made work.  
      Please limit the inclusion of digital media to just a few pieces.
    • Drawings are the most important part of the portfolio.
    • Please include examples of drawing done from the direct observation of live, three-dimensional situations. These can include figure drawings, object studies, still-lifes and landscapes.
    • Two-dimensional references (drawings done from photos) can be included in a portfolio but should be kept to a minimum.

    Your portfolio should consist of the following work (10 images total):

    1. One (1) self-portrait from life made viewing yourself in a mirror using traditional, non-electronic media.
    2. Nine (9) of your best works showing at least two (2) different media.  These may include but are not limited to the following: 2D Design, Book Arts, Ceramics, Computer Illustration, Craft, Digital Media, Drawing, Fiber Arts, Graphic Design, Metalsmithing, Mixed Media, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Video.

    Portfolios that do not adhere to these requirements or that are unable to be viewed by our faculty will not be reviewed.

    IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER

    Do not copy from another artist. Avoid clichés like anime, tattoo designs, dragons, or unicorns. At least half of your portfolio should consist of drawing from direct observation. Your ability to think creatively is important to us, so feel free to include pages from your sketchbook.

    1. If you are not a current Kennesaw State student, submit your application for admission to the university. Be sure to list Art, Digital Animation or Art Education as your intended major on the application.

    2. Click the “Apply Now”(link to https://app.getacceptd.com/ksuartdesign)  link below to create your application to the School of Art & Design. In order to complete the application, you will need the following:

    A. Your KSU ID Number
    B. Digital images of the 10 works you will submit for your portfolio.


    NOTE:
    If you include 3-D work, you must submit two images of each piece photographed from different perspectives, e.g., a front and side shot.

    For example:

    Untitled-Charcoal.jpg
    JPG is preferred file type for still images.

    Graphic-Novel-Digital-Illustration.pdf
    PDF works well for multiple-page graphic design or illustration documents.

    Working-With-Time-Digital-Media.mp4
    MP4 or M4V are preferred for short film or animation projects.

    Kinetic-Sculpture-Animated.gif
    GIF is okay for short animations of moving objects—this is rare and viewable only on web browsers. Put “animated” in file name.

    • The file size for each image/document should not exceed 1500 KB (Except for PDF and video files).
    • Images should have sharp focus and should exclude distracting background elements.
      Resolution of images should not exceed 3000 pixels in either the height or the width dimension.
    • DO NOT include any personal information on the images or in the file names.
      Portfolios that do not adhere to these requirements or that are unable to be viewed by our faculty will not be reviewed.

    Apply Now

     

  • BFA Applicants:

    Each application will be reviewed by a minimum of two members of the Portfolio Review Committee, who will score the portfolio on a range from 4, or Excellent (equivalent to an A) to 0, or None (equivalent to an F) on the following criteria:

    • Conceptual Inventiveness: Creativity, innovation and effort to communicate
    • Design and Composition: Strategic use of Elements of Art and Principles of Design that form the Composition. Use of emphasis, focal point, eye movement, economy, balance, and other essential design concepts that demonstrate problem solving ability
    • Praxis: (Functional knowledge of historical practices): Accurate description of subject matter based on perceptive reality and visual observation
    • Craftsmanship: Basic fine motor skill, attention to detail and quality of documentation (e.g., the quality of the photographs of your work)

    Art Education Applicants:

    The entire art education faculty will review all images submitted by applicants to the Bachelor of Science in Art Education and the Master of Arts in Teaching Art in a blind review process. The criteria and scoring for this review of images is the same as for applicants to the BFA as described above. In addition, art education candidates will be evaluated on the following:

    • Written Communication: How well you communicate your thoughts and ideas in writing using correct style and grammar
    • Academic Record: Your overall academic performance (grades in high school and, where applicable, college and test scores).
    • Content: How well the content of the application (written statements, artwork, interview, and academic record) demonstrates your commitment to your work as an artist
    • Pedagogy, Strategies, and Philosophies: How well the content of the application (written statements, artwork, interview, and academic record) demonstrates your commitment to being an educator.

    Applicants to Art Education will additionally be required to:
    Provide the email addresses of four individuals who can provide professional letters of recommendation that address the student’s potential for success in the program and as a teacher. These individuals should not be friends or family members.

    As with the BFA, the scores assigned to each criterion will range from 4, or Excellent (equivalent to an A) to 0, or None (equivalent to an E). An average is then taken, and acceptance decisions are based upon these scores.

 

Additional Guidelines for Some Applicants

pouring bronze at KSU's Visual Arts Foundry

  • It is possible to substitute credit earned prior to enrolling for specific KSU studio art degree requirements. This credit can be earned in one of two ways:

    • By taking one or more of the AP Studio Art Exams (Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, or Drawing), or
    • By taking studio art courses at another institution

    In either case, you must submit work to be reviewed by our faculty before a determination can be made whether substitution is possible. This review can take place at the same time as your application to the major, or after you have been formally accepted to the School of Art & Design. Also, please make sure your transcripts from your previous institution are in the hands of the KSU Admissions Office.

  • • Earn a score of 4 or higher on the exam and make sure the most recent transcripts reflecting these scores are sent to the KSU Admissions Office.

    • Submit a minimum of four images that demonstrate your highest level of proficiency in the media from each course. For example, if you are requesting credit for 3-Dimensional Design, you must submit four images of 3D work. These can be included in, or in addition to the 10 works required for the entrance portfolio.

    The courses eligible for substitution based on an AP score are:

    • ART 1100 Two-Dimensional Design & Color Theory
    • ART 1150 Drawing I
    • ART 1200 3-Dimensional Design

    A substitution will only be approved based on receipt of an official score report from the College Board showing that a 4 or higher was earned on the relevant exam, and after successful determination by the faculty of the School of Art & Design or equivalent proficiency.

  • Submit a minimum of four images that demonstrate your highest level of proficiency in the media from each course. For example, if you are requesting credit for Printmaking I, you must submit four printmaking images. These can be included in, or in addition to the 10 works required for the entrance portfolio.

    Transfer equivalency will be granted based on approval by the Office of the Registrar, a minimum grade of “C” or better in an equivalent course, and successful determination by the faculty of the School of Art & Design of equivalent proficiency.

    It is strongly recommended that you review the course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog for information about the content of these courses before completing the application.

    IMPORTANT: Please contact us at COTA_ARCS@kennesaw.edu before you submit your portfolio if you are requesting credit for ART 2550 Computer Applications in Art.

    A substitution will only be approved based on receipt of an official score report from the College Board showing that a 4 or higher was earned on the relevant exam, and after successful determination by the faculty of the School of Art & Design or equivalent proficiency.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

ceramics students throw on the wheel

  • Only Six (6) studio art classes can be taken prior to admission as a major:

    • ART 1100: Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory
    • ART 1150: Drawing I
    • ART 1200: Three-Dimensional Design
    • ART 2150: Drawing II
    • ART 2550: Computer Applications in Art
    • ART 2990: Concept, Creativity, and Studio Practice

    For first-time, full-time freshmen, the ART 1100 and ART 1150 courses can be found as part of a learning community, or they can be taken separately. If you are interested in taking either of these courses, you need to contact the School of Art & Design and have your major changed to “Art-Interest.”

    NOTE: Successful performance in either of these two courses does not guarantee admission as a major.

  • All decisions will be communicated via email. If you are currently enrolled as a KSU student, this will be sent to your students.kennesaw.edu email address. All other communications will be sent to the address you indicate on your application. If you are admitted to the School of Art & Design, your admission email will include a link to an Intent to Enroll Form that you can use to declare your intention to accept the offer of admission. Please respond to this by the deadline indicated in your admission email.
  • Portfolio reviews typically take about three weeks from the posted deadline. If you are requesting a review of coursework taken before you applied to KSU, this may take a bit longer. We will make every effort to notify you of the results of your application as soon as possible.
  • Yes, there is no limit to the number of times that you can apply for admission to the School of Art & Design. The only consideration is the effect this might have on your goals for time to graduation.
  • First, congratulations! AP classes are excellent preparation for college level work, so you should be commended for challenging yourself in high school. If you took any of the AP courses listed above and scored a 4 or 5 on the associated AP exam, you may be eligible to receive credit toward a specific KSU course. For art history, all you need do is have an official copy of your AP score reported to the university, and the Registrar’s Office will grant you credit for two classes: ARH 2750, Ancient through Medieval Art and ARH 2850, Renaissance through Modern Art. In order to receive credit for 2-Dimensional Design and Color Theory (ART 1100), Drawing I (ART 1150), and/or 3-Dimensional Design (ART1200) not only do you need to provide an official score report, but you must also submit a portfolio of work for our faculty to review. They will determine whether the proficiency level you demonstrate in your portfolio is equivalent to what we would expect from a KSU student who has completed that course. If, for some reason, they determine that you still need to take one of these courses, your AP credit can be used to fulfill elective requirements in your KSU degree.

    Get a complete list of credit you can receive based on AP coursework.

  • This is a two-step process. First, the Office of the Registrar will determine whether or not the course credit is eligible to transfer.

    How the Registrar evaluates transfer credit

    Most studio art courses that meet this standard will be assigned elective credit in your record, and flagged with a “T” in your Owl Express record (e.g., ART 1T00). Once this happens, it is up to our faculty to determine how these classes may or may not be substituted for specific KSU courses. This determination is made based upon their review of the images you submit in your portfolio. For example, if you took a basic drawing course at your previous institution and receive a B, and the faculty determine that you demonstrate sufficient drawing proficiency to move on to the next level of drawing, they will approve a substitution for Drawing I. If, they determine that you need to repeat Drawing I, you can work with your advisor to find a way that your basic drawing course may be used for elective credit, however you would still need to take Drawing I to fulfill that specific requirement.

  • No, there isn’t; we really want you to choose art that best represents what you can do and who you are as an artist. Examples of student artwork by our current students are available on our web site.
  • No. Please reference the useful guide to photographing your artwork below.
    Visual Arts Mac Lab & Resource Center
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