portfolio requirements

How to Prepare Your Portfolio

At SFAI we recognize that there is no single approach to developing a portfolio, and we carefully review each one on its own merits. The Admission Review Committee looks for a focused delineation of concepts and ideas and for the corresponding visual sensibilities and technical skills required to realize those concepts.

Recommendations for Creating Your Portfolio

Your portfolio may include examples of painting, drawing, digital media, mixed media, photography, film or video, printmaking, sculpture, or documentation of performances or installations. This list by no means exhausts the various possible combinations of media. Creative writing, journals, and proposals may also supplement visual work in your portfolio.

Recommendations for Presenting Your Portfolio

You should present your portfolio in the simplest and most professional manner possible.

Since every element reflects your attitudes about your work, we encourage you to pay careful attention to detail as you assemble your portfolio. Be sure the digital images you include are in focus and accurate in color and value. Please do not send binders, plastic page sleeves, or excessive packing materials. If you have questions about how to best document the work in your portfolio, contact your Admissions Counselor for help.

The following materials are required to complete your file for admission review: 

Portfolio of your best and most recent work

Your portfolio is your chance to present your most accomplished original work. We suggest that you send 10-15 digital images or 3-4 video clips for our review via Slideroom (https://sfaiadmissions.slideroom.com/), or mail your portfolio with your remaining application materials via CD or DVD.

Portfolio inventory sheet

Please include your name, address, telephone number, and email address at the top of this document.

For each work, include an entry on your portfolio inventory sheet with corresponding numbers and the title, date, medium, and dimensions (height by width by depth, e.g., 21 in. x 42 in. x 36 in.; dimensions given in centimeters are also acceptable). For time-based submissions, please include the total running time for each piece. You can submit this online via Slideroom or send a printed copy with your portfolio by mail.

Artist statement

BFA candidates should briefly explain the ideas and content of the work in their portfolio. What factors have influenced this body of work? What do you want to accomplish at SFAI in terms of your art making? You may also include artists and outside sources that have influenced you. You can submit this online via Slideroom or send a printed copy with your portfolio by mail.

Return of Portfolios

The portfolio of work you submit becomes a permanent part of your admission file and will not be returned. Please do not send original work through the mail, and ensure that you have copies of all the material in your portfolio for your future use and reference.

Should you wish to insure your portfolio, you should make the necessary arrangements for such coverage through the shipping company of your choice. SFAI assumes no responsibility for any damage to portfolios either in transit or during the review process.