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Undergraduate Application Guidelines

Undergraduate application to the Studio Program in Fine Arts and in Architecture+Design in the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is a two-part process.

Foundations : First Year Studio Program

First Year applicants should submit an application to Undergraduate Admissions and submit a portfolio directly to the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History.

For acceptance into the Studio Programs of Fine Arts and Architecture and Design, both the Undergraduate Admissions Office and the Portfolio Review Committee of the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History must accept applicants. After the University Admissions Office has reviewed academic performance and the Department has reviewed the portfolio, the University Admissions Office will notify the applicant of the admission decision.

If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please call the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History's main office (413) 545-1903 or e-mail the Chief Academic Advisor at

Prospective students are invited to visit the Department during one of the open-informational sessions offered each semester. Applicants are especially encouraged to attend the November Open House where faculty from all disciplines will be available for portfolio review and consultation.

University Admissions Office Application

For information on the Freshman and Transfer Application process...

A note for those applying with The Common Application, Please follow the Portfolio guidelines exactly as outlined below, and not the instructions found on the Common Application: Arts Supplement for portfolio guidelines.
Application due dates for the Academic Year beginning Fall Semester

First Year Students
Early Action: November 1
Regular Decision: January 15

Transfer Student Admission
Fall : April 15
Spring : October 1

Portfolio Review Policy and Procedures

Applicants may submit their portfolios by mail to the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History 128 Studio Arts Building, 110 Thatcher Way, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. All portfolios must be submitted by the January 15 due date.

For submission of a Website portfolio, e-mall the URL address to the Chief Undergraduate Advisor at Please remember that your presentation must be a professional one, you should avoid harsh commercial portfolio sites that include advertising. Be certain to include in the subject line of your email undergraduate URL portfolio application. Only submit your URL for review after you have officially applied for admission to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Portfolio:

A portfolio of up to 20 pieces should represent your best artwork, and it should also demonstrate independent thought and the diversity of your experience in visual arts.

The portfolio should include drawings from direct observation. The portfolio also may include works in 2-D media (painting, photography, printmaking) 3D media (fibers, ceramic, jewelry, metalwork, sculpture, and installations), and time based media (animation, motion graphics and video/time based) that convey your strengths.

The portfolio may also include architectural designs and models, stage designs, fashion or costume designs, or anything else that you have made in art class, a summer exploration program, or on your own.

Your portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks.

Portfolio Preparation Guidelines:

The following specific instructions must be strictly adhered to regarding the submission of your creative works. Please read closely.

Still Works / Images:
A Digital Portfolio of up to 20 pieces of recent work must be on a CD-R (standard size, not mini-disk) or DVD-R in JPEG FORMAT ONLY, sized at a maximum of 1280 x 1024 pixels (maximum 4 megabytes) for viewing on a computer via video projection. Each piece must be numbered (corresponding to the order of viewing) and include title and your name. Please DO NOT submit PowerPoint or Keynote presentations. You must also include a printed Digital Inventory, see description below.

Time Based Works:
QuickTime or DVD formatted videos can be a compilation of various works but the total running time cannot exceed ten minutes per video. Genres appropriate to video documentation include video art, performance, and animation, NOT documentation of sculptures or exhibitions. We do not accept VHS tapes. Web portfolios can be reviewed; submit your URL. You must also include a printed Digital Inventory, see description below.

A Digital Inventory:
Include a listing of the work in order of viewing, along with the file name, dimensions, date of work, medium, title and a thumbnail sized image, approximately 600 x 600 pixels, print resolution at 300 dpi. This inventory of works will be a word file(.doc).

Legibly print your name on all disks and paper sleeves. Do not send original work.

Include a self-addressed mailer with sufficient postage if you want the portfolio returned.

The Department of Art, Architecture and Art History is not responsible for reviewing materials that are not readily accessible. Please test and retest your CD-R or DVD-R on multiple computers and playback devices, including consumer quality DVD players using a remote control, before mailing.

Digital Images Basics

Adobe Photoshop Basics

Admission without a Portfolio:

Applicants who are interested in becoming BFA candidates in the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History, but who do not currently have a portfolio, should apply for admission to the University Undecided: Humanities and Fine Arts. Undecided students who then successfully complete two courses (ordinarily Drawing, Art 104 and Design Investigations, Art 105), with a grade of B (3.O) or better, as well as one Art History survey course, may apply to the Department by portfolio for admission to the BFA program.

For Current University of Massachusetts Students: On Campus Admissions to the BFA Major by Portfolio Review
Submit Portfolios to the Department of Art by

Fall 2009: April 1
Spring 2010: November 2

Admission to a Discipline within the BFA Program:

Once admitted to the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History, students gain entrance to a discipline in one of the BFA Studio Programs through a subsequent review process that addresses specific discipline requirements.

About our Undergraduate Program:

There are 3 Divisions within the Program: Studio Art, Architecture and Art History

Bachelor of Fine Arts:

Studio Art

Architecture & Design

Bachelor of Arts:


Art History

Disciplines within the Studio Art Program:

Art Education
Digital Media: Still Imagery
Digital Media: Time Based
Interdisciplinary Studies
Disciplines within the
Architecture & Design Program:

Architectural Studies
Interior Design

Students should contact the faculty within a given discipline for specific information or refer to the website link for that discipline at:

For Prospective Students

Application Guidelines

For Current Students

Galleries on Campus

Department of Art Facilities Map

Art Resources

Art History Website

Architecture+Design Website

University Maps

UMASS People Finder