Freshman Admissions to Art
Freshman admission to the Department of Art is a two-part process. Applicants apply to the University using the Common Application, and also submit a portfolio to our department using SlideRoom. The deadlines for these two parts of your application are the same – there is no longer a separate credentials deadline. A link to our Department SlideRoom portal will be provided within the Common Application — please make sure you select the portal for the Department of Art, as there will also be a similar portal for Architecture applicants.
Deadlines for Application and Portfolio Submission
- Early Action: November 5
- Regular Decision: January 15
- Spring Term Freshmen: October 1 (for new students starting at UMass in spring of the following year)
The portfolio consists of 12-15 digital images of original artwork, submitted via SlideRoom. Please do NOT send hard-copy portfolios or original artwork to the Department of Art. For students without a portfolio, please refer to the section at the bottom of this page.
Freshman applicants are encouraged to attend the UMass Amherst Fall Visit Days. Our Department also hosts an Open House event for prospective students each October, at which we have faculty on hand to provide feedback on portfolios. Students and families are welcome to attend our department event even if the University Admissions event fills up. Please email the department or call (413) 545-6937 for additional information, upcoming event dates, and department tours.
Tips for Submitting your Portfolio:
- There are no specific requirements for media, style, or content; instead, we hope to see evidence of your thoughtfulness, passion, close attention, and careful execution. We value breadth (a wide range of media and content, an experimental spirit) as well as depth (multi-part projects, focused engagement with one idea, theme, or process). Your portfolio should represent your best work and demonstrate independent thought; please do not submit copies of others’ original artwork.
- SlideRoom provides fields for applicants to enter important information about your artwork (including title, media, size, date completed) and a description. The Title field is required; if your piece does not have a title, enter "untitled". The other fields are optional, and are an opportunity to provide information to help us understand your work. If your work was an assignment, use the Description field to describe the assignment and how you interpreted it to arrive at your result.
- Time-based submissions (video, audio) should be limited to no more than three items and no longer than five minutes total.
- SlideRoom accepts a broad range of file types and sizes;
- Images up to 5 MB each
- Videos up to 250 MB each; videos may also be linked from YouTube and Vimeo
- Audio up to 30MB each, audio may also be linked from SoundCloud
- 3d digital models linked from SketchFab
- Please do NOT submit your portfolio as a presentation (such as PowerPoint or Keynote) or as a PDF binder.
- For more help with SlideRoom, including resizing images and video, suggested file types, and other technical questions, please visit the SlideRoom Support page.
Students Without a Portfolio:
Applicants who are interested in becoming Art majors, but who do not currently have a portfolio, can apply to the University with the declared major: Exploratory Track - Humanities and Fine Arts. ET - HFA students who then successfully complete Art 104, as well as Art History 100 and 110, or Art History 115, with a grade of C (2.0) or better, may then apply to become an Art major by submitting a portfolio of work to the Department of Art. For more information please contact The College of Humanities and Fine Arts Advising Center.