Cornish Admission

Submit Your Visual Arts Portfolio

Applicants seeking admission to the Visual Arts programs are required to submit a digital portfolio to the application portal as part of their application. This will be the same portfolio we use to evaluate for merit scholarships.

Colorful, illustrative Art by Design student Bee Sen

Portfolio Requirements + Guidelines

We at Cornish understand that our prospective students come from a variety of backgrounds with varying access to resources. As you curate your portfolio, know that Cornish most highly values your unique artistic voice. The portfolio requirement is simply to show us examples of your creative practice to help us find the best-fit students for this program.

Submit 12-20 works that best represent your artistic ability, creativity, and commitment.
We encourage you to include a variety of work in your portfolio, whether you’re exploring an array of media, ideas, or both. Traditional, digital, and time-based media (video/film/sound) are all welcome. While the majority of your portfolio should be completed works, we also encourage you to submit items that can help inform us of your creative process and influences. This can include your sketchbook, process book, reflective journals, and works in progress. We want to understand how you are getting from ideation to execution.

Portfolios give Cornish the chance to see the passion and commitment behind your artistic work. You do not need to make work specifically for the admissions portfolio. If you have been creating work in your arts classes and as part of a personal artistic practice, you should have lots to choose from. When it comes time to apply, all you need to do is curate a collection that shows your strengths. When editing your portfolio, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • When were you excited to experiment with new ideas and/or techniques?
  • In which works are you most proud of your technical abilities?
  • Is there a work where you took a major risk that paid off?
  • Which works let you dive into a subject or medium you’re deeply interested in?
  • Did you explore the same idea or technique across multiple works?
  • Which works really allow your voice to shine through?

Please do not include work that directly replicates another artist’s work (including replications of cartoons, video game characters, anime and manga, or depictions of celebrities and other public figures). These are great for learning technical skills, but we want to see works that showcase your ideas.

Use the portfolio to tell us who you are as an artist and person, what you’ve been doing, what you believe in, and how Cornish fits into your journey moving forward. Our mission is to nurture the next generation of artists, citizens, and innovators. Your portfolio is your chance to show us that you are ready to become all those things.

When submitting your portfolio for admission and scholarship, please upload each file individually to the application portal. This will give you the option to add a title, date, size, medium, and caption for context.

Additionally, we offer students opportunities to have in-person and virtual portfolio reviews.

Schedule an appointment for a one-on-one portfolio review with an admissions counselor.

Transfer Students Applying to Major in Art and Design

After completing the application process, final placement into any of the Visual Art programs is by review of your application materials by the chair of the department to which you are applying. Studio credits completed at other colleges will be evaluated for transfer credit by the Registrar’s Office. Placement in the department will be determined by the department chair.