Ohio University

Preparing a Digital Portfolio for Submission Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit my portfolio?

For incoming students:

The portfolio submission process is built into the university application process: start here.

For current students: 

Apply for entrance into the BFA program of your choice by using this Application Form [pdf]. You must include a recent copy of your DARS report, and a portfolio of 5-10 images (in PDF format), submitted to Melissa Riddle (riddle@ohio.edu) at the School of Art + Design front office.  

How will my portfolio be used in the review process?

Faculty in the School of Art + Design will review portfolios of BFA applicants for both direct admission consideration to the BFA program and for talent-based scholarship consideration. Faculty will review portfolios of BA applicants for talent-based scholarship consideration only.

Should I work with a mentor to develop my portfolio application?

Yes – if you have someone available to provide assistance, we strongly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. We are happy to answer any questions that you have; however, working with someone who knows your work and can offer a critical eye will be very helpful for you.

Can I submit fewer than 10 images?

Yes, however, submitting your 10 best works is strongly recommended.

Can I submit video clips/animations/gifs?

Yes. Limit the clip to 2 minutes.

I only have access to a camera on my phone – will these images be acceptable?

It is very likely. Open up the image file on a computer and view it full-screen. This is how the reviewers will see your work. If it looks okay (not pixelated) on your screen, it will probably be fine.

Is it okay if the documentation of my artwork includes other visual information?

We strongly advise using imaging software (such as Photoshop) to crop your image so that only the artwork itself is visible. Ideally, you do not want anything extra, like the frame, your hand, the ground, etc. to show up in the documentation image.

Can I make changes to my portfolio after I upload images?

Once you begin the application process you should regularly “Save” your progress. You can continue to make changes until you officially “Submit” your materials.

Should I submit works in a variety of media or focus on one or two?

We recommend choosing your 10 best works, regardless of which media are used to create them. Consistently strong work in a variety of media will enhance your portfolio; however, if you have chosen to focus on one or two (or mixed media) that is absolutely acceptable.

Is there certain subject matter that you’re looking for?

No. Originality is key. Work that shows your creativity and personal voice will score much higher than work that is copied from another artist or appears to be simply fulfilling a structured, assigned project.

Can I submit collaborative work?

Yes. However, in the “Description” section, be very clear about your specific contributions to the artwork.

Do I have to fill out the “Description” section for each work submitted?

No. However, this is an opportunity to give the reviewers more information about your intentions with the work. The success of an artwork is not always in the visual – your work may have additional significance with regard to its references, the location in which it is exhibited, how it was used (as in performative or socially engaged work), or as part of a larger body of work. Share any information that might help us to understand more about how or why the work was created and any further outcomes the work has had.

How and when will I find out whether I have been accepted and or awarded talent-based scholarships, and how will I be notified?

Current students: Students will be notified of acceptance of the BFA within 2-weeks of the application deadline, by email. 

Incoming students: Applications will be reviewed in a timely manner and scholarship recommendations from the committee will be presented to the College of Fine Arts at the end of January. Initial awards will be posted to students’ “MyOhio” accounts in early February. Additional awards may be posted through spring and summer on an individual basis. For best consideration, students should submit their portfolio by the University’s Early Action Deadline.

Whom can I contact if I have other questions about my application?

Email ArtDesignScholarship@ohio.edu for any questions about your portfolio application.

Admissions application questions can be directed to Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@ohio.edu or 740.593.4100.