Skip to content Skip to navigation

Arts Portfolio

Arts Portfolio submissions are managed by the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Stanford.

Students with extraordinary talent in the fine or performing arts—art practice, dance, music and theater—may submit an Arts Portfolio with their application for admission to Stanford. The Arts Portfolio enables those applicants intending to participate in the Stanford arts community to highlight their talents during the admission process. Submission of these materials is entirely optional; they are reviewed at the discretion of the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the arts faculty. 

Students who submit an Arts Portfolio are not required to major in the arts at Stanford. Similarly, students who do not submit an Arts Portfolio may nevertheless study or participate in the arts at Stanford.

To best demonstrate your talent, the Art Department recommends that your Arts Portfolio focus on one particular medium (drawings and paintings may be submitted together). An Arts Portfolio that exceeds the number of images indicated will not be evaluated. Although Stanford offers a Film and Media Studies major and minor, we do NOT accept Arts Portfolios for this program.

If you have further questions about the Arts Portfolio, please consult the detailed instructions at the  Stanford Undergraduate Admissions office webpage or contact the Art & Art History Department at (650) 723-3404.

Arts Portfolios Submission Requirements:

Artist’s Statement

Students submitting a portfolio in Art Practice must include an artist’s statement of no more than 250 words describing concepts, formal issues, process, and influences.

Images must be arranged chronologically and captioned as follows: title, year, media, dimensions.

Students with extraordinary talent may submit one Fine Art portfolio in the following media:

Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking

Submit exactly ten slides of two-dimensional media demonstrating strong skill or a background in visual art practice beyond class assignments; i.e., inventive personal imagery, abstractions, difficult narratives, etc. Work must be independently completed by the applicant. Landscapes or academic figurative studies should be inventive and advanced and should not be the majority of the submissions. Drawings, prints, and paintings can be submitted as one portfolio not to exceed ten images.

Sculpture

Submit no more than ten images of three-dimensional works arranged chronologically in any or all of the following: mixed media, wood, metal, clay, installation or found objects. We do not accept portfolios that are not sculpture-based, e.g., functional ceramic dishware, architecture, or product design.

Photography

Submit ten fine art images from the past two years. Photographs will be evaluated based on aesthetic and technical merit, and must demonstrate both a meaningful connection with the subject(s) and the commitment to exploring and developing an individual vision as an artist. 

Experimental Media: Sound, Video, Interactive, Art & Science 

Submit no more than 10 files in total. This may include up to three excerpts of no more than two minutes each for time-based works, and images as appropriate. If the work is collaborative, please list the team credits and your role in it. If your work is interactive (website, installation, electronic), please submit a video showing it in action.

NOTE: Mixed media portfolios are permitted but not recommended. 

The following types of work will not be evaluated: video games and apps which are not intended as artworks, educational or promotional videos, architecture, ceramics, graphic design, product design, website design, advertising posters, PSAs.

For questions, contact the Art Department: artdepartment@stanford.edu

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I submit actual photos, paintings, art materials or CDs/DVDs for consideration?
A: No, you may not mail any physical items or works of art for consideration. All submissions must be made online. Visit admission.stanford.edu/arts for detailed instructions. 

Q: Do I have to be an art major if I submit an Arts Portfolio?
A: No, submitting an Arts Portfolio does not require or admit you to the Art Practice program. The Arts Portfolio is intended for any student with an extraordinary talent and passion for art, regardless of their intended major.  Once you arrive at Stanford, we welcome students of any major to enroll in art courses.

Q: Can I submit more than ten images?
A: No, if you submit more than ten images the Arts Portfolio will not be reviewed.

Q: Can I submit more than one Arts Portfolio?
A: No, you are only allowed to submit ONE Arts Portfolio.

Q: Can I submit an Arts Portfolio with drawings, paintings, and photos?
A: Yes, you can include different media, but the strongest Arts Portfolios demonstrate talent in one particular area (drawing and painting may be submitted as one Arts Portfolio).  The maximum number still cannot exceed ten images.

Q: Can I send my Arts Portfolio directly to the Department?
A: No, all materials must be submitted using the Arts Portfolio form in your Stanford portal.

Q: Are there restrictions on what I can submit?
A: We do not accept ceramics, clothing design, jewelry design, or film portfolios.

Q: I don't think my artwork fits into any of the categories listed on your website. What should I do?
A: We think it is critical for each applicant to use their best judgement and send work that best reflects them as an artist. We ultimately leave the choice up to the individual on the artwork they submit and which category they enter their submission into.

Q: Can I submit a piece that I worked on with other people?
A: Yes, but you must clearly explain what your role was and what part of the piece you were responsible for.

Q: My piece was included in a magazine or show; can I submit the magazine or catalog?
A: Please include only the pages or section with images of your work.

Q: Can I stop by to meet with someone about my Arts Portfolio?
A: Due to the large number of Arts Portfolios received, we are unable to meet with applicants individually.

More Information

If you have further questions about the Arts Portfolio, please consult the detailed instructions at the  Stanford Undergraduate Admissions office webpage or contact the Art & Art History Department at (650) 723-3404.