Michigan State University believes that any student can begin an education in the arts without prior experience in art classes, we do not require a portfolio for admission into the University. Students who plan to major in Apparel & Textile Design, Graphic Design, or Studio Art may declare a major preference for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts when they apply to MSU and can immediately begin their studies in our department.
After students have completed their beginning core classes, Bachelor of Fine Arts students in Apparel & Textile Design, Graphic Design, and Studio Art are required to submit a portfolio and present their work to faculty in a review to be fully admitted into the major. The BFA review typically happens in the student's second year and provides a valuable professional development opportunity. Students are required to attend a workshop discussing best practices ranging from how to document / photograph artwork to writing about / discussing their work.
Absolutely! We will review portfolios of incoming students for scholarships offered to Studio Art majors and encourage those who apply to MSU to submit a portfolio and application for the annual Creative Arts Scholarship competition.
For more information, review the scholarship section of our website.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel & Textile Design, and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design are pre-professional programs. These degrees are recommended for students anticipating careers in the practice of art or design, or for students planning on graduate study in either of these fields.
In order to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art, Apparel & Textile Design, or Graphic Design students must complete the prerequisite courses, be accepted into the program, and take the required courses as outlined by Michigan State University, the College of Arts & Letters, and the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
To complete the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree track, students must be formally accepted into the program through a portfolio review process prior to being fully admitted into the major.
The review process typically takes place during your second year of study in the middle part of the Fall or Spring semester. Eligible students will be notified via e-mail by their academic advisor when they have completed the requirements and are ready to proceed to the next step of full admission in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree track. Apparel & Textile Design, Graphic Design, and Studio students apply when they have finished or are completing certain courses.
Apparel and Textile Design students must be in their second semester or later at MSU and not yet earned 24 credits in their major. Additionally, the following courses must be complete prior to submitting an application for review:
Graphic Design students must be in their second semester or later at MSU and not yet earned 30 credits in their major. Additionally, the following courses must be complete prior to submitting an application for review:
Studio Art students must be in their second semester or later at MSU and not yet earned 30 credits in their major. Additionally, the following courses must be complete prior to submitting an application for review:
Students who have transferred to Michigan State University or who have completed over 30 credits in studio art should contact the AAHD advisor about the application process.
A committee comprised of a representative group of faculty in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design will conduct the review, examining the student's portfolio of work, statement of intent, and progress towards degree to determine if their performance to date warrants continued study towards the BFA in Studio Art, Apparel & Textile Design, and Graphic Design.
As part of the review process, you will be asked to submit materials and present your work to the committee in a PowerPoint. This presentation will highlight 15 to 20 images of your best work completed during your time here in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. This meeting with the committee will be approximately 15 minutes long. You will also be asked to answer questions regarding your progress towards your degree and your ambitions for the remainder of your time at MSU.
Prior to submitting your materials you will be required to attend a Portfolio Review Workshop. This workshop will address how to select and document work for your portfolio, specific guidelines for the presentation, and how to prepare a statement of intent.
Please note that you may only apply to be fully admitted into the BFA degree track twice. If you are not accepted either time, you will be asked to consider the BA degree track.