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BFA Portfolio Requirements

Limitations on Number of BFA Attempts

You may have up to two attempts to qualify for a BFA, provided you meet the criteria and have not exceeded 96 timely graduation units. Please see an advisor to verify your units. If you are a transfer student and you submit a portfolio when you apply to CSULB that will count as your first attempt.

Current CSULB Art and Pre-Art Majors

Current CSULB Art and Pre-Art Majors who wish to submit a portfolio for consideration for any of the BFA degree options, please contact an SOA Advisor. For current CSULB students portfolio reviews take place in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Current students may apply for portfolio review in the School of Art Advising Center from the 3rd through the 5th week of the fall and spring semesters. Students who meet the criteria, have completed a minimum of 60 and no more than 96 timely graduation units, and who can complete the BFA within the maximum allowed units will be invited to submit a portfolio. Faculty will review your portfolio and determine if your work is strong enough for you to be admitted to the BFA.

Instructions for BFA Transfer Applicants

Applicants who meet the minimum major-specific requirements and competitive ranking based on the CSULB Supplemental Application will be invited to submit a portfolio electronically. Instructions for electronic submission of the portfolio and the deadline for submission will be communicated in the invitation. Applicants to the Art BFA Options must receive a positive recommendation from the faculty following review of the portfolio in order to be admitted to a BFA program.

General Instructions

All submissions must adhere to the following guidelines unless otherwise specified in the Progam-Specific Requirements.


  • Uploaded image files may not be larger than 5MB each.
  • The supported image formats are: jpg, png, gif, tif, bmp, and tga.
  • Be aware that our online portfolio reviewing service processes all images so they fit within 1280 x 1280 pixel dimensions.
  • Required for each image: Title, dimensions (H x W x L), medium, date, and if the work was done for a class assignment.

Artist Statement

  • A brief statement of 150 words or less (the box has a 1000-character limit) is required on the portfolio submission form. This statement should address your portfolio and your interest in the program to which you are applying.


  • Videos, where required, can be embedded from Youtube or Vimeo, or you may upload them.
  • Uploaded videos can be no larger than 60MB.
  • The supported video formats for uploading are: m4v, mov, mp4, wmv, flv, asf, mpeg, mpg, and mkv.

Progam-Specific Requirements

3-D Media (Fiber, Metals/Jewelry, Wood)

Your portfolio must include a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images, with 5 representing your chosen concentration (Fiber, Metals/Jewelry, or Wood) projects and 5 representing other 3-D media.


Your portfolio must include a minimum of 10 and maximum of 15 images with a majority of the images representing the candidate's work in the ceramic arts, both class projects and self-directed works. If available, please also include examples of 2D and 3D work outside of the ceramic arts.

Drawing and Painting

Your portfolio must include 15 images, including 10 images of assignment-based drawings and/or paintings, with the last 5 images showing evidence of an independent direction.

Graphic Design

Your portfolio must include a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images with at least 6 representing Graphic Design projects (this may include multimedia or web projects). All images, including any non-graphic design images should demonstrate your ability to imaginatively solve visual problems and a willingness to take creative risks. Work presented should be your best work.

Select one piece of work presented in your portfolio and discuss the process you used to produce it (there is an extra field for this on the electronic form, also with a 1000-character limit). Concentrate on your conceptual development, explain your choice of images and the typefaces used and/or any unusual production process. Please note that the use of software such as Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, Maya, Flash, Fontographer, etc are NOT considered unusual production processes and do not need to be discussed.

Video materials may be submitted to show motion graphics.


Your portfolio must include 10-15 examples of your very best past and current work in illustration or animation, and other appropriate areas, with an emphasis on drawing from observation (this may include class assignments and personal work). Examples of color work are welcome. If you choose to submit any animation clips, ten seconds of animation counts as one piece (for instance, a 20 second animation clip would count as two pieces of work).

The Illustration/Animation BFA Program includes two tracks, one for Illustration, and one for Animation. BFA applicants must specify their choice when applying.

Video materials may be submitted if you are applying for the Animation track.


Your portfolio must include a group of 10-20 related photographs that represent a series or body of work, rather than technical responses to a variety of assignments.


Your portfolio must include a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images with 5 representing hand-pulled prints, and 5 representing other 2-D media.


Your portfolio must include a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images with 5 representing Sculpture projects and 5 representing other 3-D media.