Admissions Interview with Beverly Johnson, Alfred University

Posted in: Admissions

When selecting prospective students, what factors are considered by your admissions staff? (e.g. grades, portfolio, class rank, etc.)

Portfolio quality, high school GPA, whether or not the student is in a college prep track, SAT scores, extracurricular involvement, sports, job, etc.

What do you look for in a prospective student’s portfolio?

The portfolio should reflect the student’s ability and passion and represent the student in his/her best light. A variety of 2-D and 3-D media may be submitted. At least 5 of the 15-20 pcs. submitted should be drawings from direct observation (still life, landscape, interior spaces, portraits, and figures.) The portfolio must be submitted in 35mm slide form.

What kinds of things are you looking for in an interview with a prospective student?

An interview is not required but recommended. It gives the student the opportunity to discuss additional experiences in art, travel, interests, etc. that may not be evident in the application.

What three things can most likely DECREASE their chances of getting accepted?

Weak portfolio, low grades, low SAT’s.

How selective are art schools in general?

Alfred is highly selective. We are unfamiliar with other schools’ policies and cannot comment.

What advice can you provide to students who are trying to get accepted into art schools?

Pay attention to admission criteria. Each institution may be looking for something just a little bit different. Maintain a good GPA and work ethic in high school. Take advantage of galleries, museums, summer art programs, etc. in your area to broaden your artistic experience.

What percentage of applicants to you accept?

Varies from year to year depending on the size and quality of the pool.

Do you have ANY other helpful comments, advice and/or statistics that prospective art students can use?

Ask how selective the school is in accepting applicants. What percentage of students are placed in jobs, graduate schools following graduation? Is there assistance with such placement? What are the credentials/reputations of faculty teaching studio courses?

Explain the similiarities and differences between getting accepted into your undergraduate vs. your graduate program.

The application process is quite similar in that both levels require a 20 pc. portfolio. Undergraduate applicants undergo a 2-part process. Portfolios are reviewed by a committee made up of Art & Design faculty from a variety of mediums. Academic credentials (grades, SAT’s, etc.) are reviewed by the Alfred University Admissions office.

Graduate portfolios are reviewed by faculty in the medium to which the prospective grad is applying. MFA application is specific to a particular medium (Ceramics, Sculpture, Glass, or Electronic Integrated Arts). Portfolios contain work reflective of the desired area of study. BFA is a four-year program; MFA is a 2-year residency program.

Alfred’s MFA program is world renowned and extremely selective.