Interview with Carmina Cianciulli, Assistant Dean for Admissions

Posted in: Admissions

Temple University’s Tyler School of Art

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

Students must meet both the academic requirements for admission (1000+ SATs, class rank top 50%,2.5 gpa in all subjects) as well as the portfolio requirements.

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

Specifically, we look for 15-20 pieces of original work executed within the last year, which must include strong examples of drawing from direct observation. We look for a variety of media and scale, sketchbooks, and good technical skills.

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

We are looking for students who are motivated to make art, and articulate about the art-making process. We also look to see the student’s commitment to making art outside of the classroom.

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

  1. Portfolios comprised primarily of work copied from photographic sources
  2. Poor academic credentials
  3. Applying too late

In your opinion, what are the overall top five art schools in the United States? How about the top five in the World?

  1. Tyler School of Art of Temple University
  2. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  3. Maryland Institute, College of Art
  4. Rhode Island School of Design
  5. Cooper Union

How selective are art schools in general?

Different art schools have different quotas for admission. Some art schools, like Tyler, are highly selective. Others may have more spaces available.

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

  1. Draw, draw, draw! When you’re tired of drawing, draw some more!
  2. Visit the schools you’re interested in, and arrange to sit in on a freshman class. Take the school for a “test drive”.

What percentage of applicants to you accept?

It depends on the level and major. It ranges from 7% to 20%, depending on the major and matriculation status.

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

In the year 2000, there will be more than a quarter of a million jobs available for visual artists. It’s important to remember that everything that is made by hand or manufactured by machine has to be touched at some point by the hand or the mind of an artist. Do what you love, and the money will follow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a very interesting website that confirms this.