Art Department: Portfolio Guidelines for Admission

Photo of Justin Hayden

Justin Hayden

BA Art Education/Photography 2009, MA Art Education 2014
Art Educator at Western Wayne High School

"I love watching students’ artistic abilities and vision transform throughout their high school careers. I have several talented and devoted students who have made a huge impact on my teaching career."

More Alumni testimonials »

Portfolio Submission Guidelines for Art Undergraduates

Applying and getting accepted into the Marywood University Art Department is a two step process. Both steps must occur prior to enrollment in your first semester courses. 

  1. The first step is to apply to the University through Marywood's Admissions office. If you're using the Marywood Application or the Common Application, you may submit your portfolio with your other materials or wait until you receive a response about your general application to Marywood University.
  2. If you wait until after receiving an acceptance letter from Marywood's Admissions office, please submit your portfolio as soon as possible thereafter so the Art Department has time to review your work. Your submission to the Art Department should include 1) your portfolio, 2) submission checklist, and 3) short art essay (see below). Note: Students interested in majoring in Arts Administration are exempt from this two step process and are not required to submit a portfolio, submission checklist or short art essay.

When to Submit

Portfolios and art essays may be submitted anytime in the fall or spring. However if you are an incoming Freshman student and you would like primary consideration for an Art Talent Award, your portfolio, submission checklist, and art essay must be submitted together to the Art Department by November 15 of the year prior to enrollment. For further information, please follow the guidelines in the Art Talent Award section below.


Art Portfolios must be submitted in one of the following formats:

  1. Digital Portfolio (Website URL, Google slides, Dropbox, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.)
    Note: Art Therapy students must submit a digital portfolio. No other formats will be accepted.
  2. USB Flash Drive of your digital portfolio
  3. Compact Disc/CD/CDR (MAC compatible, and enclosed in plastic protective sleeve and a padded envelope to ensure its safe arrival.)
  4. Physical portfolio (Original artwork allowed for all art tracks except art therapy). See mail submission instructions below.

Note: All digital image files must be in .jpg, .png, .gif, .svg, or .pdf file format. Portfolio submissions must include your name and contact information along with a typed Word Document listing of each piece and include the artwork's title, date, medium, size, and concept. Use our Portfolio Submission Checklist.

1. Artwork

Your portfolio should include 12 to 15 original works. You may include personal projects and anything you completed in high school art classes or private lessons.

Your portfolio should demonstrate artistic technique, style, conceptualization, and creativity. If possible, include works that represent your chosen medium or area of interest. If you'd like to major in photography, for example, try to include photographs in your portfolio. Please also include a few images from a recent sketchbook and/or artwork that specifically pertains to your chosen major and program of study at Marywood.

Include a variety of media, if possible:

  • Drawings in pencil, ink, or charcoal
  • Paintings in oil, acrylic, or watercolor
  • 3D work in clay, wood, metal, cardboard, fiber, or collage
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Computer graphics
  • Digital illustration

2. Portfolio Submission Checklist

Download and complete our Portfolio Submission Checklist. You must submit this completed form with your portfolio submission.

3. Art Department Essay

In addition to your art portfolio, you must also submit a short art essay (250-300 words) describing your artistic goals and how they relate to your chosen major, what your strengths and interests are, and why Marywood is right for you. Please include a digital Word doc file with digital submissions or a physical printout if submitting a physical portfolio.

NOTE: To be eligible for consideration of Marywood's Freshman Art Talent Award, please refer to the Art Talent Award section below.

Returning Portfolios

Physical portfolios must be picked up no later than 21 days after submission. To have your CD or flash drive portfolio returned by mail, you must include a padded, stamped, self-addressed envelope with your submission.

Submissions by Mail

Marywood University
Insalaco Center for Studio Arts #120
2300 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18509


Art Talent Award

Art Talent Awards are only available to incoming freshman students. Once you have registered for classes, you are not eligible to apply for the award.

ELIGIBILITY: If you are an incoming Freshman student and you would like primary consideration for an Art Talent Award, your portfolio AND art essay must be submitted together to the Art Department by November 15. Portfolios received after November 15 and before the cut off date of March 1 are still eligible for consideration depending on remaining awards. Awards are granted a rolling basis each spring beginning March 1 and portfolios meeting the November 15th deadline will get first consideration for available awards. The Art Talent Award is based on artistic merits. As such, Arts Administration students are ineligible for this award. Recipients of an Art Talent Award must plan to major in art at Marywood. Once awarded, they are renewable for up to eight semesters of full-time undergraduate study. If a Talent Award recipient changes his/her major to that of one outside of art, the Art Talent Award will be rescinded. 

Note: Any physical or flash-drive digital portfolios must be left with the Art Department 7-14 days for evaluation. Award recipients will be notified by mail sometime after March 1.


Got Questions?

Give us a call at 570-348-6278 or write to us at