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A message from the Department Chair about the Art Portfolio Policy

In Spring 2023, the faculty of the Department of Art voted to defer the portfolio requirement for incoming first-year students and internal transfers until the conclusion of the Foundation Year experience. This new policy applies to admissions in Fall 2024 and beyond.

Aligning with the SUNY New Paltz mission that states its commitment to “providing high quality, affordable education to students from all social and economic backgrounds,” the decision to defer the portfolio requirement until the completion of the Foundation Year provides access and fosters a community of inclusion for first-year students. School districts throughout New York State have significantly disproportionate resources, and arts-focused curriculum is inconsistent in its delivery across the state. Other factors considered include national trends among public institutions that have art programs within their liberal arts curriculum, many of which have eliminated the portfolio requirement for admission or made it optional.

During the Foundation Year, students focus on material exploration, research methods, conceptual development, and considerations of process in developing studio practices. The work created in these classes is assembled into a portfolio for review by a faculty committee. By that time, students will have worked in a variety of media, evolved their creativity, and refined perceptual and technical skills. The goal in delaying the review until the end of the first year is to provide an equitable baseline on which to evaluate artistic capability, creative potential, and overall commitment.

Portfolios are still required for incoming transfer students and current students who are applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Arts Education majors.

The link to our department policy regarding admission can be found here.


Thomas Albrecht
Chair, Department of Art


For more than half a century, the State University of New York at New Paltz has been celebrated for its professional art programs and its distinguished faculty of practicing artists and designers who help students pursue creative interests and prepare for careers in the various art disciplines.

Its location in the heart of New York's historic Hudson Valley region uniquely enhances the SUNY New Paltz student experience. The initial home of the 19th-century Hudson River School of Painting, the region continues to be an active site of cultural opportunities with many artists and artistic organizations in residence. The proximity of New Paltz to New York City provides students with a wide range of artistic and educational opportunities, including field trips, internships, and participation in special events.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the time they graduate, Art Majors will:

  1. Expand knowledge of diverse histories and contemporary practices in studio art, design, and art education
  2. Demonstrate—in written, visual, and oral forms—an understanding of a work of art or design, in terms of its social, political, cultural, aesthetic and historical context
  3. Develop and articulate self-reflective practices as artists, designers, teachers, and citizens
  4. Create collaboration and engagement with local and global art, design, and learning communities
  5. Build professional networks to support lifelong learning and sustainable practices