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Requirements for undergraduate applicants

Upon acceptance to the university, freshmen applicants may declare Art as their major without submitting a portfolio1. After completing the Art Department's Foundation program (typically one year), art majors will submit a portfolio of work for review by a faculty committee. In addition to evaluating artistic capabilities and the proficiency and promise of the work, students must meet departmental academic requirements2 to continue in the program.

Transfer applicants must submit a portfolio and meet departmental academic requirements as part of the admission process. We strongly encourage early submission of transfer portfolios. Up to 12 credits for the equivalent of New Paltz freshman Foundation courses (Drawing: Visual Thinking I; Drawing: Visual Thinking II; Design: Color; Design: Form) will be accepted based on transcript alone. Credit for other studio courses beyond the Foundation sequence (and appropriate placement in our course sequences) shall be determined by portfolio review.

All accepted students enter as prospective candidates for the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Visual Art. Upon completion of the art foundation core and successful portfolio review by the department, students may elect to:

  • continue in the BS in Visual Arts.
  • change major to Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art (BA)
  • apply to the Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts Education (BS) program.
  • apply to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program.

BS in Visual Arts Education and BFA application requirements are unique to each plan of study. Generally, students apply after completing a basic studio in their area of interest. Acceptance is by portfolio and interview; the student applies directly to the specific program of interest.


Applications for fall admission are due by May 1; applications for spring admission are due by December 1.

For more information about admission requirements, please contact the Department of Art.

1. Portfolios are required for freshman applicants to the Graphic Design program, now housed in the Department of Design.

2. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is required for admission to the art program; a minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for admission to the art education program.