Visual Supplement Guidelines

Visual Art Supplements

Each year, the Studio Art faculty works closely with the Admission office to identify outstanding visual arts applicants. If you submit a visual arts supplement with your application to Wellesley College, a member of the studio art faculty will review your images and advise the Admission team reading your file. While a strong visual portfolio may well enhance your application, it is but one of many factors that Office of Admission considers when making decisions. We do not preview portfolios of prospective applicants. Please check the Wellesley Admission or Common Application website for guidelines about submitting a visual arts supplement with your application. 

The department does not retain copies of the visual arts supplements, so transfer and first-year students with a background in the arts may wish to bring documentation of past work with them during orientation and advising. While an AP or IB course will not count toward the minimum requirements of a studio art or architecture major, on rare occasions, students may be granted permission to enroll in certain 200-level studio courses based on the strength of recent work. 

For further information on Visual Arts Supplements, visit the Admissions website.

Portfolio Reviews

Portfolios are not required for students enrolling in 100-level studio art courses at Wellesley. While previous instruction may prove valuable, many academically gifted students with little or no experience do excellent work in the visual arts once they have an opportunity to engage with the subject seriously at the college level. 

However, students developing majors in the art department should begin to maintain active portfolios of their best work as they move into the intermediate and advanced studio courses. They should be prepared to discuss the breadth of their work with studio faculty actively, especially when considering study abroad, internships and other opportunities in the visual arts. This helps faculty better address the specific strengths and needs of each student as she develops a plan of study and looks ahead to the senior year. Note that studio art, architecture, and MAS majors begin with the same visual foundations (see the “comparative guide to the studio production majors”). The studio art faculty works closely with students developing majors in all of these areas.  

Studio art courses taken elsewhere must be documented with class materials and a portfolio of the work produced in the course to determine whether it should count toward the minimum major. Students returning from a semester away should schedule a portfolio review with the director of Studio Art soon after returning to campus. Senior studio art and MAS majors who qualify for honors must present examples of recent work when proposing studio thesis projects. Advanced students proposing independent study projects should also assemble a portfolio of recent work before speaking to a potential ARTS 350 advisor.