Drawing I

Visit the Admissions site for Application Guidelines


A portfolio is required by most universities and art schools that offer professional programs. At Illinois Wesleyan University, a portfolio review is a necessity for admission into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program and to qualify for art scholarships.

The portfolio tells the School of Art faculty about skills, attitudes, work habits and about commitments and desires. Along with academic credentials, the portfolio will be reviewed to determine potential and suitability for the B.F.A. program.


We accept portfolios in CD, slide, or photographic form on occasions when students cannot easily visit the University. You are advised to ask your art instructor for assistance with photographing and labeling the work. You should use a 35mm single lens reflex camera or a high quality digital camera. Digital prints should indicate the actual color of the original. The resolution should be sufficiently high to identify the smallest details of the original work of art. We prefer to view artwork on web sites only when it is originally produced with electronic media to be viewed as electronic media.

Portfolio Review

The portfolio should consist of 15 to 20 examples of your best and most recent work. No attempt should be made to show works that span a number of years. Students presenting drawings are encouraged to submit works that are drawn from a source other than copying photographs or reproductions. Although we accept portfolios in a number of media, we prefer to see the actual work. The works included in your portfolio should be mounted or matted. Fine art photographs may be submitted unmatted in a photo album. All fine art photographs should be developed by the applicant. The photographic work included should show strength rather than one of everything.

If you are photographing your work for the portfolio, it should be placed against a neutral background. Exposures should be bracketed allowing you to select the best exposure to include in the portfolio. Slides are to be submitted in a plastic slide sheet. Slides or photographs should be labeled with your name, the year the work was completed, media and dimensions.

Sculpture and ceramic work is difficult to transport and should not be shipped. We are happy to look at three-dimensional pieces that are hand-delivered. Large-scale work should typically be presented in slide or photographic form.

Students applying for the B. A. degree in art are not required to submit a portfolio.

Scheduling a Portfolio Review

  • A review is easily scheduled in advance by phoning the Office of Admissions 309-556-3031 or 1-800-332-2498.
  • Foreign students and students living a great distance from the Illinois Wesleyan campus can mail portfolios prepaid to the Office of Admissions. Every precaution will be taken to protect portfolios; however, the University cannot be responsible for loss or damage.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • The School of Art at Illinois Wesleyan University offers Alumni Talent Scholarships in Art to deserving students. These renewable scholarships, currently ranging in value from $8,000-$12,000, are awarded on the basis of a portfolio review and academic background to candidates for admission to the school.
  • In addition, Illinois Wesleyan University helps students obtain grants, campus employment and loans based on financial need. Families must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FASFA) and an Illinois Wesleyan University Financial Aid Application or CSS Profile. Learn more about financial aid at IWU.