Deadlines and Requirements: Painting / Drawing


    Spring 2019: November 1, 2018 (Submit portfolio by November 15)
    Freshman admission not offered for Spring.

    Fall 2019

    • Priority Deadline: December 1, 2018 (Submit portfolio by December 15)
    • General Review: February 1, 2019 (Submit portfolio by February 15)


Portfolio Requirements

All applicants must submit the required portfolio of artwork online at SlideRoom. There is a $10 fee per portfolio submission payable in SlideRoom. Please submit only one portfolio to the School of Art+Design program of your choice. 

Students must apply to the same program on their Admissions Application AND their SlideroomApplication for the applications to be processed correctly. 

Portfolio Content Requirements

  • Twelve (12) to twenty (20) examples of work: 
    Include title, size, date, and a short description of each piece you submit.

    You must include both of the following two assignments among your work:
  1. One self-portrait in any medium
  2. Choose one from the following:
  1. Two drawings from direct observation (not from photos), 
    b.  A set of three drawings/paintings that demonstrate your ability to look at an object in a new and interesting way. Working from direct observation (not from photos), you should draw or paint the same object three times, each time presenting it in an entirely new way. You can change your viewpoint, scale, composition, environment, lighting, etc. You can also change the medium and technique. The object can be anything, but you are encouraged to select something that would enable you to demonstrate your talents. Your goal is to show your skills, creativity, ambition, and engagement.
  • Reflective Statement (400-500 words) or Video (2 minutes maximum):  
    If you are submitting a video please limit the clip to 2 minutes. 
    Please use this opportunity to give us an understanding of who you are as a person, artist, and student. What inspires you? What challenges you?


  1. Describe an event that has made an impact on you. Why was it important?
  2. If you could invite three individuals to dinner who would they be? Why those three?
  3. What would you talk about? (for example artists, writers, public figures, or people you know).
  4. Give us an example of when you challenged “the normal.” What were the issues and what did you do? How do you feel about it now?

Both the self-portrait and the observational drawings are required of all applicants, regardless of major choice. The balance of the portfolio will be evaluated as a demonstration of both the breadth and depth of your visual interests.

Additional Portfolio Information:

Label your images: Please list title, media, size dimensions (where applicable) and provide a description of each piece.

Detail shots: If it is appropriate, you may provide detail shots of particular works. Be sure to indicate if an example is a detail shot.

Multiple views: If a single image does not adequately display your work (e.g. a large sculpture) you may include more than one image.

For additional information visit: School of Art + Design

Whether you just graduated high school or you’ve taken a gap year (or more), if you have not yet attended college you should apply as a freshman. Even if you’ve taken college-level courses in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, you’re still a freshman.

Who We’re Looking For

It takes a certain nature to thrive at Purchase. While we seek to enroll academically qualified students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum, we also seek students with grit—the determination to strive and succeed.

Successful students at Purchase are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in our community as well as the world at large. Our students are passionate about their goals and persevere to achieve them. They are daring—willing to take calculated risks to achieve more when they create works of art, engage in research and scholarship, or take on internships. They are driven to succeed and exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit in creating that success for themselves. In addition, Purchase students are often socially aware and will take an active stand for what they believe in.    All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors and Advanced Placement coursework. The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your Think Wide Open Statement, and supplemental information. 

Typical Grades

Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a GPA of 3.0 (or 85 on a 100 point scale).

Purchase does not require scores from the SAT or ACT exam (with exceptions), though applicants are given the option to submit them. It is recommended that test scores be submitted only if it is believed to benefit the application. For applicants who are considering submitting scores, we typically prefer the following:

  • SAT: 1170 total score; minimum Reading score of 24 
  • ACT: 24 Composite

Students who are required to submit test scores include:

  • Applicants who are homeschooled
  • International students, who will need to provide a TOEFL score
  • Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale


Think Wide Open Statement

Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open.” It’s our way of learning, teaching and being and so much more. By choosing Purchase, students make a conscious decision to join an intense community with a deep respect for individuality and diversity and an unparalleled environment of creativity and innovation. As an applicant, we want to know what Think Wide Open means to you. All students submit either an essay, video or other creative work (poem, song, visual artwork, etc.). It should be original and should connect to Think Wide Open broadly or specifically. Videos and creative works should include a brief introduction or statement that helps contextualize your submission for the viewer/reader.


Required International Supplemental Information

  • Submit Official Academic Records:
    Submit all official transcripts, matriculation certificates, mark sheets and/or diplomas. Original documents issued from the applicant’s home educational system must carry the official seal, stamp or signature of a school or government official.  Academic documents must be submitted in the original language and those which are not in English must be accompanied by an exactly worded and certified translation as well as an evaluation. 

    NOTE: See the Transcript Credentialing section of this web page for important information on submitting academic records.
  • TOEFL scores from Non-Native Speakers of English:
    Submit your official TOEFL Test Score Report. (Purchase College’s ETS code is 2878). The testing service will send an official report directly to the Purchase College mailing address below. Students must take the TOEFL if their native language is NOT English, even if they have attended school in the U.S, except in cases where students meet the requirements for exemption as outlined in the English Proficiency Requirements on this web page.
  • English Proficiency Report completed and signed:
    Non-native English speaking students must have an English Professor or Instructor complete and sign the English Proficiency Report in English.

  • Autobiographical Essay:
    All Visual and Performing Arts students must write an Autobiographical Essay in English.  Students should include information relevant to your admission application, not already given on other forms.

  • Completed Educational Data Form:
    Complete and submit the Educational Data form.

Preferred submission method for supplemental items

Undergraduate applicants mail supplemental information to:

Purchase College-Application Processing
279 Broadway
Albany, New York 12204-2755

Graduate applicants mail supplemental information to:

Purchase College, SUNY
ATTN: Graduate Admissions
Office of Admissions
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577


For more information about the services available to International Students at Purchase College, visit the International Student Services portion of the website.