Deadlines and Requirements: Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary


    Fall 2020

    • Early Action Deadline: November 15, 2019 (Submit portfolio by December 1)
    • General Deadline: February 1, 2020 (Submit portfolio by February 16)

    Spring 2020:

    • Available only to Transfer Applicants
    • November 15, 2019 (Submit portfolio by December 1)
      • Graphic Design not available


    All applicants must first apply (using Common App or the SUNY app) and then will be prompted via email to 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 major program of your choice.  Students from all majors complete a comprehensive visual arts foundation year in their freshman year. Available undergraduate major programs are as follows:

    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:

      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.

    Think Wide Open Response:  

    Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open”. We want to know what TWO means to you! Use this opportunity to give us an understanding of who you are as a person, artist and student: reveal what inspires you and what challenges you as a creative. Feel free to submit an essay, or any other format of work (poetry, song, 2/3/4-D artwork, etc). Please limit video clips to 5 minutes. All non-essay works should include a contextualizing statement.

    • Please do not submit a portfolio piece for this response!


    Additional Portfolio Information:

    Label your images: Please list title, media, 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.

    Photography: Applicants wishing to apply to the photography program should convey their competence in photography by submitting photographs of their already printed images (i.e., a picture of your picture). This is true for both film and digital photography for those who currently work in a printed process.


    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.