Please follow the general portfolio requirements for your portfolio if you are applying to the following departments:
- Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects
- Fine Arts
- Interior Design
- Visual and Critical Studies
Drawing samples are the most important part of the portfolio for applicants to the majors listed. Please include examples of drawing done from the direct observation of live, three-dimensional situations. These can include self-portraits (using a mirror for reference), figure drawings, object studies, still lifes and landscapes. (Two-dimensional references can be included in a portfolio, but should be kept to a minimum.)
Painting, printmaking, drawing and/or collage work that expresses the color sense of an applicant is welcome.
Three-dimensional work that explores notions of composition, light, form and/or spatial relations should be submitted in digital format (CD-R) and should include shots from multiple viewpoints.
Design projects and computer-generated images can be included but should be kept to a minimum. Applicants with computer-based interests are required to submit a portfolio that demonstrates their drawing-from-observation skills.
Sketchbooks offer important insights into the creative process of an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to include the most recent sketchbook at the time of a portfolio review.
Please see additional portfolio recommendations by department:
Advertising; Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects; Fine Arts; Design; Visual and Critical Studies
Design projects and computer-generated images are not recommended for inclusion in Computer Art portfolios. However, applicants that do submit this work should be careful that it is not about what a computer program can do but what an artist can do with a computer program. It is recommended that this type of work be kept to a minimum and is submitted in conjunction with drawing, painting, and/or sculpture.
Animation applicants should be careful not to overload their portfolios with images of comic or cartoon characters. Though character development is essential to successful animation, the ability to take objects (people, places, things) that exist in the real, three-dimensional world and place them (and make them move) believably in the two-dimensional picture plane is key at this point. This potential is better demonstrated at the point of admission by direct observation work.
Cartooning and Illustration
Cartooning applicants are encouraged to share their "professional" interests and abilities with the College. Applicants who publish their own zines, create graphic novels, or run their own strips should include these as part of their portfolio. However, applicants should be careful not to overload their portfolios with images of comic or cartoon characters. Though character development is essential to success in the cartooning world, the ability to take objects (people, places, things) that exist in the real, three-dimensional world and place them believably in the two-dimensional picture plane is key at this point. This potential is better demonstrated at the point of admission by direct observation work.
Examples of drafting, design, or digital projects can always be included in a portfolio. However, applicants must be careful that the work submitted is not so much about what a computer program can do but what the applicant can do with a computer program. Applicants should also be able to discuss the unique concepts behind their design work. It is recommended that this type of work be submitted in conjunction with drawing, painting, and/or sculpture.
Creative Scholarship in the heart of New York City
New York City's School of Visual Arts is a private college founded in 1947 as the Cartoonist's and Illustrator's School. As the academic and artistic scope has expanded over the decades, SVA's mission for working artists to educate talented students remains unchanged. The School of Visual Arts enrolls roughly 3,500 undergraduates. Because of the college's location in Manhattan, students have easy access to hundreds of galleries, dozens of museums, and internships at some of the best-known creative companies in the world.
SVA is NASAD and Middle States accredited, as well as a member of AICAD, a prestigious consortium of art and design institutions. SVA is included in the Best Fine Art Schools list compiled by "U.S. News and World Report." "Business Insider" ranks SVA as 1 of the World's 25 Best Design Schools, according to its industry survey. SVA is proud to be designated as a Military-Friendly School by "G.I. Jobs" for its commitment to educating veteran artists.
11 different BFA programs offered with a faculty of over 1,100
There are 11 Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs available to SVA students: advertising; animation; cartooning; computer art, computer animation and visual effects; design; fine arts; film; illustration; interior design; photography and video; and visual and critical studies All 11 degree programs are designed to be completed in 4 years and place emphasis on art-making in addition to critiques, lectures and traditional academic practices. With a faculty of over 1,100 practicing artists and creative professionals who are among the leaders in their fields and access to hundreds of museums, galleries and other cultural resources, SVA represents the best of New York City, global capital of art and design.
The honors program, art history and humanities and sciences
Qualified applicants to SVA's undergraduate programs are encouraged to apply to the honors program, which adds an interdisciplinary liberal arts framework to the studies of degree-seeking undergraduates. Honors students have access to special lectures and events, a 3rd year art history and science colloquium, and a 3rd year week-long international trip.
SVA's art history curriculum covers human creative expression from pre-history to the modern world, giving valuable context to students, studio practice. Humanities and Sciences curriculum is a requirement in the undergraduate programs, and melds students' theoretical and creative backgrounds with relevant scientific and liberal arts topics.
International opportunities via Arts Abroad and Semester Abroad
The School of Visual Arts helps students broaden their horizons while deepening their artistic knowledge through both its Destinations and Semester Abroad programs. Destinations programs are 1 to 4 weeks in duration, and include such choices as Zine Design in Alaska, Fashion Photography in Miami Beach, Art History in Southern France, Painting in Barcelona, and Printmaking in Havana, Cuba. Destinations is open to current students as well as to incoming students during the summer before their first semester. Semester Abroad allows qualified undergraduate students to spend a full fall or spring semester at one of the college's partner institutions or with fellow SVA students in SVA in Rome.
Opportunities and Outlets for Student Work
SVA juniors and seniors who meet program requirements may apply for the school's Internship for Credit program. These internships give students a chance to work with established creative professionals in the city while earning studio elective credit. SVA also operates its own facilities for the presentation of student creative work, including 4 galleries in Manhattan, the SVA Theater, and the Visual Arts Press.
An Active and Accomplished Alumni Network
There are 35,000 School of Visual Art alumni living in 100 countries and working for such companies as Sony ImageWorks, Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, BBDO/WEST, Google, Facebook, and CNN. SVA alumni have access to special benefits ranging from cultural events and career development services to discounts on continuing education classes and health insurance.
Need-Based Grants, Merit-Based Scholarships, and Matching Funds
The School of Visual Arts offers merit scholarships for 1st-year and full-time undergraduates, including the Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship, named for SVA's iconic founder. SVA grants are awarded to full-time undergraduate students on the basis of financial need, and the matching outside scholarship program matches 25 percent of outside scholarships granted to SVA students, up to a specified dollar amount.