Art Portfolio

Hey guys!
I am a 12th grade student in India. I recently decided that I want to pursue a major in architecture. I want to apply ED to Cornell. I rank at the top of my class in school, have a good SAT score and have adequate extra-curricular activities too. However, since I do not have art as a subject in school, I do not have a portfolio of any sort. The application deadline is in 3 months from now.
I know how to sketch well, but I haven’t maintained a sketchbook. Do you have any suggestions regarding how I can get my portfolio completed in time?

Also, I would really appreciate it if you could show me some examples of a portfolio that got accepted into Cornell.

Thank you!

@kanika488 Cornell’s Bachelor OF Architecture program is very selective (even more so than the university as a whole) and the portfolio weighs heavily in admissions. The school of architecture website lays out portfolio requirements, which are extensive.

The portfolio should demonstrate creativity, design presentation and a facility with several media, especially drawing. It does not have to include examples of architecture. You may be able to put together a reasonable portfolio in the next few months, but without recent art classes I think it will be difficult.

You might consider some BArch programs that do not require a portfolio (though in some cases the portfolio is recommended). For example: Auburn, UArizona, Cal Tech SLO, IIT, Penn State, Notre Dame.

You might also consider getting a Bachelor of Science or Art IN architecture, followed by a Master of Architecture. Some BS/BA programs require a portfolio, but most do not. The combination of the BS/BA + MArch is common in the US and Canada. A few examples of strong programs are WUSTL, Northeastern, UVA, UMich, UCincinnati. There are many others. (You’ll need to check the portfolio requirements.)

You can be admitted to an MArch program with a BS/BA in architecture – in art, in design, or anything else, really – as long as you fulfill the MArch admissions requirements. Requirements vary but usually include some level of art studio, art history, calculus, physics plus a portfolio.

@kanika488 College Confidential covered this topic in an article that may help answer your question. This may not directly influence your stats but you can cultivate some understanding. Read more here:

I worked with an amazing team of mentors/advisors at PortfolioWorks and got into all the art schools I applied to and were able to answer all my questions, help me make amazing work, and guide me through the whole process. I worked with them remotely and it worked. I didn’t apply for architecture, but know they work with architecture students, too.

Hi there,

This may be a little too late! But I got into Cornell BArch (2022) and I also had loads of questions about portfolios when I was applying. I didn’t realize that the portfolio is actually quite a complex science until I did some digging. For example, the ability to weave your narrative around a set of spatially engaging visual work, all formatted perfectly into a PDF or physical book.

I found a lot of help at architectureprep .com

(They have a resources section on how to make a portfolio)