A portfolio of creative work is required for admission to the School of Architecture. This is a personal statement about you, your visual training, interest, and aspirations. Each portfolio is reviewed by an architecture admissions representative and is an important part of the way the school can learn more about you and your talents. It is critical that you adhere to all details regarding contents and presentation of your portfolio, and meet submission deadlines.

Content specifications

Your portfolio should include:

  • a brief statement outlining your interest in the field of architecture
  • 12-24 high-quality reproductions of your best and most recent art work

Work will be evaluated based on demonstrated skill, discipline and creatvity. Works copied from photos, magazines, and masterworks are not considered strong material.


We especially encourage you to submit works from real-life observation such as still life, figure drawing, portraits/self-portraits, and landscapes.

  • Any cartoon work must be your original ideas, characters, etc, and not be derivative of another individual’s work.
  • Art should demonstrate consideration of the background and composition. Avoid ‘floating’ figures or objects.
Other media

In addition to observational drawing, works in other media such as painting, 2-D and 3-D designs, photography, woodworking, sculpture, or any other visual media that demonstrate your interest and aptitude in creative and graphic work are encouraged.

  • Mechanical and architectural drawings are not necessary and, if included, should exemplify design and creativity, not just technological skills. They will be evaluated on their artistic merit and not on the manipulation of software.
  • Keep in mind that good design incorporates presentation and proper editing.
  • Work must be original, not clip art.
Labeling your artwork

Label each portfolio item with:

  • Information about the medium used
  • Whether project was done on your own or in class
  • Original size
  • A 1-2 sentence comment about the piece (If submitting two-dimensional computer-generated work - using Photoshop, Illustrator, etc - please include explanation of how you created the image and the software used.)

options for submitting your portfolio

You may submit your portfolio by mail, in-person, or online via SlideRoom.

By Mail

Material must be placed in a black or white binder, no larger than 10w x 13h x 1/2d to be considered. Transfer students, please use a red or blue binder. Material not placed in a binder will not be considered. Professionally bound portfolios are not required, but are accepted. Reproductions should be of high quality.  Slides and CDs are not acceptable. Do not send originals. 

Syracuse University
School of Architecture
Re: Undergraduate Portfolio
201 Slocum Hall
Syracuse, NY  13244-1250

Please indicate your name, address, and email clearly on the outside of your portfolio.

in person

If you do choose to present your portfolio in person, you may do so at the School of Architecture, or at one of our off-campus review sessions, listed on our Meet Us page. All reviews are done by appointment (315-443-8242). 

We ask that you please bring a copy of your portfolio that you can leave behind with us. This will be considered a final portfolio when we refer to it later.

Reviews are done Monday through Friday (until December 1) with a member of the architecture admissions committee, or during a Syracuse University Orange Preview Day sponsored by the Office of Admissions.

NOTE: If you choose to also show your sketchbook at this visit, please flag the best pages for viewing. These sketches will not qualify as any of your  required 12–24 original art works.

  • Please note this very important formatting requirement. Your portfolio must be submitted as a single, multi-page PDF file with pages in the horizontal (landscape) orientation.
  • Include text descriptions integrated into each page with your image.
  • On Macs, the ability to save any document as a PDF is built in.
  • On Windows, most programs have a ‘Save As PDF’ option. If not, free PDF creation software is available from http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator.
  • Programs that can be used to layout your digital portfolio include, but are not limited to, Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Scribus, Inkscape and Apple Pages for Mac.