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.

Attend one of our prospective student information sessions to learn more about the portfolio and our B.Arch. program. Read about this opportunity and register for a session on our Meet Us page.

portfolio deadlines

Early Decision I** November 15, 2023
Final day for Early Decision I Portfolio Interview* November 15, 2023
Early Decision II** January 5, 2024
Final day for Early Decision II Portfolio Interview* December 15, 2023
Regular Decision** January 5, 2024
Final day for Regular Decision Portfolio Interview* December 15, 2023


*The Portfolio Interview is an optional component of the application. Scroll down to “Submitting Your Portfolio” for more information about this opportunity.

**Coalition/Common Application dates listed. You will receive access to your Syracuse University Applicant Portal within 2-3 business days after you submit your application. Portfolios will then need to be submitted in that portal, additional details below in “submitting your portfolio”. After those application deadlines have passed, you have 24 hours from receiving access to your portal to upload your portfolio. 

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 creativity. 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.)

submitting your portfolio

You must submit your portfolio online through your Syracuse University applicant portal. You will receive access to your Syracuse University applicant portal 2-3 business days after completing your Coalition/Common Application. After the application deadline has passed, you have 24 hours from receiving access to your portal to upload your portfolio. In addition, we provide the optional opportunity for you to present your work one-one-one to a member of our architecture admissions team.

ONLINE VIA Your Syracuse University Applicant Portal
  • 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.
Virtual portfolio Interview

Portfolio Interviews for our Fall 2024 applicants are now closed.

This optional interview is an opportunity for you to meet with our architecture admissions team and provide us with insight as to why you are interested in studying architecture, describe the portfolio work that you chose to include, and your interest in studying at our prestigious institution. This is not a critique of your work.

Interviews take place until December 15 with a member of the architecture admissions committee. If you are applying Early Decision I (EDI), the review would need to take place by November 15 to meet the EDI application deadline.

Your portfolio must be submitted 24 hours prior to your review. Please note, you will not be able to submit your portfolio in the applicant portal until your Coalition/Common Application has been submitted and you receive a link to your personal portal. Plan ahead as there is a 2-3 business day lag in gaining access to your applicant portal from when you submit your application.

All interviews will take place on Zoom. Click here to reserve your fifteen minute interview timeslot.* 

*If you cannot use the Calendly interface to make a reservation due to accessibility reasons, you may email us at archug@syr.edu