Portfolio Requirements

Art Portfolio

The portfolio consists of two parts:

  • One portfolio exercise (as explained below).
  • Additional examples of your best and most recent work that demonstrate your current interests, an awareness of design principles, and experience with a variety of tools, media, styles, and approaches.


  • Make a work, or a series of works (up to five pieces), that interprets what a “journey” means for you. This is a creative challenge, and you may approach it in any way you wish.  
  • For example, you may use any medium or material, including two dimensional, three dimensional, or time-based media, and you can interpret the subject of “journey” in any way you would like. Select and use materials which best suit your project. These may include two and three dimensional, traditional and/or non-traditional materials and techniques, plus time-based work such as video, animation, and sound (two minutes maximum), and/or digitally generated media.
  • Be inventive with your ideas! You may do this project in any combination of media; however, the finished work(s) must be uploaded in SlideRoom.
    In 250 words or less, please write a description of your ‘journey’ project. You can write about the approach you took to make the project and about what made you decide to choose the materials that you used. You can also write about the idea that you wanted to convey in your project, etc.
We hope that this project will demonstrate some of the qualities and attitudes that are important for artists and designers, such as:
  • Willingness to learn
  • Curiosity, open-mindedness
  • Imagination
  • Capacity for experimentation/exploration
  • Critical thinking
  • Engagement with materials
  • Hard work

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about “Journey”

A series is a collection of more than one artwork that is meant to be seen as a unified, thematic whole.

For the Journey requirement, you can submit a single artwork, or a series including any number of works up to five.

Traditional materials include familiar art media, such as paint, drawing pencils, artist’s clay, etc. Nontraditional materials can include anything not in that category, like rocks, hot peppers, socks, or foam – use your imagination!

What is an Art Portfolio?

  • A portfolio is a visual archive of your personal artistic accomplishments that demonstrates your ability and potential as a creative artist or designer.
  • It is one of the application requirements of students applying to the Art Foundation Program (AFO) or Bachelor of Fine Arts Programs at VCUarts Qatar. All undergraduate BFA students must complete the one-year Art Foundation program at VCUarts Qatar before applying to the department of their choice during the annual spring portfolio review. BA in Art History students do not take the Art Foundation program.

VCUarts Qatar’s BFA portfolio requirements

  • All applicants are required to upload a portfolio of their own creative artworks, along with the required university application materials to VCUarts Qatar’s online admission system. 
  • If you are interested in taking a course to assist you in this process, information about our Portfolio Development Courses can be found at this link
  • Undergraduate BFA students are not affiliated with a major department until they complete the Art Foundation program. Once successfully completed, BFA students apply to the department of their choice during the annual spring portfolio review. Through this review, major departments make acceptance decisions based upon the evaluation of students’ academic records, creative work, and performance within Art Foundation courses.

About your portfolio submission

  • Drawings must be done from observation, that is, from looking directly at the objects or the view and NOT from photographs or other published material (including photographs found on the internet).
  • Images must be uploaded to SlideRoom. SlideRoom is the system VCUarts Qatar uses to accept and review portfolios. You can find information about image and video formats and sizes at this link.
  • Candidates may be invited for an in-person interview with VCUarts Qatar faculty after the submission of both the CommonApp and the portfolio. Academic honesty and integrity are the standards expected and adhered to at VCUarts Qatar. 
  • Candidates suspected of plagiarizing or including work done by others will be barred from admittance to VCUarts Qatar. Copying others’ work, including photographs, illustrations, artworks, etc., is considered plagiarism.

Additional exercises

  • Additional examples of your best and most recent work that demonstrate your current interests, an awareness of design principles, and experience with a variety of tools, media, styles, and approaches.
  • Upload five examples to SlideRoom.

Tips on How to Develop your Portfolio

The more time you allow yourself to create, the more work you will have to choose from when preparing your portfolio. Ultimately, however, quality of work is more important than quantity.

  • Take advantage of resources available at your school, in your community, and in your own time.
  • Supplement your high school art experience with outside opportunities.
  • Most art and design colleges prefer that the majority of drawings submitted in the portfolio be derived from direct observation, which means drawing or painting from still life, figure models, or landscape.
  • VCUarts Qatar prefers observational drawings rather than drawings from photographs or from your imagination (such as fantasy characters or anime).

This includes artwork, illustrations, or photographs found online or in magazines. Copying others’ work will be considered plagiarism. You can find out what is defined as plagiarism at this link.

  • Strong portfolios typically include work that demonstrates solid technical skills and reflects thoughts and concepts.
  • Consider including work that speaks to your personal experiences, your culture, and so on.
  • Get outside opinions of your artwork before the year in which you plan to apply: It is important to show your work to others and to ask for critiques with enough time to benefit from their feedback. This will help you be aware of your progress, as well as areas that may need further development. Teachers, other artists, designers, mentors, and college representatives can offer this type of informal review.
  • Practice discussing your work: Don’t be afraid to talk about your work and what it means to you. Select a couple of pieces to discuss. Think about when and why you created the work, what the work is about, and what media were used. Share what you like about the pieces and what can be improved.
  • Take a Portfolio Development class: VCUarts Qatar regularly holds portfolio development classes and drop-in evening sessions. Keep an eye on our website from September through December for availability. Portfolio Development classes typically begin in late September or early October. See Community Education Program at VCUarts Qatar for available classes and logistical details.
  • Meet with college representatives: VCUarts Qatar Admission counselors meet with students on campus, visit many high schools and community colleges, and host special events for prospective students, during which they can help to clarify the expectations of the portfolio.

Community Education Courses 

Many of our prospective students take the Art Portfolio and other Community Education classes prior to applying to VCUarts Qatar. While not required, Community Education classes have proven to serve as great preparation for studies at VCUarts Qatar. Check out our schedule of upcoming Community Education courses. Classes fill quickly. Register as soon as you can. 


For more inquiries, please contact our Community and Continuing Education Program at:
Email: [email protected]
WhatsApp: +974 30133448