Art & Design

Portfolio Application (BFA and BDes)

The first thing you need to know, and we can’t stress this enough, is that there are two, completely separate, processes you must complete when applying for one or both of these programs.

Step 1. Online Application

Submit the U of A Online Application for Admission, Readmission, or Internal Transfer Form and supporting documentation (as listed in your “to do” list in your Bear Tracks account) to the Registrar’s Office by May 1st.

  • You can do the online application as early as October.
  • International applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. All applicants should apply before March 1st if possible to increase processing times. 
  • Please list your program choices in order of preference.
  • Unless you are considering a different program, please list the BA program, Major in Art & Design as your second choice.
  • You must list all post-secondary institutions you’ve attended.
  • Pay close attention to your email for access to your Bear Tracks account, and then check your Bear Tracks account regularly!
  • If indicated in your "to do" list in Bear Tracks, you must arrange for all official transcripts/documents to be sent directly to the Registrar (click here for address). Do not include these official documents inside your portfolio submission.

Step 2. Portfolio Submission with Unofficial Transcripts

Deadline: May 1

See below for delivery dates, locations and options.

Your portfolio submission must include 4 things:

A) Portfolio of 12–15 Pieces of Art and Design Work

Submit a portfolio of visual work to the Department of Art and Design.

  • These may be original works, high quality printed images of your work, or digital images on a disc or USB key.
  • For more information about what to include, and possible formats, see Portfolio Guidelines.
  • If you are applying to both programs (BDes and BFA), we need two completely separate portfolios.

You must include paper copies of the following documents INSIDE your portfolio. Please do not physically attach them to your portfolio in anyway as we will need to remove them.

B) Portfolio Form

  • Submit two copies of the appropriate "Portfolio Form" with your portfolio to the Department of Art and Design.
  • We ask for two as one of them will be stamped and returned to you as your receipt, or kept with your mailed portfolio for identification.
  • If you are applying to both programs, you will need two separate portfolios, and two copies of the appropriate form in each portfolio. 

C) Unofficial Copies of Transcripts/Grades

  • Submit unofficial copies of transcripts from previous post-secondary study or unofficial high school list of courses and marks with your portfolio. These do not need to be sealed, signed or stamped. They just need to be truthful!
  • We ask for these because we want to see if you have a good chance of being academically admissible to our program. 
  • Current U of A students can download their transcripts from Bear Tracks.
  • Submission of these documents with your portfolio does not satisfy the requirement for you to send official documents to the Office of the Registrar. You must keep paying attention to your Bear Tracks and follow the instructions in your “to do” list. 

D) Statement of Intent

Submit a statement of intent. Do not exceed a half page. Include your reasons for choosing your program.

Delivery Options

In Person:
(Note: if necessary, a friend or family member can deliver your portfolio!)
Dates: Last 3 business days of April and May 1; dates will be updated each year by the end of March.

2019 DATES: April 26th, 29th, 30th and May 1st
Times: 10:00am–1:00pm and 2:00pm–5:00pm
Location: Fine Arts Building, Room 2-30


Mail to:
Department of Art & Design General Office
Undergraduate Admissions
3-98 Fine Arts Building, 112 Street & 89 Avenue
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2C9

NOTE! This address is for portfolio submission and unofficial document copies only. You must send your official application documents to the Office of the Registrar as requested in the online application!

Portfolio Pick-up

Dates: Mid June; dates will be updated every year by the end of March.

2019 DATES: Friday June 14th, Monday June 17th, and Tuesday June 18th
Times: 10:00am–1:00pm and 2:00pm–5:00pm
Location: Fine Arts Building, Room 2-30

  • If you need your originals mailed back to you, you must include sufficient postage or a prepaid waybill so that your portfolio can be returned to you. Postal coupons and cash are not accepted.
  • You can also arrange for someone else to pick up your portfolio.
  • You will need to bring your portfolio form copy when collecting your portfolio or provide written permission along with your form if you send someone else.
  • Due to space limitations, portfolios unclaimed by the deadline will be disposed of.