Submit Your Portfolio

Submitting a portfolio for admission

A portfolio is required for Bachelor of Art Education (B.A.E.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) programs in order to be admitted to Herron. It is not required for the Bachelor of Art (B.A.) in art history.

You should submit your portfolio and essay to Herron's SlideRoom after submitting your IU Indianapolis application.

Portfolio requirements

Your portfolio should be a collection of 10 images of your most recent original works, which may include the following:

  • Two- and three-dimensional work
  • Video and time-based media
  • Animation and digital renderings
  • Sketches that demonstrate your creative process
  • Writing samples (no more than two)

The following labels are required for each uploaded media:

  • Title
  • Year of creation
  • Medium
  • Size (height, width, and depth)
  • Description

Acceptable media formats include:

  • Images (up to 5 MB each): .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga
  • Videos (up to 250 MB each): .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv
  • Documents (up to 10 MB each): .pdf

You may also link to media from Vimeo, YouTube, and Sketchfab.

Essay requirements

The essay component of your portfolio submission is open-ended. You can describe in 250 to 500 words one or several of the following:

  • How you identify yourself as an artist or designer
  • Experiences that have shaped you into the creative individual you are today
  • How you use one or more creative processes to analyze and synthesize various points of view about the world and your place in it
  • Your educational and career goals

Your essay should be submitted with your portfolio to Herron's SlideRoom.

Frequently asked questions

We're looking for your strongest works of art and design. Consider submitting media that demonstrates your creativity and problem solving abilities. We are looking for innovative ideas, conceptual development, interesting compositions, and a readiness to explore the visual arts and design in addition to technical skills and craftsmanship.

Ultimately, you decide what represents you as an artist or a designer. Use your portfolio to give us a sense of who you are, your interests, and how you interpret the world.

You will need to consider how best to can represent your work, whether it be photographs or three-dimensional sculptures, digital designs or scans, taking into account portfolio requirements and accepted media formats. Below are a few tips to get you started.

6 Portfolio Tips

  1. Choose a digital camera that can take images of high quality and resolution. (Even some iPhones can do this.)
  2. Take the glass out of framed works to eliminate visual distractions and use use a neutral background, such as a posterboard or blank piece of paper, to  put your artwork at the forefront.
  3. Try to take photos in natural light (without the flash) and when the sun isn't overhead, creating shadows. You have also light your artwork evenly if you have access to studio lighting.
  4. Alternate the way your work is documented. Use a scanner to scan smaller works or even sketchbook pages.
  5. Try playing with the exposure, contrast, or vibrancy if you have access to Adobe Photoshop or other image editors to make your work as precise as possible. Adjust for color accuracy and lens distortion.
  6. Take your time and take a lot of pictures if in doubt.

If you are accepted into IU Indianapolis but do not submit a portfolio, you cannot officially declare a Herron major or register for Herron courses.

The delay in submission of your portfolio may result in becoming off track in your degree timeline, meaning that it will take more than four years to complete your degree, with potential implications for financial aid and attendance costs.

Questions about submitting your portfolio?

We can provide you with coaching and share links to useful resources. If you have any questions, get in touch via our Ask an Admissions Advisor form.