Animation/Illustration BFA

How to Apply / Portfolio Guidelines

Program Admission Contact:

For Animation/Illustration:
Lauren Carr; 973-655-7281

University Admission Contact:

Zachary Brower, 973-655-7703

Applying   l   Portfolio  (Portfolio Preparation Guidelines)   l    Notes for Transfers   l   About the Program


Applying for admission to the Animation/Illustration BFA program is a 1-3-Step process:

STEP ONE. Submit an application to Montclair State University.

  • To apply as a New Freshman or New Transfer student, you must first submit an application to Montclair State University via the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. (Go to Undergraduate Admissions to fulfill this step.)  Following staff review of the submitted application, applicants who meet the University's academic requirements will be emailed an invitation to proceed to STEP TWO.
  • To apply as an Already-Enrolled Montclair State Student seeking to change your major, skip the above step and proceed to STEP TWO.  If accepted to the program, your final step will be to complete and submit a Change of Major/Minor Form to the Department of Art and Design Office - Calcia Hall, Suite 109, together with your program letter of acceptance.

STEP TWO. Submit an application / portfolio to the Department of Art and Design.

Academically qualified applicants will be instructed to electronically submit a Step-Two application and portfolio to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoomthe Department's admission software. (note: MSU-enrolled students should request a link to SlideRoom from the Program Admission Contact.)  A $15 fee applies.

STEP THREE. Attend an on-campus interview.

After your application has been received, faculty will evaluate your material and, if your submission meets minimum program requirements, you will be invited to an on-campus interview. Interviews generally take fifteen to thirty minutes, during which you will have the opportunity to discuss your work, ask questions, and see the animation/illustration facilities. You should also be prepared to discuss your reasons for choosing the major. (note: While family members and/or friends are not allowed to be present during the interview, they may ask questions after the interview has been completed.)

Note: The on-campus interview is strongly encouraged but is not mandatory (e.g. where travel to campus is prohibitive, applicants can opt to have their uploaded, online portfolios be reviewed as their total submission.)

Interview Dates for Animation/Illustration:

  • October 10, 2017
  • November 28, 2017
  • February 4, 2018
  • April 7, 2018

Eligible applicants will be advised to select an early appointment date, with consideration to the following: (a) Spring applicants must interview before January; (b) Fall applicants should interview by March; (c) Post-March dates, where available, are intended for late-transfer and Montclair State-enrolled student applicants. (e) There may be occassional flexibility of scheduling a weekday appointment, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. where special circumstances apply.

Interviews will take place in Calcia Hall on campus (see campus map.) 


Following the Portfolio Review / Interview

Following the portfolio review, the Department will forward its acceptance decision to Undergraduate Admissions, which in turn will notify you of your admission status.

Freshman Notes -- There are three potential outcomes of the portfolio interview for Freshman Applicants:

  1. Candidates who show strong potential for success in the program will be accepted into the major of choice.

  2. Alternative acceptance decisions:

    • Applicants who show strength in art but do not have sufficient illustration work in their portfolio may be recommended to switch their intended major to BA in Fine Arts, Studio Concentration (no portfolio required) and possibly reapply to the BFA in Animation/Illustration after taking beginning-level illustration courses at Montclair State.

  3. Applicants who do not show potential for success in the major will not be accepted.

Transfer Notes -- There are two potential outcomes of the portfolio interview for Transfer Applicants:

  1. Candidates who meet the equivalent skills and expectations for success in our program will be accepted as BFA in Graphic Design majors.
  2. Applicants who do not show potential for success in the major will not be accepted.
  3. (Additional notes for Transfer applicants appear below.)

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What to Include in Your Application and Portfolio:

Before completing the SlideRoom application, it is recommended that you first gather the necessary information and file docs for uploading, including:

  1. Your pre-college Cumulative GPA

  2. Your SAT Scores -- optional; as they appear on your transcript if being submitted

  3. Your Portfolio pieces:

Your portfolio should demonstrate your interest and aptitude for the chosen major and include the following:

    • Art work -- 15 to 20 pieces of original art and design work. Applicants are advised to review the department's overall Portfolio Preparation Guidelines in regards to preparing a portfolio. Ideally portfolios should include some work respective of the chosen major, but may also contain original 2-D or 3-D artwork.

    • Sketchbook or loose sketches showing preliminary ideas for projects. We want to see how you develop and refine your ideas.

    • Writing sample --On one page "Personal Statement", describe who you are and your goals for studying your intended major.

   Tips for uploading portfolio documents:

  • Portfolio images and writing samples may be uploaded in a variety file types including: jpg, png, gif and pdf.
  • For fast upload and good image quality, your image files should be sized approx. 1024 X 768 px @ 72 dpi.
  • Please note that you will find several Art and Design majors listed in the SlideRoom portal; it is very important that you upload your images to the major for which you are applying. 

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Additional Notes for Transfer Applicants

Transferring Course Credits

Transfer applicants must first be accepted into a major before courses completed at any prior accredited higher educational institution can be evaluated for transfer.  The Department of Art and Design follows University published guidelines for transferring credits, including articulation-agreement policies which may apply to your previous institution(s.) Undergraduate Admissions will first evaluate your transcript(s), after which an Art and Design program advisor will determine whether and which courses may count towards the intended major degree requirements.  Courses not included in the articulation agreement (e.g. for institutions outside New Jersey) will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Evaluations are based on comparing levels and content of incoming courses with comparable MSU courses in accordance with reviewing catalog descriptions, syllabi and congruence of material covered.  Courses deemed to qualify must receive final approval at the Department, College and University levels. Equivalent transfer courses for New Jersey Community Colleges can be found at

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About the Programs

Information about the Animation/Illustration major (including an overview description and curriculum) may be found on the BFA in Animation/Illustration Web page.

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