The art portfolio process

When applying to university or college, there are some things to remember about the Art Portfolio Process

Find a list of schools

Are you thinking of applying to university for an art, fine arts, or graphic design program? These programs usually require a portfolio submission along with the standard university application. Read more

List of art schools

  • Scarborough, Ontario
    Kennedy Road/Progress Avenue
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $16,775 to $17,200

Enquiring Minds Montessori is a one-of-a-kind Montessori Art School. We have created a unique learning experience that fosters academic and artistic excellence in a nurturing environment while challenging young minds.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Enquiring Minds Montessori 16775 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Brock Street South/Dundas Streer West
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $11,250

The Hatch House Montessori School is a very child centered school where each student is respected for their uniqueness and is guided through learning accordingly. Ask about our unique, fully bilingual elementary program.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Hatch House Montessori School 11250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $1,600 to $8,500

ArtsCalibre Academy empowers students through creativity, mindfulness and leadership. We offer comprehensive educational programs for Preschool through Grade 12.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
ArtsCalibre Academy 1600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Shuter Street/Bond Street
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • $7,650

St. Michael’s Choir School was founded in 1937 and provides sacred music for services at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Located in downtown Toronto, SMCS is an all boys school from grades 3 through 12.

  • Day
  • Traditional
St. Michael's Choir School 7650 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • $1,100

Aurora Alternative Micro School has created a curriculum that combines academic and creative experiences , engaging a child's head, heart and hands in an environment that is supportive, nurturing and rich in growth.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Aurora Alternative Micro School 1100 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Sheppard Ave W/Bathurst St
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $8,500 to $19,950

Heschel provides a progressive, academically innovative, interdisciplinary Jewish education in a warm, nurturing environment. Students develop habits of mind, body, heart and soul that enable them to make a difference.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
The Toronto Heschel School 8500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed

Jackie Patrick is an Art Portfolio Consultant and former Sheridan College professor who has taught in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design in the Art Fundamentals portfolio development and Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration Programs. She has also been on the Special Admissions Committee at Sheridan. Jackie works with private schools and families to help students navigate the portfolio process, and shared her tips, ideas and suggestions with Our Kids.

When should you start?

According to Jackie, a common question is what type of work should be included in the portfolio. Many students don’t want to use their current pieces, which may be outdated or don’t highlight their growing potential.

However, it’s also important not to leave the creation of all your pieces to the last minute. Jackie suggests creating your portfolio over the length of a year, saying, “the traditional grade 11 year is the best time to start.”

How do you get started?

What will be the sources of your work? How can you get new experiences in the art field you’re interested in?

Understand application requirements

If you’re applying to more than one school then keep in mind that each portfolio you submit will be different. Each school will have different portfolio requirements, including:

Because each school has different requirements, it is very importance to know the specifications for each and every school you plan to apply to.

But is there anything all schools will be looking for, anything similar? According to Jackie all Universities and Colleges are looking for three things in the portfolio:

Because each school is different, it’s important to stick to the guidelines each school gives you.

Portfolio Checklist:

A short checklist for students to remember when starting their portfolios for art programs:


In the spotlight:

Latest Articles

Sustainability, responsibility, and accessibility (in service of student success)  
(May 15, 2023)

Vancouver Island private schools  
Find the best private and independent schools on Vancouver Island (May 11, 2023)

Sudbury private schools  
Find the top independent schools in Sudbury here (February 22, 2023)

Fredericton private schools  
Find the top independent schools in Fredericton here (February 22, 2023)

Preparing for the future  
Learn about your U.S. college and university choices (February 21, 2023)


By logging in or creating an account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by or its associated websites. By using this website, creating or logging into an Our Kids account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Please also see our Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2023 All right reserved.