The Digital Design Evaluation Process

A committee of Digital Design faculty members will review each application. The decision for admission into the Digital Design program is based on the portfolio, writing sample, performance on the Design Project, grades and GPA (for transfer students). For acceptance, the committee looks for a high level of skill and sophistication in studio, written and presentation skills. Outcomes of the portfolio review are final. Final Evaluation Scores are not subject to an appeal.

Portfolios are judged from a holistic perspective considering the range of work across the curriculum and work that demonstrates knowledge of contemporary design. The department acknowledges that Freshman and Sophomore work is not going to exhibit the same knowledge and skills found in professional design. However, for the sake of providing a realistic assessment of design work to-date, the bar for the Portfolio Review is intentionally set high.

If not admitted into the Digital Design program, a student has the choice of attempting the review process again the following year or selecting another program. Students not admitted into the Digital Design program are encouraged to schedule a meeting with a Digital Design faculty member to improve portfolios for future admissions.


  • Portfolios are evaluated based on organization, craft, quality, creativity of ideas, composition skills, concepts and consistency. Additional evaluation is based on the applicants writing sample and overall fine arts performance to date.
  • Faculty will use the rubric for evaluation and portfolio entries are given scores of: 1·Unacceptable, 2·Good, 3·Strong, 4·Advanced, 5·Excellent.


  • Process Research and Analysis – Does the portfolio demonstrate an ability to compile relevant information by identifying resources necessary to formulate a deeper understanding of context(s)?
  • Design Principles – Does the portfolio demonstrate awareness of design principles and show skills in technical production and successful color experimentation?
  • Visual Literacy – Does the portfolio reflect sensitivity to design concepts and visual logic, and does it demonstrate fundamental composition understanding? Does the work communicate effectively?
  • Use of Imagery – Does the portfolio demonstrate a student’s potential ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems?
  • Expressive Typography – Does the portfolio demonstrate a burgeoning awareness of how to use risk-taking while employing typographic solutions to design problems?
  • Generating and Selecting Ideas – Does the portfolio demonstrate a student’s ability to generate multiple alternative solutions to artistic problems and utilize process to select the best ideas?
  • Technical Skill– Does the portfolio reflect a strong knowledge of tools and materials and a strong aptitude for digital design skills?
  • Conceptual Skills– Does the portfolio and written statement demonstrate analytical thinking as it applies to visual art and design? Is there a developing conceptual exploration of the digital medium?
  • Written Sample – Does the writing demonstrate a student’s critical thinking skills regarding their work and ability to address an assignment in a notable way.
  • Presentation – Is the portfolio well crafted and well organized in content and presentation? Are all of the required components included?