An email from the CSUF Department of Visual Arts was sent out on Sept. 1 notifying students and faculty that they’ve changed the requirement for applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs to a portfolio review.
“Acceptance to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Entertainment Art/Animation and Illustration is by portfolio review only and is for currently accepted and enrolled art majors who demonstrate excellence in technical and creative abilities, originality, and academics,” according to the email.
Students who were enrolled beginning fall 2017 will be affected by the changes. Titans who wish to apply must meet the criteria which includes completion of several major courses with a 3.0 gpa or better, a 600 word essay, and a portfolio of 10-12 examples of original art work. Students also must finish at least 30 units and not exceed the limit of 96 units towards their degree to apply to the BFA.
DeMarco Crews, a sixth-year entertainment art/animation major, said that the change could have been made for several reasons, one being a lot of students having difficulty getting into some of their classes.
Andy Fedak, an assistant professor in entertainment art/animation, said the changes will help professors teach the otherwise highly impacted classes. The art department has grown dramatically in the last five years, said Fedak.
“It’s one of the biggest programs, if not the biggest program in the arts. We’re just swamped with students. By adding a portfolio review, it’s going to help us make sure we have the level of quality that we need for the classes, while also being able to run (the amount of) the classes that we need to do,” Fedak said.
The new requirements will have students following concentration requirements and now applying online through the campus portal. In the past students only had to follow their Titan Degree Audit (TDA) and speak with their adviser.
Tenured animation faculty make the approvals on the portfolios. Students are allowed to apply twice, and must submit their second portfolio review within two semesters of their first. Those who do not pass the second review are not admitted into the program.
“It’ll push students to work harder and for the people that don’t work as hard or maybe that aren’t that committed to animation in the first place or illustration, it’ll sort of leave them out,” Crews said.
It’s necessary for students to undergo a portfolio review in order to major as a fine arts student, said Lindsey Dobrowolski, a third-year art major and transfer student.
“I think it’s important to have a portfolio review, for some people to have a baseline and foundations before they go into the more advanced programs,” Dobrowolski said.
Students are encouraged to contact the Department of Visual Arts or to schedule an appointment with their adviser for more information.
Dobrowski said she wanted more information about the program and more transparency about how it works.
“We don’t want students to be upset or afraid. We definitely want to talk to them and make sure they’re okay with their portfolio,” Fedak said.