Schedule a Portfolio Review Today

We love getting to know you through your artwork, and hearing you talk about it too.

Our Admissions Counselors are happy to look at your portfolio and discuss it with you prior to submitting it for admission and scholarship consideration. Our goal is to provide you with valuable feedback to assist with the development and preparation of your portfolio. This is not an official evaluation of your portfolio, just a preliminary review and conversation. 

We are here to provide feedback about your portfolio and also assist you with any questions about Lesley, our programs, the application process, and next steps. 

When we review your portfolio, we’re evaluating:

  • Your ability to communicate your ideas visually
  • Your innovation
  • How you use materials
  • Your understanding of art and design concepts  
  • Quality and organization of the work


Schedule time with one of our BFA admissions counselors for your portfolio review. 

A person with short light hair and glasses in front of greenery

Mike McCarthy, Associate Director of Admissions

Area of focus: First-year students

Regions: Massachusetts (Fitchburg & North Worcester County), New York (Upstate), Alaska, Hawaii, Midwest, Southeast, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest regions.

“My favorite aspect of working at Lesley is the students.”

Email Mike:; Call or text Mike: 617.431.1284

Schedule a time to connect with Mike.

erik gullard undergraduate admissions

Erik Gullard, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

Area of focus: All transfer applicants and degree completion applicants (LCAL on campus programs and Community College partnerships).

“Lesley offers students the opportunity to explore and I love when students have their ‘aha’ moment and realize their passion.”

Email Erik:; Call or text Erik: 617.326.5217

Schedule a time to connect with Erik


Rocky Cotard, Assistant Director of Admissions and Urban Scholars Initiative Specialist

Area of focus at Lesley: First-year students

Regions: Massachusetts (Milton, Lexington, Waltham and Metro Boston) and Urban Scholar’s Initiative applicants

"I think Lesley is an opportune place for students seeking to engage with the world critically on a social level, artistic level, and scholarly level."

Email Rocky:; Call or Text Rocky: 617.553.9251

Schedule a time to connect with Rocky.

Art & Design Programs

Tips for putting together a strong portfolio

  • Conceptual Skills

    Conceptual work is all about your ideas. It reflects your own thinking and interests. Most of your portfolio (6–8 pieces) should be conceptual. Include work in your portfolio that explores a subject, theme, or vision.

  • Technical Skills

    We also want to see your understanding of art and design basics—color, line, value, space, composition, perspective, and proportion.

    Part of your portfolio (4–6 pieces) should be observational work that highlights your ability to draw, paint, and create from what you see in real life. Some of examples of observational work: self-portraits, still-life drawings, landscapes, interiors, figure drawings.

  • Quality and Organization

    How you present your artwork is nearly as important as the work you choose to include.

    • Include your best work only.
    • The images don’t have to be professionally photographed, but pay attention to their quality.
    • The artwork should fill the picture plane. No matting or framing.
    • Make a great first impression and finish with a piece that creates a lasting impact. Think about the relationship of one piece to the next.
    • Arrange the pieces in a sequence that highlights your potential and tells your story as a developing artist.
    • Consider a unifying element—artistic style, subject matter, or media—to establish the portfolio as a cohesive body of work.
  • Types of Work

    Here are the types of work you could include in your portfolio. This applies to all campus-based BFA programs and the 3 art and design certificate programs:

    • Independent work that you did on your own, not part of a school assignment.
    • Work that is sequential or in a series.
    • A few sketchbook pages (but don’t fill your portfolio with these).
    • A few classroom assignment pieces, if they reflect who you are as an artist or designer, show your process, and relate to finished portfolio pieces. (But don’t fill your portfolio with these either.)