Does Boston University Require An Architecture Portfolio

What Does Boston University Require For Architecture?

Many prospective students are wondering what Boston University’s requirements are for admission into the field of architecture. While the university does not require a photo portfolio, they do ask that interested students submit relevant material in three areas: architectural writing, design, and technology. Prospective students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of each area in the form of essays, drawings, projects, or models.
An architecture portfolio is not a requirement for admission for the University’s Architecture program, however it can certainly help as part of the admissions process. Many students choose to submit a portfolio to demonstrate their experience and design capabilities. By showcasing their work, portfolios can increase a student’s chances of gain admission and should be seen as a “supplemental” addition to the completion of their application.

Examples of Architecture Portfolios

Architecture portfolios for the purpose of admission to Boston University can include a variety of materials that demonstrate your capabilities in the field of architecture. Examples of portfolios usually include plans, models, photographs of constructed works, and sketches. It is important to remember that the portfolio should be tailored to the individual’s work and experiences. For example, a portfolio that only has high-concept models might not be as exemplary if the student has no experience in their construction.
It is also important to note that the quality of the architecture portfolio should reflect the student’s level of achievement and experience in the field of architecture. A portfolio that is filled with pictures of conceptual models and few architectural drawings, may not necessarily reflect the student’s actual knowledge and ability to design real structures. Depending on the individual case, it may even harm the overall impression of a potential student.

The Importance of Professional Presentation

The presentation of the architecture portfolio is also an important factor in demonstrating the student’s abilities. The portfolio should showcase the student’s ideas in an organized and professional way, and should include concise descriptions of each project or piece displayed. Many schools have specific instructions that the student must follow in regards to the presentation of their portfolio, so it is important to read those instructions carefully.

How to Prepare an Architecture Portfolio

When preparing an Architecture portfolio, it is important to first decide on the direction of the project and take inventory of the items that should be included. It is also important to remember that the quality of the portfolio is paramount: it should showcase the student’s experience and skills, and demonstrate why they should be chosen for admission. There are many books and online resources available to help students understand what should be included in the portfolio.
Once the student has decided on what work to include in their portfolio, they should then create supporting documents to explain the work in detail. This will help to explain any design decisions that were made and why they were made that way, as well as show how the student thinks critically. The portfolio should also include a cover page that briefly introduces the student’s submitted work and explains their goals as an architecture student.

Creating an Effective Story

An important part of the architecture portfolio is to create an effective story. It is important to describe how the work is organized into sections and how it demonstrates progress over time. For example, a student might decide to focus on their experience and growth over their academic years, and include a portfolio that shows their work from the courses they have taken.
This will help to show the admissions board how the student has grown as a designer and architect over the course of their studies. Additionally, the portfolio should include the student’s objectives and reasons for studying architecture, as well as explain the type of design philosophy that guides the student’s work.

Engaging the Reader

Regardless of level of experience, engaging the reader is of paramount importance when composing an architecture portfolio for Boston University. It’s essential to include eye-catching images that quickly draw the reader in and keep them interested. Professional photography and illustrations are vital components of an architecture portfolio, as they help to make the projects stand out. Additionally, an organized layout is key, as it helps the reader navigate the portfolio more easily.

Analyzing Your Work

When putting together an architecture portfolio, it is also important to analyze the work that is included. The student should review their own work and ask questions like, “Is this the strongest piece of work I’ve produced?” and “What type of question can someone ask me about this?” The purpose of this analysis is to ensure that students are including their best work in their portfolio and to ensure that they are able to answer questions that the admissions board may have.

Incorporating Feedback

Getting feedback from a professor or mentor is a great way to see a project from an experienced and unbiased perspective. Often times students get too close to their project and fail to see potential flaws that can make or break their portfolio. Feedback from an experienced academic can help students understand areas where they may have missed the mark and where they need to improve.


While Boston University does not require architecture portfolio for admissions, it can be a useful tool in helping the admissions process. To help achieve the best results, students should understand what the university is looking for and create a portfolio of their best work. Additionally, they should make sure to include a variety of material that showcases their experiences and capabilities. By carefully crafting and presenting their portfolio, students can give themselves the best chance of being accepted into the program.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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