Does University Of Oregon Require A Architecture Portfolio

Most higher education institutions require an architecture portfolio before they will grant admission to study in the field. So, does University of Oregon require an architecture portfolio? The answer is yes, the University of Oregon requires prospective architecture students to present an architecture portfolio.

The University of Oregon (UO) takes pride in being one of the few universities in the US to provide a comprehensive teaching experience for architecture students. Its accredited 5-year professional degree program provides students with the essential foundation for a career in architecture. Their program encourages creativity and innovation in the practice of architecture, as it is composed of three distinct pillars; design, technology and practice.

Having a portfolio for responding to their requirements is crucial for prospective students. It provides a comprehensive overview of their design capabilities, and the quality of their portfolios reflects their knowledge and skills as an architecture student. UO applicants must provide a portfolio that showcases their best works and presents a clear description of their design approach. The portfolio should be composed of drawings and images that highlight the diversity of their design practice.

Many students are accustomed to submitting project assignments in digital programs, such as SketchUp, Revit and AutoCAD. However, when it comes to the architecture portfolio, UO requires that all works be drawn or painted by hand or printed in black and white. This requirement is to ensure that the submitted portfolios are not computer-generated, but genuinely speak to the student’s skill as an architect. Additionally, UO requests 2-D works that showcase the student’s ability to explore form and shadow through careful application of color and line.

In addition to the architecture portfolio itself, UO recommends that applicants include a written statement of intent. This document should explain the student’s interest in architecture, their design ideas and the career path they hope to pursue in the future. The written statement should be composed in a professional manner and should be of no less than 250 words.

For those who have been actively involved in architecture, UO also requests that applicants present a professional resume in addition to the portfolio and written statement. This will provide the admissions board with a full picture of the applicant’s past experiences and any relevant awards or recognitions. It will also prove that the student has a working knowledge of the digital software programs that are integral to the architecture profession.

Evaluating The Portfolio

When selecting applicants from the pool of architecture portfolios, UO’s admission board evaluates them based on two main criteria: Creativity and Technical Competence. The Creativity criterion assesses the student’s ability to think beyond the scope of traditional architectural practice. This involves an assessment of the portfolio’s range of subject matter, the individual’s use of materials and the overall composition of the works.

The Technical Competence criterion evaluates the student’s understanding of architecture and construction technology, as well as their ability to use computer-aided design programs. UO assessors examine the portfolio’s drawings and images to determine whether the student possesses the skills necessary to become an architecture student. Patience and precision are key in this criterion, as the portfolio should be neat and organized in its presentation.

The admission board is also assessing the portfolio for its ability to tell a story. This includes the student’s ability to convey their design ideas and their architectural merits through the works. While each portfolio will be evaluated differently, UO looks for those that demonstrate excellent design practices and a clear understanding of architecture.


Overall, the University of Oregon’s requirements for an architecture portfolio are designed to ensure that prospective students possess the necessary knowledge, experience and skill to become an architecture student. While the admission board evaluates portfolio submissions for their creativity and technical competence, they also looks for those that demonstrate excellent design practices and a clear understanding of architecture. These are just a few of the requirements that the University of Oregon requires for both the architecture portfolio and the written statement of intent.

Preparing The Portfolio

As with any major decision-making process, preparing an architecture portfolio takes time. Many students choose to take an architecture class or become involved in extracurricular activities as an introduction to the field, as these are often the best ways to prepare for the demands of the architecture program. Additionally, students should look to professional critique services, such as Architecture Review, which provide feedback on the portfolio before submission.

Prospective students should also look to AIA and the American Institute of Architecture Students for further guidance on portfolio preparation and presentation. These resources, alongside the University of Oregon’s architecture program guidelines, will help guide a student’s portfolio development and ensure all requirements are met. Overall, having a portfolio that meets the quality and technical standards of UO is essential for acceptance into their program.

Physical Submissions

While most applicants will submit their portfolios online, UO also accepts physical submissions. Using cardboard and poster board, applicants can present their works in a professional manner. The portfolio should be carefully organized, with all works presented in the same size and format. Also, students should make sure that the envelope containing their portfolio is sealed and labeled with their name, address, and phone number.

To ensure the safety of their work, applicants should also include a list of the portfolio’s components, along with instructions on how to assemble the works. This will help the admission committee quickly understand what they are looking at, as well as make it easier to put the works back together. Also, including any awards, criticisms, or special accomplishments can also help the student’s cause.

A Portfolio Showcase

After the submission of the portfolio, UO holds an annual showcase for applicants to present their work. This is an excellent opportunity for the applicants to make a direct impression on the university’s faculty and admissions committee. During this event, applicants should make sure to keep any speeches concise and professional. Additionally, they should also be prepared to answer questions about their work, as the faculty may have many inquiries.

In conclusion, the University of Oregon requires a portfolio submission from prospective students interested in their architecture program. It is essential for applicants to understand UO’s requirements in order to present their best work and be accepted into their program. Additionally, the portfolio must meet the criteria for creativity, technical competence and storytelling.

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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