Industrial Design Pre-major Admissions

Industrial Design

Pre-major Admissions: Entrance Portfolio

The Industrial Design program requires an entrance portfolio submission in order to declare as a pre-major in Industrial Design. Students apply to the Industrial Design program after acceptance to the university.  A portfolio is a collection of an applicant's best creative work, revealing the applicant's creative skills and presented as professionally as possible. This initial screening process helps to determine a candidate's potential for success within the program. In order to maintain academic program quality in relation to faculty, staff and facilities, the program limits the number of applicants admitted. The school reserves the right to be the sole judge of who shall be accepted into the program.  On average, the program accepts 24 pre-majors annually.  Historically, 80-110 students apply every year.  Portfolio tips, instructions, and examples are at the bottom of this page. 

Submission Deadlines

Portfolios will be reviewed by an Industrial Design committee three times per year; once per quarter. Students should submit their portfolio the quarter before they plan to start at WWU.  For example, for incoming Freshman their first opportunity to apply will be during spring quarter or the April deadline of their senior year in high school. Students who have not heard from WWU Admissions regarding university acceptance should still submit an Entrance Portfolio by the due date below. Please indicate on your ID application that you have applied and are waiting for a determination.

October 22 by midnight to begin winter quarter

January 22  by midnight to begin spring quarter 

April 6 by midnight to begin fall quarter

Three ID students sitting on a couch together
chair project
Students posing with Professor Aruns Oslapas

Entrance Portfolio Requirements and Tips

Portfolios must be a PDF file or a website.  The PDF file should be named with the applicant's last name at the start of the file name, such as "MorrisIDportfolio.pdf".  The PDF must be less than 16 MB in size.  Video, animation or other time-based materials may be sent on a flash drive or a linked web address.  A website URL should be listed on the ID application.

Each piece is to be clearly marked with the applicant's name, title of the project, medium (or software/materials) used, size, date of completion, and optionally, and a brief story behind the piece. In the case of professional or group projects, applicants should indicate their personal contributions/responsibilities. A maximum of twelve original pieces (or 18 total pages) are allowed. A piece may be allotted more than one page.

If applicants do not qualify for acceptance one quarter, they may reapply for a following quarter after improving the content of their portfolio.

An Entrance Portfolio is a collection of an applicant's best creative work, revealing the applicant's creative skills and presented as professionally as possible. Examples of previously accepted portfolios are in a link below.  Applicants are encouraged to include work from as many of the following areas as possible:

  • Sketching (examples of hand drawings that demonstrate an ability to draw or express ideas, and creative problem solving)
  • 2D design (examples of page layout, composition, color, etc. as demonstrated in an illustration, advertisement, website, painting, photography, or other 2-dimensional work)
  • 3D design (examples of form development, construction, and craftsmanship as demonstrated in a 3-dimensional piece such as a model, sculpture, structure, woodworking, clothing, jewelry, etc.)
  • Computer skills (examples of drawing/image editing software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or equivalent. Or examples of computer-aided drafting [CAD], Solidworks, Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Blender, etc.)
  • Do not include imitations of photographs or other artist's work.  Do not include any work that would be considered copyright infringement.

Show diversity in media, flat work, 3D, digital and analog.

Show creativity with original work

Display evidence of solid problem solving skills in projects

Exhibit strong sketching and drawings skills (command of perspective, line quality, composition)

Fine art work should be well crafted, photographed and composed.

Exhibit good sense of form development in 3D work (sculpture, furniture, ceramics, jewelry, fashion apparel...)

Show good use of color in 2D work

Use a simple and well-designed portfolio (graphic presentation and layout)

Use short descriptions of each piece

Take excellent photography or scanning of work (lighting, print quality, descriptive views)

Be selective about what you include. Get help from a design professional to edit and identify your best work.

Entrance Portfolio Examples

Take a look at the examples in the link below. These are examples of  previously accepted Entrance Portfolios.  These examples are an indication of the competitive level of the applicants.  It is strongly recommended to have at least one example from each of the four categories of content in the portfolio.  Strength in one or more area is common. 

Portfolio Examples (link)

Suggested Content Categories


sketching example

Computer Skills

computer skills

2D Design

2D skills

3D Design

3D skills