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  • Undergraduate Admission » Special Requirements

Some programs require supplemental materials such as portfolios and auditions, or specific preparatory courses for admittance. Prospective applicants should review program requirements outlined.

Candidates for the Elementary or Secondary Education Program:
While Roger Williams University is a test-optional institution, we recommend submitting your test scores since the Rhode Island Department of Education requires that applicants to the programs of Elementary and Secondary Education submit standardized test scores. The Rhode Island Department of Education requires a minimum SAT score of 1150 (minimum 530 critical reading and 530 math) or a minimum ACT math score of 20 and ACT reading score of 24. Students who do not meet these thresholds may be considered for admission as an undeclared education student until he/she attains the necessary scores.

In addition, applicants to the Secondary Education major must select one of the following additional majors within the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, English, Foreign Languages, History, and double major in Dance Performance Studies and Secondary Education.

All portfolio submissions should be sent to the following address:

Roger Williams University
Office of Undergraduate Admission
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI, 02809

Portfolios should all be original work from the applicant and have the following information attached:

  • Name in Full (First and Last)
  • Home Address

Candidates for the Architecture Program:
Architecture applicants must have completed a minimum of one year of geometry and two years of algebra in high school. Transfer students are encouraged to have successfully completed college-level calculus. Proficiency in trigonometry and physics is necessary for students to take required college-level courses in calculus and structural systems. Students who lack this proficiency are eligible to apply but must complete the necessary course work before taking calculus and structural systems. Courses taken at RWU in preparation for calculus and structural systems may not count toward degree requirements.

A portfolio of two- and three-dimensional work, showing evidence of creative ability, must be submitted by all applicants for admission. The portfolio (8-12 pieces of art work) should consist of a simple 8-1/2” x 11” folder containing the following: reproductions of original design projects, and reproductions of two- or three-dimensional work recently executed. This work may be reduced photo statically or may be photographed. Smaller pieces should be affixed to an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet. The portfolio becomes a permanent part of the candidate’s application and is not returned. Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic excellence and potential in areas relevant to the profession of architecture as demonstrated by the required materials submitted for admission. Portfolios may also be submitted on electronic media, preferably CD.

Candidates for Performing Arts Programs:
Candidates applying to these programs should demonstrate achievement and career potential in areas of dance or theatre. Dance Performance Studies applicants are required to audition for acceptance into the program. Applicants accepted into the Theatre program should be prepared to audition during the freshman year.

Candidates for the Graphic Design Communications Program:

A portfolio on CD or mailed slides or samples. Portfolio submissions must be 18-20 pieces. The portfolio submissions should include computer-generated graphic design work; logos, posters, publications, websites, etc. In certain situations other media may be considered.  Interview Optional.
10-15 pieces* including the following 3 assignments:
* (a series would be considered one piece and should be identified as such on separate information sheet)

  • Photographic Story – Use a familiar object (no people) that has meaning in your daily life, create a visual story – fictitious or realistic – with that object in 5 images (considered one entry).
  • Collage – Create a color collage from magazine clippings using a unique two-color scheme (should be created by hand not on the computer) Size: approximately 8” x 8”
  • Signage – If your home or personal room was a museum, what would it be called and what would the sign look like. No computer type or computer rendering.

The following are optional.
If necessary to meet the minimum requirement,  or if desired to broaden your portfolio, you may add two of these to your submission:

  • Visual Message – Create a distress/‘S.O.S.’ or ‘message in a bottle” letter. Using ONLY found type from magazines, newspapers, and/or other printed material such as menus or business cards as well as photographs of letters on a one-sided page. Size is up to you, mention the dimensions and rationale, if any, on the information sheet. No pictures.
  • Map your day – Using various mediums (not a computer) such as collage, pencil, ink, markers, pastels, watercolors, etc. create a visual map of your typical day.
  • Video – create a 20-60 second video that responds to the theme “Make/Think.”

The pieces included in your portfolio should be the best representation of you – how you think, how you solve problems, how you see the world, and how you visually compose. The work should be finished. Although there are no requirements as to media, it is recommended that work is diverse in nature and shows the breadth and depth of your experience and interests. If you do not have experience in one medium or another, then include the work that shows your strengths. Computer work is not necessarily the primary indicator of potential success in graphic design.
Method of submission
Digital files are the preferred format in either jpg or pdf on a CD. Good color copies will also be accepted but should be of high quality. Original material may be presented in a personal on-campus interview (contact department chair for an appointment).  A URL of your online portfolio would also be acceptable.
Supporting material
Include an informational sheet that outlines the basic information of each portfolio piece including but not limited to when it
was created and why, your concept or rationale, medium. You may also choose to include a brief statement on what you learned from creating the work and what would you do differently if you had the opportunity.

Candidates for the Creative Writing Program:
Applicants must provide the following:

  1. Short Story and/or (3) poems
  2. A 600-900 word statement that discusses how one book has influenced you as a writer.

Candidate for the Visual Arts Program:A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicant’s creative potential is required for all applicants for admission to the B.A. or BFA in Visual Art Studies program.

The intent of the portfolio requirement is to allow the school to begin to estimate your emerging potential at this earliest stage of your Arts education. Consistent with the mission of our program, Roger Williams University is interested in and celebrates the variety of expression that applicants demonstrate. Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, and we appreciate this variety as a basis for beginning the study of Visual Art at the college level.

Applicants must submit a portfolio of 10 to 20 recent artworks in photographic form with the admissions application.  Applicants may submit color prints, or digital reproductions on CD.  Digital Images need to be in a universally readable format such as JPG or PDF documents.  All work should be labeled with the applicant’s name, the size of the original and the Medium. Admission portfolios will not be returned.