Art and Design Student Interim Review: May 8-9, 2023

Students at the end of their sophomore year, or transfers completing their first year at Cal Poly (with some exceptions), are requested by the department to participate in an interim review. At the interim review students present a body of work in front of a faculty panel. The faculty welcome this opportunity to evaluate students’ work outside of the classroom environment and offer suggestions where relevant to enhance one’s skills and conceptual thinking. Because the department offers a BFA in Art and Design, faculty on the panel may be from outside of your concentration, looking at ways students at the mid-point of their curriculum cycle are striving to achieve both common and specific bodies of knowledge and skills.

The interim review is also a stepping stone in preparation for the senior portfolio. In addition, the interim review gives the department a chance to see if our students are meeting the Program Learning Objectives designated for the curriculum and to consider any potential modifications. It is important to note that, although required, this interim review does not show up on students’ transcript, but is designed to assess and assist students at the mid-point of their art and design coursework.

Evaluating Student Work at the Interim Review

While keeping in mind that students are half way through the curriculum and have more to learn at this stage, the faculty will review your work according to high standards—the standards for a graduating senior creating their portfolio for the BFA. The categories on the Evaluation Form include: conceptual development, formal development, technical proficiency, verbal presentation, and overall body of work.

Please note that the Evaluation Form is not shared with the registrar’s office. The first part of the evaluation form is for the department’s internal assessment only and is kept confidential. Students will receive constructive feedback and suggestions in the form of written comments after the review, which will capture and reinforce some the discussion between students and faculty. 

Because the faculty fully recognizes that most students are still developing skills and concepts at this interim stage, our goal is to offer constructive advice in order for students to achieve their highest potential and take advantage of the opportunities that Cal Poly has to offer. In fact, the evaluation form is the same used for ART 463: Senior Portfolio Project, when both faculty and alumni in the student’s respective concentration have the opportunity to review student portfolios. This is one way that we track student progress throughout their lower and upper division curriculum, with the aim of realizing the Program Learning Objectives for the BFA by graduation. 


You will be assigned a room and a committee of reviewers comprised of faculty from different areas. On the day of your review, please arrive at least five minutes prior to your scheduled time. You will have a few minutes to set up your presentation and distribute any other supplemental materials (refer to the different area guidelines for requirements).The faculty will then provide you with feedback on your work. The entire review, including set up time, will last 25 minutes. Bring your laptop with your presentation file open and ready to go.  


Please take into consideration the projector resolution and how it will affect the size of images and text when viewed by the audience. Please review our Projector use help page for information about using department projectors. 


About one week prior to the review, please sign up for one 30-minute time slot.


Preparation for the Interim Review is introduced in ART 260: Art Critique, Discourse, and Practice, with the students being mindful of the assessment categories on the Evaluation Form. Specific guidelines and materials to bring to the review depend on your concentration:

Graphic Design Presentation Guidelines

Presenting your Portfolio

Before you begin your presentation, hand out copies of your bio. Then introduce yourself, and present your work by briefly describing each project. You should focus on concepts, design decisions, and creative process. Show enthusiasm and professionalism.

Presentation Requirements

You may present up to 8 projects, although projects can have multiple components. The majority of your work should be projects created for classes in the Department of Art and Design—especially from your core Graphic Design classes: Graphic Design I, Typography I, and Interaction Design I. Up to three of your 8 projects may be work created outside of class—during an internship, for a client, or personal/experimental work. Show your strongest work. Include images of your design process for each project and label each project clearly. Process can include, but is not limited to: rough concept sketches, tight sketches, digital roughs/variations, and images that show the progression/development of a visual concept

For transfer students who may not have taken the above mentioned core Graphic Design classes, you should show work you have done for other department classes, and/or pieces you created to receive credit for those classes


Make sure to put your name at the top and bring four hard copies to the review. You may include up to three images on your bio page. Your bio should address the following:

  • Brief background information
  • What interests you and/or what you are passionate about
  • Your career aspirations and/or what topics would you like to pursue in greater depth


  • File size: 1920 px wide × 1080 px high
  • File name: 260-last name-portfolioslides.pdf
  • All projects should be clearly labeled.
  • All text must meet accessibility guidelines for contrast ratios:
    • 3:1 minimum contrast for large scale text (18 pt regular or 14 pt bold, or larger) under WCAG 2.0 1.4.3 (Level AA)
    • 4.5:1 minimum contrast for regular sized text (17 pt and below, regular weight) under WCAG 2.0 1.4.3 (Level AA)

Size images according to the pixel size of your document. Bring an adapter for the projector if you have one. Test your slide presentation in advance for any legibility and/or technical issues.

Photography and Video Presentation Guidelines

Presenting your Portfolio

Once you set up your work, you should introduce yourself and talk briefly about your professional goals and interests.

Presentation Requirements

Bring in the body of work that you put together in ART 260 and any additional projects you might have created that are representative of your work. Your work must be in a presentation format such as PDF, Powerpoint, or Keynote. Do not assume that you will have internet access for your presentation.

You will be asked to answer the following questions: 

  1. How would you describe yourself as a photographer/filmmaker and what are your long-term goals in terms of photography/video?
  2. Choose a project in which you developed a concept in depth and explain how it is evident in this body of work. Briefly explain your process from initial concept to final result. Describe this in terms of concept rather than technical process.
  3. What are photographers/filmmakers that you are looking at in relation to your work? In your presentation, clearly demonstrate how you are influenced by the photographers/filmmakers that inspire you. Be sure to include examples of their work and how it relates to your own photographic style.
  4. Choose a photograph/video of your own that reflects the direction that you would like to focus on. Explain what excites you about the piece and describe how you would like to explore it further.

Personal Statement (bring 4 copies)

Your personal statement should be no more than one page. It should provide some details about your interests within and beyond the field of photography/video, as well as your professional goals. 

Studio Art Presentation Guidelines 

Presenting your Portfolio 

You will develop your digital presentation and bio, and complete a practice presentation in Art 260. On the day of the review, bring your laptop with your presentation saved in a presentation format (PowerPoint, Keynote). Do not rely on the internet for your presentation. Presenter mode may be unavailable when you project your slideshow. 

Once your presentation is set up, introduce yourself and briefly summarize your artist bio. Present your work by describing each project, focusing on your concept, ideation process, influences, and formal decisions. The faculty will then ask questions and provide feedback on your work and progress.  

Presentation Guidelines 

Your interim review presentation should include a digital slide presentation of your work, an artist bio (no more than one page, bring four hard copies to give reviewers), and any other supplemental materials that you wish to include (this may include a physical work sample or two to exhibit alongside your digital presentation, a handout, a sketchbook, etc.). 

Your digital presentation should include:  

  • A body of work that demonstrates your current personal investigation (at least four and no more than eight works). Please focus on your most recent and advanced work. Be sure to label each slide with title, date, media, and dimensions. The image of your work should take up the majority of the slide, the bigger it is, the easier it is to see when projected. Use high resolution images that are well cropped, color corrected, with a solid background if there is a background. For 3D pieces it is helpful to include a slow 360-degree video of the piece.  For time-based pieces, it is helpful to include video clips. Video clips should not exceed 3 minutes total for all clips in the presentation. 
  • Research, sketches, concept drawing, compositional plans and/or other materials that demonstrate your process. 
  • Two or more examples of artists who you are influenced by and their work (at least two works from artists living and working today). 
  • One or more examples of theorists/critics/authors whose writing informs your work. 

Your artist bio should address the following: 

  • A brief explanation of your work and how it was developed (you could include reference to artists and theorists that you are looking at here). Describe the process from the original concept to the finished work. 
  • A description of the formal qualities of the work. How do your formal choices support the content? Please refer to the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity) when appropriate.  
  • What are your plans for the future? This can include career and personal aspirations and/or what topics you would like to pursue in greater depth.


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