All prospective Product Design and Innovation Program students must first apply to Western Michigan University through the Office of Admissions. If you have questions about how to apply online, please call (269) 387-2000.
Applicants must also apply to the program directly through Slideroom. This secondary application includes a statement of intent, digital portfolio and a recommendation. More information on each of these application components can be found below. Slideroom charges a $10 fee at the time of a completed applicant’s submission. The product design program is not yet authorized to accept international applicants.
Prospective students interested in majoring in product design must submit their application and portfolio no later than February 1.
Statement of intent
The purpose of the statement of intent is to give us a sense of your creative aspirations, ideas and goals. Statements of intent can be powerful narratives that convey a strong sense of who you are as a creative individual – they can be humorous, poignant, startling and inventive. Slideroom will limit your statement to 2,000 characters. Be specific and clear when crafting your statement. Keep your statement in the present tense. Avoid using generalities and clichés ("I’ve always been an artist” or “My work is about my emotions.”) Use spell check and ask someone you trust to proofread it.
The following questions may help as you construct your statement:
- Why have you chosen the Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University for your undergraduate education?
- What is your work about? Are there particular themes you are exploring?
- Of the work you have submitted, which are you most proud of and why?
- What are your creative goals?
- What are your interests as an artist? Are there materials or processes that especially engage you?
- What or who has influenced you the most and how?
- What artists or art movements are you interested in?
- What have you read or what websites have you visited recently that have influenced your thinking about art? How?
The portfolio is an essential piece of how we get to know you as an artist and evaluate your skills and talent. A complete portfolio includes 8-10 original (not copied) works created within the last 2 years. Your portfolio should showcase your artistic strengths and abilities. The pieces in your portfolio can be assignments from art classes. We strongly encourage you to include pieces that reflect your individual ideas, talents and inspirations.
Portfolios should include the following
- 1+ example of direct observation drawing:
- Subject matter should be recognizable.
- Can include traditional or non-traditional materials.
- Demonstrate understanding of proportions.
- 1+ example at 2-dimensional artwork:
- Can include printmedia, painting, experimental drawing, design or collage (not photography).
- 4-6 examples of strongest artwork:
- Can include drawing, painting, printmedia, graphic design, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, video, performance art or any other form of visual art that you have created.
A recommendation form is a required piece of the application process that should be completed by a person who is familiar with your artistic abilities (e.g., an art instructor, counselor or teacher). The recommendation form is sent through Slideroom to the person of your choosing’s email.