Portfolio Plus Program

  • Studio Art concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
    Studio Art concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
  • Communication Design concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
    Communication Design concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
  • Fashion Design concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
    Fashion Design concentration. Photo by Joe Angeles.
  • Drawing studio.
    Drawing studio.
  • Closing exhibition, Steinberg Hall Gallery.
    Closing exhibition, Steinberg Hall Gallery.
  • Trip to the Kemper Art Museum. Photo by Whitney Curtis.
    Trip to the Kemper Art Museum. Photo by Whitney Curtis.

Check out the online exhibition of student work from the 2020 Portfolio Plus Program>>

Art & Design
3 weeks | July 12–August 1, 2020
3 college credits

The Architecture Discovery Program and Portfolio Plus Program are being offered remotely for summer 2020. Admitted students should visit the Pre-College Programs section of the Sam Fox School intranet for detailed information.

The Portfolio Plus Program invites high school students to take college-level art and design courses. You will spend your mornings learning the fundamentals of drawing and your afternoons pursuing a studio concentration of your choice: communication design, fashion design, or studio art. With guidance from Sam Fox School faculty, you will work throughout our intensive three-week program to develop strong portfolios for college admission. Studio work is rounded out by organized trips to museums, visits to artists' and designers' studios, and workshops.

This program is for rising juniors and seniors in high school. Upon successful completion, you'll earn 3 college credits.


Each weekday morning, you will take part in a Drawing course, where you will use a variety of wet and dry media to learn the fundamentals of line, composition, form, space, and modeling. Demonstrations and illustrated lectures supplement studio sessions, in addition to a trip to the Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

During the afternoon session, you will pursue your choice of one of three concentrations, which reflect the degree paths offered through the Sam Fox School's Bachelor of Fine Arts program:

Communication Design: Positioned at the intersection of graphic design, illustration, and interaction design, Communication Design will introduce you to visual problem solving using elements of two-dimensional design, such as visual hierarchy, composition, typography, color, and image making. The course explores both traditional and digital tools, with studio assignments supported by workshops aimed at developing computer skills.

Fashion Design: Fashion Design focuses on the relationship between clothing and contemporary culture. You'll begin by learning to conceptualize and illustrate your designs two-dimensionally. Sketches translate into wearable artworks, with a focus on construction, proportion, and form. Your work culminates in a final garment constructed from alternative materials.

Studio Art: Studio Art explores techniques and strategies for working across disciplines in visual art. With an emphasis on experimentation and thinking through making, the course will expand your base of technical skills and equip you with a greater understanding of how the interrelation of form, content, materials, and process give work its meaning.

In addition, the program includes a series of weekend workshops in the areas of printmaking, photography, and book-making, which provide opportunities to explore additional media and techniques.

Course work is also complemented by additional events and activities, including:

- Guest lectures by artists, designers, and curators.
- Artwork documentation workshop.
- Presentations on topics such as research, portfolio preparation, and the college admission process.
- Field trips to places such as the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Kemper Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Fashion Fund, Tremendousness, and local artists' and designers' studios.
- Design and installation of a final exhibition of work.


Faculty for the 2020 Portfolio Plus program include Jude Agboada, John Early, Dmitri Jackson, Amelia Jones, Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, and Linnea Ryshke. Get to know them and check out work their students have produced here>>

Tuition, Room, & Board

The estimated cost of the 2020 Portfolio Plus Program is $5,327. Estimated tuition includes room and board (3 meals per day), supplies, and field trips. An additional $100 should be budgeted as extra spending money for purchases such as snacks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. Upon acceptance to the program, a $250 non-refundable deposit will be required by June 1, 2020, to reserve your space in the program. If you withdraw from the program after classes begin, no portion of tuition will be refunded.

You will live in one of our modern residence houses on the WashU campus. Study rooms, kitchenettes, laundry facilities, floor lounges, and a computer lab are available. Program Assistants are current undergraduates or recent graduates who live in the residence houses, assist in your classes, chaperone field trips, and guide you through the program. With your meal plan, you get to enjoy a variety of food choices available across campus.


Applications for the 2020 Portfolio Plus Program are now closed.


Scholarship assistance has already been awarded for the summer 2020 program. No further scholarship is available at this time.


For more information about the Portfolio Plus Program or application process, please contact:

Rachel Youn
Admissions Counselor

Tom Reed
Senior Lecturer and Master Printer, Island Press