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Selection Process | Portfolio Review & Interview

Portfolio Samples

The Interior Design program is a selective entry program. We select 20 students each year for the first year of our degree program. In order to be considered for entry, you must first apply to the Interior Design program and meet KPU's minimum admission requirements. Once you meet KPU's admission requirements and the program admission requirements, you will be invited to the next stage of the selection process, which is the Interview and Portfolio Review. Interviews and portfolio reviews are held in late April or early May of each calendar year. Below you will find helpful tips and the five criteria by which your portfolio will be assessed.  

Interview and Portfolio Review

The Interior Design Program is not prescriptive in the way we ask applicants to submit their portfolio. There is no set size, format or number of pieces you are asked to submit. Some applicants choose to spread their work out while others like to use a portfolio and still others choose a digital format. We only ask that you review all of the criteria listed below and respond to all five of these criteria when preparing your portfolio materials. You will want to consider and choose your pieces carefully as each criteria is evaluated during the interview and portfolio review. The better you understand and respond to the criteria, the greater the likelihood of your admission to the program.
We want you to think of the portfolio as a way to express yourself. You want your portfolio to show your willingness to experiment with design, art materials, and various mediums. Your portfolio should be able to stand on its own without your explanation as it will be reviewed by instructors without you present. You want to be sure you organize your pieces effectively. In terms of content, here is the list of criteria we use to assess your portfolio:

Process & Methods

Designers need to be creative, flexible, and able to problem-solve. We are looking for your ability to define a problem and show a solution. You may think about a problem you had at work or school or perhaps a project you planned or created. Show us the problem and how you came up with the solution. Show us your research and methodology.
We also want to see examples of creativity - not something simply reproduced from a photo, magazine, etc. Are you curious? Can you think creatively? We want to see examples of innovative, original, or detailed work. Show us your creativity and thought process. 

Visual Literacy

An eye for design is important as is your ability to draw. You want to show us examples of your drawing and three-dimensional skills. You may want to include sketches, paintings, prints, photographs, drafting, model-making, pottery, furniture making, jewellery design, etc. 
We are looking for:
  • Visual expression, accuracy, precision, and realism.
  • Understanding of drafting, orthographics, and spatial relationships. 
  • Demonstration of visual composition and communication skills.
  • Evidence of 2D and 3D exploration.
  • Evidence of attention to detail and quality.

Production Skills

Designers use digital technology to research, record, design, draw, and market their services. Show us your software knowledge by providing examples of word processing, photo manipulation, document layout, scanning, computer drafting, or anything else that shows your computer skills.  Designers must also show a high level of attention to detail. We want to see your level of 'craft' and how well you assemble your work. Show us you pay attention to the details.

Communication Skills

Designers require strong oral and written communication skills to effectively present their ideas, communicate with various professional consultants on a project, and be articulate on matters of technical knowledge and business. We will be looking for your ability to speak comfortably and clearly in front of others as well as your ability to write clearly and effectively.
Show us the following:
  • Photocopies of transcripts or credentials.
  • Sample of your writing in the form of an academic paper.
  • Awareness of Interior Design as a "profession". Please ensure you interview a registered interior designer and become familiar with at least one of their projects. Please submit a written paper outlining this interview and experience (500 words max.).
  • Your resume and completed questionnaire (this is provided to you by Admissions once you meet the criteria).

Life Skills

Life skills are an ability to problem-solve, be self-aware, and think critically. The Interior Design program is an intensive program that requires strong time management skills, teamwork, and organizational skills. Professional Interior Designers work in teams and as well as independently. Successful Interior Designers generally have excellent personal management skills, a high level of commitment,  passion for their profession, and excellent time management.
As part of your portfolio package, please provide:
  • Three (3) letters of reference (employer, volunteer manager, instructor, family friend, etc.)
  • Tell us what you think we should know about you and include a description of your time management skills, teamwork skills, volunteer experience, work history, organizational skills, etc. (500 words max.).


The list above should help direct your selection of pieces and written materials. You may not have everything on the list but try to include as much as possible.