Pre-College Programs

Portfolio Prep

Summer Pre-College Studio for grades 9-11

Portfolio Prep is a two-week residential studio for current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Through integrative studio classes, students will gain firsthand knowledge about the college admission process and learn about the advantages of earning an art and design degree at a world-class university. Under the guidance of Stamps faculty and staff, students will focus on curating a competitive portfolio for their college application.

Students live on the historic U-M campus, make work in their own studio, and have access to state-of-the-art facilities. Our multi-disciplinary studio classes challenge participants to explore a range of techniques and media during the residency. Studio experiences will be enhanced through field trips to University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, and the Detroit Institute of Art.

Portfolio Prep students will gain a more sophisticated understanding of creative practice and develop a more diverse portfolio. To conclude the program, participants mount an exhibition of their work and host a reception for friends and family.


Portfolio Prep is an intensive residential program focused on portfolio development. This program combines the rigor of the first year undergraduate experience at Stamps with the expert guidance of the Stamps Admission team. Portfolio Prep students participate in four studio classes; Portfolio Studio, Drawing Studio, 3D Studio, and 4D Studio.

Portfolio Studio: a studio course that focuses on building a competitive portfolio for college admission. Coursework introduces students to effective visual communication techniques and is structured around exercises in photo documentation, preparing artist statements and written descriptions, portfolio curation and much more.

Drawing Studio: a studio course that introduces students to the fundamentals of drawing and visual thinking through the act of drawing. This class focuses on the practice of drawing as a core component of visual expression as well as a platform for artistic inquiry and communication.

3D Studio: a studio course that focuses on basic three-dimensional composition. Students gain technical skills and knowledge through a series of projects emphasizing the manipulation, organization and analysis of form and structure in space.

4D Studio: a studio course that focuses on developing the basic concepts, tools, vocabulary, and principles used by artists and designers in time-based creative practices. Students have an opportunity to develop technical and aesthetic skills as well as a critical understanding of work that utilizes time as an essential element, including studies in audio, video, and animation, as well as live installation or performance.

Our curriculum is further enhanced through:

  • Presentations on portfolio preparation and the college admissions process
  • Portfolio reviews with Stamps admissions team
  • Tours of Central and North Campus
  • Field trips to cultural institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Heidelberg Project, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and the Stamps Gallery
  • An exhibition of work produced during the program

Contact us with any questions about our Pre-College programs.