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Columbia College Chicago
Art and Design Department
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Art and Design Department

Review of Transfer Courses Toward a Major

Who evaluates Art and Design Department transfer courses?

Approved Art and Design faculty are responsible for Art and Design transfer course equivalency, substitution, or waiver decisions. The Associate Chair of the department is the arbiter in the case of a dispute.


Courses that do not need portfolio review:

If you have successfully completed, at another institution, equivalent foundation level arts courses for these Columbia College Chicago courses you do not need a portfolio review.   For courses whose content may be equivalent to our foundation level courses but whose course name is different, the department may request that the student provide a course description or syllabus for the course in question.


  • Fundamentals of 2-D Design
  • Fundamentals of 3-D Design
  • Drawing I
  • History of Art I
  • History of Art II

An online exam is the first of a two-step review for Foundations of Photography I. In this exam, students will be required to show that they understand basic photographic concepts such as camera functions, exposure values and control, composition, and digital files.  If a student obtains a score on the exam that indicates an understanding of these concepts, the student will be provided with a link to upload a digital portfolio.  Photography faculty members will then review the student's portfolio and the student will receive feedback within 14 business days. 

The portfolio should consist of 15 digital files (a mix of black & white and color), which exhibit a good contrast range, a full tonal range for black & white images, and accurate color. Files should be jpegs at 100dpi that are at least 1500 pixels on the longer side.

Images should demonstrate:

  • An understanding of basic camera controls including shutter speed / time & aperture / depth of field.
  • A basic understanding of the usage of light and space in their images.
  • A basic understanding of framing and composition.
  • A portion of the images should portray a cohesive theme or idea.

The photography department will email students with photography transfer courses the link to the online exam.  If you are a transfer student with photography courses and have not been emailed the exam, please contact Jenn Jones at jennjones@colum.edu


Courses that require portfolio review:

All other art courses require a portfolio review before they will be applied towards the major. 


Note: In order to ensure the proper placement of transfer students, the Art and Design Department does not guarantee the equivalence of any other Art and Design course. Both an interview and a portfolio review with an Art and Design faculty advisor are required to determine whether or not other Art and Design transfer courses will be accepted as equivalent, substitute or waived courses.  Transfer courses not applied towards the major will remain as College Wide Electives.


In addition, we are unable to articulate transfer credits into the major until a student has been accepted by Columbia College Chicago and their transfer credits have been evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation.



Alexis Kowalsky

Academic Program Coordinator

623 S. Wabash Ave., #721




Students are asked to bring:

  • Transcripts
  • Course description or course syllabus
  • Portfolio of course artwork (either digital or traditional)



  • Courses not requiring a portfolio review will be articulated into the major upon evaluation by the Office of Degree Evaluation and noted on the Transfer Evaluation Report.
  •  All courses that require a portfolio review will be articulated at New Student Orientation. By the end of the portfolio review session you will know what courses will be submitted for an equivalency, substitution, or waiver. Course evaluations will be reflected in your Oasis Advising Guide within 10 days.


What will the student receive?


Within a week of the receipt of the online Equivalency, Waiver, Substitution from the department the Office of Degree Evaluation will issue a new or revised Transfer Evaluation Report to the student.



Please contact the Office of Degree Evaluation

Susan Sindlinger





Revised 6/13