Students gain significant experience by preparing and presenting their Sophomore Review Portfolio in anticipation of upper-level study and professional practice.

Portfolios are the primary tool used in the communication design profession and designers are expected to communicate effectively visually, orally, and in writing. Students will receive feedback on their overall body of work based on the evaluation criteria found within this document.

Evaluation Criteria

Design Principles
Skillful use of principles—hierarchy, contrast, rhythm, tension, framing, abstraction, similarity, proximity, continuation, balance, and figure-ground.

Design Concepts
Creative thinking. Concepts communicate the idea effectively.
Concepts/ideas are unique and show risk-taking. Transformation of information into meaningful messages

Design Process + Research
Uses a design process to develop ideas from conception to completion, exploring multiple solutions at every stage

Typography / Layout
Grids / Hierarchy / Type Choices. Working with text and text bodies, including structure, hierarchy, grid use, and technical formatting (kerning, leading, line wraps, etc.)

Ability to select and apply color palettes appropriate for the design problem with understanding of color theory and technical color execution.

Image Making & Storytelling
• The ability to select appropriate and unique imagery.
• The ability to make original imagery (photography, video, drawing, and illustration).
• The demonstration of risk-taking in image-making and use.

Use of design vocabulary. Critical analysis and insight. Formal writing skills In ALL reflections of project work.

Risk Taking & Originality
Imagination and originality are demonstrated in overall design execution. Something about copyright/attribution?

Digital Presentation
Use of a web platform to showcase portfolio quality of work. Is it displayed in an organized manner?

Pass / No Pass Evaluations

Scores (0-1.89): Portfolios receiving a score of below a 1.89 are not yet demonstrating the skills and proficiencies of a sophomore-level student. No fret; to support your growth, students will be advised to seek faculty guidance as they progress through their BFA career.  

  • 1 Developing

SCORES 2 OR GREATER: These portfolios demonstrate the critical skills and proficiencies necessary to perform successfully in upper-level BFA courses.

Students receiving Advanced as their evaluation in The Sophomore Review may have the opportunity to submit work to creative competitions in their field, early permission for upper-level courses, and/or advanced internship recognition.

  • (1.9-2.39) Sophomore-Level
  • (2.4 – 3.0) Advanced


All students are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words, or concepts as your own.

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades.

Students found to be in breach of the NYC College of Technology Academic Integrity Standards will not pass the review, and will not be given portfolio feedback.