UC Berkeley Portfolio


Good Morning! 

I am applying to a bunch of M.Archs and I am ifinishing up my portfolios. Most fo them have a limit of 20-30 pages or no limit, except UC Berkeley which has a limit of only 12, thats so few. 

Does anyone have a portfolio that was succesfully admitted to UC berkeley? Or any advice would be welcome. Thats my top option so I want to do a good effort for that porfolio. Thanks!

Nov 29, 12 10:20 am

just take your 20-30 pages and save as spreads....then you have only 10-15 pages.

Plus it's Berkeley, they don't really care much about rules and having gone there I'm 99% sure no one is actually counting.

Nov 30, 12 3:50 pm  · 

Thanks, thats a smart thing to do, since they dont have any requirements on the page size or format. You saved me lots of work...

How was your experience there? you did an M.Arch?

Nov 30, 12 6:16 pm  · 

I don't know this firsthand, but my hunch is that since they have such an unusual, specific rule about the portfolio, and one which would significant impact your portfolio design, then a portfolio that ignored that rule would really stick out. Formatting your spreads as single pages without redesigning them for the new format would also make it seem like you didn't care, and they will notice it. I think the better option would be to cut out your less interesting projects, and if you are really serious about Berkeley then refine your layout so that the same content is expressed on fewer pages.

Nov 30, 12 9:41 pm  · 

I would hope that formatting spreads as single pages wouldn't necessitate a redesign of your portfolio. Even with a physical portfolio you should be designing each two page spread as a single composition. By formatting the document this way you aren't changing anything at all, just making the portfolio on the screen read more like a portfolio in real life. Look at issuu, you view those portfolio's as spreads; never as single plages.

Plus one could argue that you want to stick out, especially at a school like Berkeley that receives hundreds and hundreds of applications. If done properly I don't think it would be seen as sticking out but as intentionally breaking the rules to make a point, and anything to get you noticed in a non-tacky way is most likely a good thing. If I remember correctly one of my classmates' portfolios was a single page that was something like 12 or so feet long and you had to side scroll through the whole thing; he didn't seem to have any problems getting in.

Dec 1, 12 1:38 am  · 

you think having 16-18 pages instead will hurt me?


or i should do 5 12" x 72"


Dec 1, 12 2:00 am  · 

Thank you all for your comments. I decided I will take Noname's advice and upload the spreads as pages... I did it and looks good, i dont have to redesign it. 

Dec 1, 12 9:50 pm  · 


jholguin - Good luck, if you get in shoot me an email and I can tell you about my experience there to help you decide.

Dec 3, 12 10:45 am  · 

can you please upload your portfolio jhol? I'm applying for Berkeley MArch also. :) Thanks!

Dec 3, 12 10:51 am  · 



has anyone gotten in with a portfolio more than 11-12 pages?


-also what about someone who got in with a not-so-stellar-gre-score?

Dec 3, 12 4:49 pm  · 

Berkeley is perhaps the only school I'm applying to in the US this year, with the exception of maybe Umich (my alma mater).  Twelve pages is indeed not that many, but I'm not having too hard a time fitting everything in. 

Dec 6, 12 12:15 pm  · 

batman - 

I'm sure many people have gotten in with a portfolio of more than 11-12 pages, but I couldn't give you a concrete example. Also, gre scores are the least important of everything you submit. I had it explained to me once as order of importance goes portfolio, letter of intent/letters of rec, gpa, then gre. I think the score requirements are usually to satisfy general university requirements and not arch school requirements. My scores weren't stellar but they were good enough. Maybe something like a 1230? I can't remember exactly, and I think they changed the scoring since then anyway.

Dec 6, 12 12:25 pm  · 

I was wondering whether the 12 page is for 11" X 8.5" size, or does it mean that if I use this size as a spread, I will be able to make a portfolio of only 6 spreads?

Jul 18, 17 10:07 am  · 

Hi !

I am applying for MUD at Berkeley and there portfolio requirements for MUD is only 12 pages in a format of 8.5"x11". This to small a size and very few pages to fit in even 2 complete design projects. in such a case is it sensible to only put good drawings and renders and eliminate research or just put two projects but with complete reaserch and design explorations? 

Someone please help me as deadline is really close.

Also i had put up the query regarding if it can be spreads and the replied to me saying it cant be and it might not be reviewed.

Nov 30, 17 10:12 pm  · 

A friend of mine was accepted to Berkely using the 2 page "spread" format. Each spread had two pages of content, but met their page requirements. I would imagine that they receive most of their submissions in this format. 

Dec 1, 17 8:04 am  · 

Hi everybody, 

For the MArch program at Berkeley, the portfolio can have up to 20 pages according to the website, I´m pasting the text and the link below.

*Note to M.Arch and MAAD applicants: The portfolio may contain up to 20 pages of design content and any dimensions may be used. Please keep in mind the review will take place on monitors of varying size. File sizes must be no larger than 10MB.

All the best! 

Dec 12, 20 10:49 pm  · 

y'all .... how the heck am i supposed to fit everything to under 10MB?!?!?!?! 

Dec 22, 23 9:29 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

edit, edit, edit.

Dec 22, 23 11:51 pm  · 

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