Junior Reviews at MCAD

Details and advice on getting through the Junior Review.

All MCAD BFA students are required to go through a process called the Junior Review to determine if they are ready to move on to advanced classes within their major. Once juniors obtain at least 60 credits they are required to have a Junior Review which is judged by three faculty members.

Drawing and painting, fine arts studio, furniture, print paper book, photography, web and multimedia majors all have to check out a space around MCAD to display their work. Comic art, graphic design, and illustration majors have to print out their work and display it in the College Center. Animation and film majors are assigned rooms where they have to present their work on a screen. Lucky for the entrepreneurial studies and advertising majors, they don't have to go through a Junior Review. 

The review is definitely nerve-racking to think about for many sophomores and juniors, and it doesn't help that many students do not know what exactly to expect during their own review. That's why I'm going to explain the process I went through.

Kathy Huang, Furniture Design Major

I went through my Junior Review this semester. I was actually really calm about it. I began by drawing out the layout of my furniture presentation, then I checked out a space that would get some nice traffic so I could really show off my work. I also checked out a moving wall to give the impression that my furniture was in a room. When it came to the actual review, I was not as nervous as I anticipated. Two out of the three faculty who judged my work were professors I’ve had in the past, so it helped me to be more comfortable talking about my work. Of course I’m not a robot and I did stutter at times because I couldn’t think of the right word to say. The faculty will understand that you’re nervous though, so don’t sweat it.

Advice I would share with current sophomores and juniors dreading their upcoming junior review would be to:

  1. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to fix and print things.
  2. Practice what you’re going to say in mirror beforehand. It’s okay to have notes or even just read off of your artist statement.
  3. Show up for your review five minutes early. That way you can make adjustments to your display if needed.
  4. Speak with ownership about the work you’ve made! And don’t forget to talk about what and who you’re inspired by.
  5. Be prepared for the judges to ask a lot of questions about your work. Just stay calm and take deep breaths!

I was in the first round of Junior Reviews so I wasn’t able to ask any of my fellow juniors how their reviews went this semester before I went through mine, but I did ask some seniors how their reviews went to help me be better prepared. It’s always nice to ask your peers for advice!

Hopefully by sharing my experience, students who have yet to go through the Junior Review process will feel a little more prepared.

Check out some more of this semester's Junior Review setups below!

Maya Powell

Maya Powell, Print Paper Book Major

Nate Christenson

Nate Christenson, Drawing and Painting Major

Hannah B Farrell

Hannah B Farrell, Fine Arts Studio Major

Nancy Hicks

Nancy Hicks, Print Paper Book Major