Preparing and Submitting a Portfolio

Every applicant to our undergraduate program must create a digital portfolio that can be uploaded to the university’s secure SlideRoom portal (available in October). No physical portfolios will be accepted.

How can you create an effective portfolio?

Start Early

You should begin thinking about your portfolio as early as possible. We advise you to consider your portfolio as a design problem: How can you best present yourself and your work? 

If you’re concerned about not having enough work to show, or you don't have a portfolio, we recommend that you supplement your application with this year’s Design Project. If the Design Project is the only component in your digital portfolio, we recommend that you attend the optional on-campus portfolio review session so that we can discuss your project assignments with you and better assess your potential. Registration for an on-campus portfolio review begins in mid-October.  Students who would like to receive portfolio feedback before they submit can attend our informal portfolio critique at 9am on Sunday, November 12. Email us to save a seat.

Tell a Story

Arrange your portfolio to tell a story about who you are. Select projects that show a range of media and subject matter, while still emphasizing your strongest work. Try to strike a balance between final work and process work (that is, work that leads to the final version.)

Include a Variety of Work

Your portfolio should be an organized presentation of 15-20 original projects, including work such as:

  • Drawings
  • 2-D and 3-D design
  • Color work
  • Paintings
  • 3D work
  • Digital work
  • Inventions
  • Supplemental work
  • A sketchbook, which counts as one item, is strongly recommended

We also strongly recommend that you include a variety of drawings. Whether they come from life or from your imagination, they should represent original, creative work.

Show Actual Work

If you're participating in our on-campus portfolio review session, we prefer to see actual work rather than photographs of it. If your work is too large to transport, good-quality photography or video is permissible. Matting and mounting works is not necessary. Applying fixative to works that might smudge is recommended.

Digital Issues Caution

If you want to show digitally-based pieces, you must bring your own laptop computer with an extension cord – students’ batteries often run out of power before the evaluation committee gets to them. Please don't plan to show digital versions of work you've also included in your portfolio in other formats.

Online Portfolio Deadline

  • Early decision applicants: November 1 
  • Regular decision applicants and transfer students: January 15