Graduate preparation tips

When exploring an education in art or design, students may submit a portfolio as part of the application process. Although portfolios and auditions are not required for undergraduate admission, applicants are strongly encouraged to present performing arts, riding, writing or visual arts portfolios or to audition when possible to enhance the application file and to be considered for scholarships. Since undergraduate portfolio submissions are for scholarship consideration and do not ever adversely affect the likelihood of a student's acceptance, submitting a strong portfolio can be of enormous benefit to students. Use this guide as a resource for building a portfolio or improving one you've already started.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of your strongest artistic work that is presented as professionally as possible and, depending on your area of talent, can take one of the following forms:

  • A building arts portfolio should demonstrate strong spatial understanding and creative skills through the inclusion of samples like observational sketches, CAD drawings and building interiors and exteriors.
  • A visual arts/design portfolio should include 2-D and 3-D works executed in any medium that demonstrate both creativity and a grasp of basic artistic techniques and principles.
  • A portfolio composed of digital or time-based media should demonstrate a basic mastery of the concepts of composition as well as effective use of software or other relevant digital tools.
  • A performing arts audition, whether performed on site or submitted digitally, should demonstrate strong characterization, energy and physical commitment to the role.
  • An equestrian riding portfolio should demonstrate the applicant's skill with riding, jumping and/or dressage as well as experience and level of performance.
  • A writing portfolio should demonstrate the applicant's ability to create clear and compelling copy across a variety of genres.

Visual portfolio tips

Writing portfolio tips

Equestrian riding portfolio tips