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Creating a Portfolio

What do colleges want to see?
What do other students submit?
How important is the portfolio in my application?

Portfolio Requirements

  • 12–20 pieces of your best work, completed within the past two years
  • Portfolios should be submitted on SlideRoom (free for BFA applicants)
Informal Portfolio Reviews

You have many opportunities to have work reviewed by our Admissions staff or faculty and receive feedback prior to submitting your portfolio for admission. The aim is to touch on your skills and strengths while giving constructive suggestions on where to improve. You will also get experience talking about what you make and why.

Be ready to discuss the choices you have made in each piece, how long you worked on each piece, and your strengths and opportunities for growth as an artist.

We encourage seeking feedback often and from multiple sources. Informal portfolio reviews can include in-progress pieces and portfolios — you do not need to meet the final portfolio requirements to begin receiving feedback.

Other Review Opportunities
  • National Portfolio Days
  • College campus visits
  • Classroom visits
  • Regional art events
  • MECA&D’s Pre-College program
  • One-on-one meetings with the Admissions team

Tips for Photographing your Pieces

Do not wait until assembling your portfolio to document your work. Photograph every piece you make as you finish it.

  • Use natural light
  • Photograph the work flat on a table (use a white backdrop for 3D pieces)
  • Photograph the entire piece; detail shots should complement – not replace – the full piece
  • Photograph 3D work from multiple angles (front and back views at the minimum)
  • Digital images should be in focus and high quality
  • Your image should be cropped to show only your piece without distracting background objects

For additional tips and suggestions, check out this short video presented by admissions counselor Allie Wittman:

Submitting your Portfolio for Admission

Once your portfolio is complete and meets the requirements, you can submit your work at for admission. SlideRoom allows you to add a description about each piece that can give our admissions team more context. Please include each item’s title, size, medium, how long you spent making the piece, and a short statement about what the piece means to you.


What are you looking for in my portfolio?

We want to see finished pieces that you feel best represent you as an artist. Show us your individuality! Share what you consider to be your best work from the past year: the work you're most proud of and which best tell us who you are and where you're going artistically.

Can I submit 3D work?

Yes. Take pictures of any three-dimensional items from as many angles as it takes to adequately show the piece. Include all the images in a single file that can be uploaded to SlideRoom when you are ready to submit.

How many pieces should I have?

Your portfolio should include no more than 20 and no fewer than 12 pieces.


The MECA&D admissions team is available to you for questions and portfolio feedback. 800.699.1509 or