Portfolio Requirements for Select Graduate Programs

Your portfolio is an opportunity to showcase your talents and skills alongside your application. Select RIT graduate degree programs require applicants to submit a portfolio in order to be considered for admission. 

Architecture M.Arch.

Standard Admission Portfolio Content: In recognition that you do not have an architectural background, any variety of work in your portfolio is acceptable. While we value work related to architecture and the built environment, it is not essential if you do not have prior experience. Your portfolio should reflect your academic background and potential for creative expression by including things such as personal drawings, paintings, sculptures, crafts, or anything related to a design endeavor. Photography and creative writing such as poetry and music are also acceptable. Overall, the portfolio should display evidence of the potential for creative expression and critical inquiry.

Advanced Standing Portfolio Content: A portfolio of design work is required for all Advanced Standing applicants. The admissions committee is interested in the quality of the work, not the quantity, so please limit the portfolio to no more than 20 pages. Work can be academic or professional. If multiple people worked on a project included in your portfolio, please be sure to indicate your contribution to the project. Process work is highly encouraged.

All applications must be accompanied by a PDF digital portfolio. Print or bound portfolios or digital portfolios in formats other than PDF will not be accepted or reviewed. You may submit only one PDF file as your portfolio. Portfolios should be submitted through the admissions portal in the materials section. Log into your admissions portal

Image quality: A medium-quality image setting on a digital camera is sufficient. No images should be pixelated.

File size: Your portfolio should not exceed 6.0MB. Alternatively, you may use the PDF portfolio feature (found under FILE, in more recent versions of Acrobat) to create your portfolio. In the event the review committee requires additional information or higher resolution images, the applicant will be notified. 

Orientation: Landscape orientation is preferred.

Image enhancement: If the image files of your work are not accurate after photographing, image-editing software is allowed to correct the appearance of the files you are submitting. Please use caution. It is important to maintain the integrity of the original artwork. Images should be clear and free of reflections or ‘hot spots.'

Game Design and Development MS

The Game Design and Development MS degree program requires a portfolio as part of the application process. The portfolio is intended to be a space where you can show off your expertise in game art, game design, game development (programming), and game audio. These may be solo work or group work, but for group work include an explanation of your role in the project and identify which sections you were responsible for on your own.

The portfolio examples may include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:

Art

  • 2D objects and characters
  • 3D objects and characters
  • Concept art
  • Environment art
  • User interface design

Design

  • Analog games
  • Design treatments (write up of characters, worlds, story plotting, etc.)
  • Game narratives
  • Gameplay scripting
  • Level designs
  • Paper prototypes of digital games

Development

  • Game artificial intelligence
  • Gameplay programming
  • Network programming examples
  • Simple game engines
  • Small games from undergraduate work
  • Graphics programming (shaders, procedural art, technical art samples)
  • Website development

Audio

  • Audio effects
  • Game audio
  • Music composition

The primary purpose of the portfolio is twofold. One, we want examples that show expertise in basic programming concepts: object-oriented programming, scripting and markup (html), basic digital development (including Maya, Blender, Houdini, Photoshop, etc.), and use of APIs in digital development. Two, we want examples of thoughtful and creative design and development that show your passion for making games.

Within your admissions portal, you may submit a link in the materials section to your portfolio. The link may be to a website or a shared drive. Along with the link, you will be prompted to include a portfolio description. The description should include a summary of each piece in the portfolio with details such as what role you had in its creation and if it earned any awards.

Film and Animation MFA

The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not need to be motion media but should showcase a sense of creativity and storytelling. Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Films/Video
  • Animation
  • Photos
  • Drawings
  • Paintings
  • Sculpture
  • Stop-Motion Puppets
  • Storyboards
  • Scripts
  • Original Music

The applicant should present what they consider to be the best of their work. An inventory sheet or table of contents should also be submitted with your portfolio. If it is not obvious in the work, clearly indicate what your contribution was to group and collaborative pieces.

In addition to the portfolio, all applicants must submit a 2-3 minute video self-portrait. You must appear on camera and speak to the lens. Please talk about where you are from, why you want to attend the RIT School of Film and Animation, and which concentration you want to pursue. This is in addition to your written essay. Please make sure the sound and picture quality are acceptable. 

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Industrial Design MFA

The portfolio provides a visual statement of the applicant’s performance, design skills, aesthetic development, professional interests, and maturity.

Examples should demonstrate proficiency in design skills such as storytelling, modelmaking, CAD, sketching, visualization, etc., as well as an aptitude for connecting design with other disciplines. Including elements that show development process, concept exploration and problem-solving are as important as showing final design.

Applicants from a non-design background can submit projects that show their skills for fabrication and/or problem-solving, even if they are not traditional design projects. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best original work rather than to submit a large portfolio with pieces that are less relevant. A portfolio that includes 4-6 projects, organized in 15-25 pages tends to provide a cohesive body work.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Medical Illustration MFA

Submit 10-20 pieces of your best work.

At least half of the pieces should demonstrate your ability to draw from direct observation of the subject (i.e., not from your imagination or copied from photographs). Drawings of the human figure and/or other body parts (hands, feet, portraits) are preferred, but drawings of other organic objects (animals, plants, still lifes of natural objects) are also acceptable, as long as they are drawn from your own observation.

The remaining portfolio pieces can be anything that demonstrates your understanding of composition, design, and creativity as well as the range of media you have mastered (drawings, paintings, prints, graphic design, digital media, sculpture, crafts, etc.). You are not required to submit any pieces depicting medical or scientific subject matter, although you are free to include these if they demonstrate your drawing ability or mastery of a particular medium.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Photography and Related Media MFA

Applicants should submit a portfolio of no more than 20 images representing a cohesive body or bodies of recent work. Through Adobe SlideRoom and the Graduate Admissions website, applicants will also submit their Personal Statement of Educational Objectives and an Artist’s Statement.

The one-page Artist's Statement should discuss the submitted work and the applicant’s creative process. The Personal Statement of Educational Objectives should explain why the applicant is interested in obtaining an MFA and specifically why RIT would be a successful fit for their pursuit of a professional study degree.

Images must be uploaded to the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

Size restrictions can be found through SlideRoom. SlideRoom supplies space for captions, titling, and additional information about each image, such as the title of the work, date, size, and medium. Number the images 1 to 20 in the order the applicant wishes them to be viewed.

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Degrees within the School for American Crafts

  •  Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture MFA
  •  Furniture Design MFA
  •  Glass MFA
  •  Metals and Jewelry Design MFA

Portfolios submitted to the School for American Crafts should consist of at least 20 examples of the applicant’s best visual work. The examples can include a range of media, methods and subject matter. The work should reflect your understanding of compositional organization, the elements and principles of art, creativity, attention to detail, and craftsmanship.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Degrees within the School of Art

  •  Art Education (Visual Art-All Grades) MST
  •  Fine Arts Studio MFA

Portfolios submitted to the School of Art should consist of at least 20 examples of the applicant’s best visual work. The examples can include a range of media, methods, and subject matter. The work should reflect your understanding of compositional organization, the elements and principles of art, creativity, attention to detail, and craftsmanship.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

Visual Communication Design MFA

As part of the entrance requirements, applicants must demonstrate an understanding of design principles and visual computer skills using Adobe products. A portfolio of 10-15 examples must demonstrate a good sense of design, typography, and illustration in addition to the applicant’s interests in and aptitudes for advanced study and, specifically, potential for success at RIT. The examples can include a range of media, methods and subject matter. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best original work. Applicants should not submit work copied from film, television, photographs, magazine/book illustrations or other sources.

Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. Learn more about SlideRoom

No hard copy portfolios, DVDs, or any other materials sent through the mail will be considered. 

Please email Graduate Admissions if you are unable to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom.

About SlideRoom

SlideRoom is a web service independent of and selected by RIT for the easy submission of electronic portfolios for Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Science for Teachers (MST) programs.

There is a $10 (USD) charge for your SlideRoom account access. This fee is separate from RIT’s application fee. NOTE: the SlideRoom site will allow you to register for an account and upload your portfolio without paying the $10 fee, however, your portfolio will not be available to MFA faculty for viewing and assessment until the $10 fee is paid to SlideRoom.

NOTE: If you created a SlideRoom account and/or uploaded a portfolio in the past year and wish to upload your portfolio for the first time or upload a new portfolio for consideration for a future academic term, you can simply start again and all of your information will be automatically pulled in. The SlideRoom database is not connected to the RIT admission system, so the admission system and your portal checklist does not immediately indicate receipt of your portfolio. The portfolio item in your checklist usually takes 2-3 days to be updated.

Access SlideRoom