Portfolio Requirements

Why is a Portfolio Required?

Artistic disciplines require a measure of skill and dedication. Because accepted students become part of an elite learning community, they must first demonstrate a proven level of artistic talent. Your portfolio will help us evaluate your artistic skills, artistic preferences and familiarity with various types of artistic media.

Your portfolio says a lot about you: your level of enthusiasm, the types of work you are interested in and how you interpret ideas through art. The work included in your portfolio will indicate whether you show promise in the program for which you are applying.

Download a printer-friendly version of our portfolio requirements.

Submitting Your Portfolio

Portfolio work can be digitally submitted via SlideRoom or on a CD or flash drive. Please ensure images are in JPEG (.jpeg) format in RGB color mode. Digital portfolios will not be returned. Please make copies of your CD for your own use. 

Portfolios may also be mailed to the Undergraduate Admissions Office or Graduate Admissions

Undergraduate Freshman and Transfer

Rochester Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Admissions Office
60 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604


Rochester Institute of Technology
Offices of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment Services
Bausch and Lomb Center - A130
58 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604

What is the College of Art and Design Looking For?

Creativity and Craftsmanship

The craftsmanship in a work of art is as important as the ideas presented. You can demonstrate creativity through innovative ideas and content, interesting composition and proficient use of materials.

Acceptable Media Formats

Images (up to 5 MB each), video (up to 60 MB each), audio (up to 30 MB each) and PDFs (up to 10 MB each). You may also link to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.

Undergraduate Portfolio Requirements

The BFA programs in our Schools of Art, Design and Film and Animation require a portfolio.

Schools of Art and Design Applicants

Drawings from direct observation

Painting, marker renderings, mechanical drawings


Computer images

Page layout, two dimensional design

Sculpture, models

Submit 10-20 pieces of your best work. Portfolios will be reviewed on the basis of pictorial composition, creativity/originality of ideas, drawing and design ability, a sense for the use of materials, attention to detail and craftsmanship. The clarity of the slide or digital images is of utmost importance. There should be a minimum of three samples of drawings made from direct observation (not copied from photographs, comics or "fantasy"). Other work could include painting, photography, page layout designs, computer images, two-dimensional design, sculpture, models, mechanical drawings and marker renderings. All images and documents submitted should be clearly labeled. Information such as title, size, media, assignment or theme (if any) and any exhibition/award notations should be included.

Medical Illustration Applicants

Applicants to the medical illustration program in the School of Art should include at least six samples of natural forms in their portfolio, such as shells, elements of the human figure, bones or plants.

School of Film and Animation BFA Applicants

Drawing, digital art, painting


Creative writing

Film or animation

Submit examples of expressive, original work that showcase individual style as a storyteller, filmmaker or artist. This may include, but is not limited to, works in drawing, digital art, painting, photography, creative writing, film or animation. Longer videos and musical pieces should be edited down to two (2) minutes for review purposes. For animation applicants, examples of human figure drawings or sketches, images created from direct observation and video files of page flipping sketchbooks are recommended. Please do not include any form of fan art.

Graduate Portfolio Requirements

All of the College of Art and Design’s MFA and MST programs require a portfolio. For those interested in one of them, visit graduate portfolio requirements to find your intended area of study and then call or email the listed department contact to obtain specific portfolio requirements.

Portfolio Review Opportunities

Prior to submitting a portfolio, there are several ways for prospective students to receive an evaluation of their artistic skills from acclaimed faculty in the College of Art and Design. They meet one-on-one with students to review portfolios at all of RIT’s Fall Open Houses. In addition, our faculty travel the country each year to dozens of cities as part of National Portfolio Day (NPD) events. At these NPD events, students can meet with other top art and design schools. What sets RIT apart from our competitors — many of whom send Admissions staff — is that our faculty review and accept portfolios. Prospective students interested in RIT’s College of Art and Design have the opportunity to meet directly with faculty who are nationally-renowned artists, photographers, designers and filmmakers. Students who come to campus for a visit and tour are also welcome to set up an appointment for a portfolio review from a faculty member.