Portfolio Requirements

Portfolio Overview

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. Acceptance of your portfolio does not guarantee acceptance to the university. 

For any questions regarding portfolio guidelines or the submission process that are not answered on this page, please contact RIT's College of Art and Design at portfolios@rit.edu.

Download an interactive version of our portfolio requirements

Submitting Your Portfolio

Portfolio work can be submitted digitally via SlideRoom or mailed on a flash drive (see below addresses). Flash drives will not be returned. Please ensure images are in JPEG (.jpeg) format in RGB color mode. The clarity of the slide or digital images is of utmost importance.

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

Graduate

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


Photography


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.

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, date, 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 drawn from direct observation.

School of Film and Animation BFA Applicants


Drawing, digital art, painting


Photography


Creative writing


Film or animation

Production Option

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, performance, photography, creative writing, film or animation. Longer videos and musical pieces should be edited down to four (4) minutes for review purposes.

Animation Option

Examples of figure drawings and/or gestures, drawings from direct observation, original character designs and examples that demonstrate a sense of form, color, linear perspective, composition, visual storytelling (storyboards or graphic novel pages) and video files of sketchbooks (page-turning) are encouraged. Please do not include any form of fan art. Examples of animation are not required but if included should be accompanied by text clearly explaining your role or objectives (story, movement, performance, etc.).

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.

Open Houses

Faculty meet one-on-one with students to review portfolios at all of RIT’s Fall Open Houses.

Tours

Students who come to campus for a visit and tour are welcome to set up an appointment for a portfolio review from a faculty member. 

National Portfolio Days

Our faculty travel the country each year to dozens of cities as part of National Portfolio Day (NPD) events. NPD events connect young artists interested in pursuing an education in the visual and related arts with experienced college representatives from top art and design schools in the country. Students receive feedback on their portfolios and learn about college programs. No admissions decisions or scholarship awards are offered at National Portfolio Days, but RIT’s College of Art and Design can accept your portfolio as the visual portion of your application. At these events, prospective students interested in the College of Art and Design have the opportunity to meet directly with faculty who are nationally-renowned artists, photographers, designers and filmmakers. 

*Due to ongoing health and safety concerns about COVID-19, the National Portfolio Day Association has decided to host all of its NPD events virtually during the 2020-21 academic year. Faculty members from RIT’s College of Art and Design look forward to connecting with students and reviewing portfolios in a reimagined way.