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.

Interactive version of portfolio requirements



Our Schools of Art, Design and Film and Animation require a portfolio as part of the RIT application process. It is not required for freshman students applying to the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

Undergraduate portfolio requirements


All of the College of Art and Design’s MFA and MST programs require a portfolio. 

Graduate portfolio requirements

Submitting Your Portfolio

Portfolio work can be submitted digitally via SlideRoom. Please ensure images are formatted in RGB color mode. The clarity of the slide or digital images is of utmost importance.

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.

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

Acceptable Media Formats

Accepted media formats include: images (up to 5MB each), video or 3D models (up to 250MB each), audio (up to 30MB each), and PDFs (up to 10MB each). Links from external media such as YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, SketchFab, or SoundCloud are also accepted. Please ensure images are formatted in RGB color mode. The clarity of the slide or digital images is of utmost importance. 

Schools of Art and Design BFA 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.

There should be a minimum of three samples of drawings made from direct observation (not copied from photographs, comics, or “fantasy”) and created with traditional materials such as pencil, graphite, charcoal, ink, etc. Other work could include paintings, photography, page layout designs, computer images, two-dimensional design, sculptures, models, fine crafts, mechanical drawings, marker renderings, 3D modeling and renderings,  programming, or creative coding. 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 interested in the medical illustration BFA should include at least six samples of natural forms such as shells, elements of the human figure, bones or plants drawn from direct observation in traditional materials.

School of Film and Animation BFA Applicants

Drawing, digital art, painting


Creative writing

Film or animation

Animation Option

Submit 8-10 pieces of work  Please do NOT include any form of fan art.  

  • 2-3 images from direct observation. Do not copy from a photograph or drawing.
  • 2-3 images from your imagination/visualization. Examples may include drawings, 3D models, puppets, etc.
  • 3-4 pieces that showcase storytelling and creativity. Images should convey a sense of place, character, or an event; not just a representation of an object or character. Examples may include a series of sequential images (storyboards or graphic novel pages), photographs, figure drawings, gestures, or video files of sketchbooks (page-turning). Animations are not required, although if included please indicate your role, objectives (story, movement, performance, etc.) or creative contribution to the piece.

Production Option

Submit 6-9 examples of expressive, original work that showcase individual style as a filmmaker, storyteller or artist. This may include, but is not limited to, video, animation, photography, creative writing, performance, drawings, digital art, paintings, scripts, storyboards or film. Please submit no more than four videos and musical pieces; each video should be edited down to four minutes or less for review purposes.

Portfolio Evaluation 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.

National Portfolio Days

National Portfolio Day (NPD) events connect young artists interested in pursuing an education in the visual and related arts with experienced college representatives from the top art and design schools across the country. Students receive feedback on their portfolios and learn about academic programs. No admissions decisions or scholarship awards are offered at NPD events, but RIT’s College of Art and Design can accept your portfolio as the visual portion of your application.

This year, NPD events will be offered in-person in locations across the country as well as online. RIT will be hosting an in-person NPD event on Sunday, October 2, 2022. For pre-registration and a complete list of the NPD events in which RIT will participate this year, please visit our NPD webpage.

RIT Open Houses

Portfolios can be reviewed at RIT’s 2022 on-campus Open Houses: 

  • Monday, Oct. 10
  • Saturday, Oct. 22
  • Saturday, Nov. 12

Registration is highly encouraged and available in August at: rit.edu/admissions/open-house.

Connect and Critique

This virtual event for high school seniors allows students to schedule a one-on-one, 20-minute Zoom appointment with an RIT faculty to have their portfolio reviewed. This year’s event will be held from 5-9 p.m. (EST) Thursday, October 27. Details and registration will be available in August at rit.edu/artdesign/undergrad-connect-critique

More Information

For any questions regarding portfolio guidelines or the submission process, please contact us at portfolios@rit.edu