What is portfolio submission all about?

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

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, your artistic preferences, and your familiarity with various types of artistic media.

What is CIAS looking for?

  • 10-20 Pieces

    The 10-20 pieces of your best artwork that you choose to submit should demonstrate an understanding of pictorial composition, creativity/originality of ideas, drawing and design ability, a sense for the use of materials, attention to detail, and craftsmanship. The work can be from a variety of media and subject matter. We’re looking for good traditional drawing skills as well as artwork relevant to your artistic interests.

  • 3 to 6 Pieces Drawn from Observation

    Include a minimum of three to six drawings made by direct observation (not copied from photographs, comics, or “fantasy”). Drawings should demonstrate a full range of tonal values and a variety of line quality.

  • 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

Special Requirements

  • Medical Illustration

    Include at least six drawings of natural forms such as seashells, plants, human figures, or animals, rendered in a single medium. Studies of anatomical parts such as hands and feet are also acceptable.

  • School for American Crafts

    You are encouraged to include works done in the medium of your intended major: ceramics, glass, metals or wood. However, a portfolio that is entirely two-dimensional is also acceptable. If you do not have a portfolio, but are interested in any of the Craft School programs, please contact the faculty directly to discuss alternative approaches to completing your application.

Submit Your Portfolio

  • Upload your portfolio through SlideRoom.

    You may also mail your portfolio to the Admissions Office. If you are not submitting digitally, please mail official transcripts, recommendations, writing samples and paper test reports to:

    Undergrad and Transfer:
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    60 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, New York 14623-5604

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

What programs require a portfolio?

American Crafts

  • Ceramics (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Furniture Design (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Glass (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Metals & Jewelry Design (Undergraduate and Graduate)


  • Expanded Forms (Undergraduate)
  • Fine Arts Studio (Graduate)
  • Illustration (Undergraduate)
  • Medical Illustration (Undergraduate)
  • Painting (Undergraduate)
  • Printmaking (Undergraduate)
  • Sculpture (Undergraduate)
  • Visual Arts-All Grades (Graduate)


  • 3D Digital Design (Undergraduate)
  • Graphic Design (Undergraduate)
  • Industrial Design (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Interior Design (Undergraduate)
  • New Media Design (Undergraduate)
  • Visual Communication Design (Graduate)

Film and Animation

  • Film and Animation (Graduate)

Photographic Arts & Sciences

  • Photography and Related Media (Graduate)