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50% of your Stamps admissions decision is based on your portfolio.

In this video, learn inside information on the kinds of work we like to see and tips on how to make your portfolio stand out.

Your portfolio should include:

  • 12 – 15 pieces of your best and most recent work, including
  • 2 design or direct observational drawings. Learn about how Stamps defines these below:

Design drawing: a drawing of a design you developed for a product, garment, space, pattern design, a graphic novel spread, or an architectural drawing. A design drawing emphasizes visualization over direct observation.

Observational drawing: a drawing of a subject that you have directly observed. An observational drawing could be a collection of objects set up on a table that you observe, a person modeling in front of you, a building you are viewing, or a landscape outside of your window. Keep in mind: An observational drawing would not include drawing something from a photo, from your imagination, or from memory.

Check out the videos below for tips on observational drawing from Stamps senior Maggie McConnell (BFA 21).

Keep in mind:

  • Emphasize experimentation, concept, and a range of media
  • Include class assignments and self-directed work
  • Answer the question, Why did I create this?” for each work’s description
  • Your application will be considered complete only after you have submitted your portfolio

National Portfolio Days

Explore the nation’s best col­leges of art and design and meet with Stamps Admissions rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who can pro­vide informal port­fo­lio reviews, dis­cuss our unique cur­ricu­lum, and answer ques­tions about pro­fes­sional careers in art. Show­ing your work early can help you acquire impor­tant infor­ma­tion about orga­niz­ing and pre­sent­ing your port­fo­lio for future admis­sion con­sid­er­a­tion. High school stu­dents, par­ents, teach­ers, guid­ance coun­selors, and col­lege trans­fer stu­dents are encour­aged to attend. All National Portfolio Day events are free and open to the public.

Stamps will be participating in the following 2022 – 23 NPD events:

  • Online // September 17, 2022, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Eastern
  • Chicago // October 16, 2022, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Central
  • Detroit // October 29, 2022, 1:00 — 5:00 PM Eastern
  • Los Angeles // November 20, 2022, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Pacific
  • Online // December 4, 2022, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Eastern
  • Online // January 8, 2023, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Eastern
  • Miami // January 21, 2023, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Eastern
  • Online // May 6, 2023, 12:00 — 4:00 PM Eastern

Learn more and register for events at nation​al​port​fo​lio​day​.org.

Prep Your Portfolio for NPD

Your portfolio should showcase the best work you are making now, and can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks. Make sure to photograph your work with intention and have your files ready to share with us digitally.

Submitting Your Portfolio

Early Action deadline : November 1
Regular deadline : February 1

Portfolios are submitted through SlideRoom. You will receive a link to SlideRoom through your Common Application.

There is a $10 transaction fee to submit your portfolio. Students who receive a Common Application fee waiver will automatically receive a SlideRoom fee waiver.

For technical assistance with SlideRoom, visit sup​port​.slid​e​room​.com.