Portfolio Requirements

 Frankenstein poster, Shakespeare Festival Poster, and website designs

A portfolio should showcase your best work, so editing is a key factor when selecting which projects to include. Please review the following technical requirements and portfolio requirements for each area.


Technical Requirements

All work and personal statements will be submitted via SlideRoom. If the original piece was not created digitally, the work needs to be either scanned or photographed to upload. 

Media Size Requirements:

  • Images (up to 5MB size) 
  • Videos (up to 250MB size)
  • PDFs (up to 10MB size)

Graphic Design Portfolio Requirements

Your portfolio should include the following:

Personal Statement (250–500 words / PDF file):

In a one-page statement, discuss your interest in graphic design, educational goals, and career aspirations. Include your name, date and desired concentration (Graphic Design) on your statement. 

Portfolio Submissions:

  • 6 to 10 original projects. Media/format can include: drawing/illustration, posters, magazine/book layouts, logos, packaging design, web or app design, animation, motion graphics, video, painting, mixed media, or printmaking.
  • Projects can be digital or analog (scanned or photographed to upload).
  • Projects can be 2D or 3D: still, animated, or motion graphics.
  • Projects can have multiple components and/or include preliminary sketches.

All work must be of your own creation. Please include descriptive information for each piece: the title/project description and the media/software used to create the work.

Photo and Video Portfolio Requirements

  1. One-Page Personal Statement: In a one-page statement, discuss the ideas behind your work, career goals, and aspirations. Include your name, date and desired concentration (Photography and Video) on your statement.  
  2. Submissions: Work samples can be photography, video, or a combination of both.
  • Photographs Only: Twenty digital photographs
  • Video Only: Three videos
  • Photographs and Video: Fifteen digital photographs and two videos

    Photographs will be evaluated for concept, composition, use of light, tonality, sharpness, idea, and design. Photographs are acceptable in both color and black and white. Videos will be evaluated for concept, editing, sound design, and cinematography. Identification of work: include a title for each image and video. 

    Image requirements: Maximum file size 2 MB, Save as JPEG, Minimum size: 1000 pixels in the largest dimension, Maximum size: 2000 pixels in the largest dimension.

    Videos requirements: Maximum running time 10 minutes, total for all videos if no photography is submitted. Maximum running time 5 minutes, total for all videos if also submitting photographs. Please specify in the description if you are sending an excerpt from a longer work. Please also specify your role in the production. Links to media hosted on YouTube and Vimeo are strongly recommended (no restriction on file size). The video must be "Public" on Vimeo or YouTube. If uploading directly to SlideRoom, maximum file size of 250MB in one of the following formats: m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv. 

Studio Art Portfolio Requirements

One-Page Personal Statement: In a one-page statement, address your artistic and career goals, as well as your current artistic themes and processes. What kinds of cultural influences (literature, movies, music, art) affect your work? Include your name, date, and desired concentration (Studio Art).

Submissions: Submit ten samples of original artwork that you have completed within the last three years. The work may range in media (2D, 3D, 4D). Include the date of completion and dimensions: height x width (plus depth when measuring three-dimensional pieces).

Portfolio Review Policy

Cal Poly’s Department of Art and Design considers it unethical to provide feedback on any student’s portfolio prior to the official portfolio review—or to assist with decisions regarding content or interpretation of the portfolio requirements. We ask that you review the requirements carefully, then prepare and submit your portfolio based on the information provided, rather than seeking additional information by contacting our department.

Following the review, we are unable to provide feedback and/or recommendations toward improving an applicant’s portfolio.

Related Content