Portfolio Requirements

portfolio example

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 must include the following:

  1. One Page Personal Statement:
    In a one page statement, please answer the following question: Why are you interested in studying graphic design at Cal Poly? Include your name, date and desired concentration (Graphic Design) on your statement.

  2. Submissions (6-8 pieces):
    Submit a maximum of eight projects that you have created within the past two years that show your promise in graphic design. Your work can include projects you have done in high school or in junior college classes, as well as, personal projects/explorations. All work must be of your own creation. Please include descriptive information for each piece: the title/project description and the media 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 photographic work, career goals, and aspirations. Include your name, date and desired concentration (Photography and Video) on your statement.
  2. Submissions:
    Submit twenty digital photographs. Images will be evaluated for concept, composition, use of light, tonality, sharpness, idea, and design. Photographs are acceptable in both color and black and white. Identification of work: include a title for each image.
  • Image requirements: Maximum file size 5 MB, Save as JPEG, Minimum size: 1000 pixels in the largest dimension, Maximum size: 2000 pixels in the largest dimension.
  1. Additional Examples: 
    If you wish, you may include up to two videos and up to two additional digital images of photo collage or other artwork that you consider supportive of your application.
  • Videos requirements: Maximum running time 5 minutes, total for all videos. Please specify in the description if you are sending an excerpt from a longer work. Links to media hosted on YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud Link 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 with formats m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg. 

Studio Art Portfolio Requirements

  1. 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 (movies, music, art) affect your work? Include your name, date and desired concentration (Studio Art) on your statement.

  2. Submissions:
    Please submit ten digital images of your original artwork ranging in media and completed within the last three years. When you submit your images, include the date of completion and dimensions: height x width (plus depth when measuring three-dimensional pieces). One or more of the two-dimensional pieces (B&W or color) must be drawn from live observation (not a photograph). Three or more of the pieces must demonstrate your use of color. Accepted media for artworks: painting, drawing, clay, collage, metal, mixed media, plaster, plastic, wood or video (not to exceed five minutes). Please refrain from using copyrighted images as source material.


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.


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