Preparing Your Portfolio

What comes to mind when you think of a portfolio? At CCAD, your portfolio can feature an array of creative work, be it traditional, a little out of the ordinary or even way outside the box. Maybe you’ve taken cool photos and made inspired videos with your smartphone. Perhaps you worked on an inventive science project. Rebuilt a car engine. Created and managed a blog. Written short stories, poems or essays. Whatever you’ve done that exemplifies the scope of your imagination, it can be used to build your portfolio.

In fact, at CCAD, we like to see anything that shows us what inspires you, how you think about a project and how you use your creative mind to solve problems. This is what every professional artist and designer does every day. So, submit any type of work, regardless of what major you’re interested in, as long as it demonstrates a connection between your interests and our majors — and, specifically, your potential to thrive as a student at CCAD.

Portfolio Guidelines

We'd love to see your best work. Just show us your favorites and try to maintain consistent quality. Sometimes, as they say, less is more. When you’ve created your portfolio, please submit it with our SlideRoom application portal (via the online application). Portfolios should be 8-15 pieces.

When you’re considering what to include, ask yourself:

  • What am I most passionate about?
  • What is my best work?
  • What defines me as a creative person?
  • What is original about this work?
  • Is this a novel idea?

For Digital & Time-Based Media

The technologically minded among us, who tell smart stories using digital tools, are some of the most creative people we know. Prove us right again by showing us your approach to composition, provocative storytelling and, of course, technical presentation.

For Writing

If you have a story, show us, don’t tell us. Whether it's fiction or non-fiction samples, short stories or research papers, dramatic writing or poetry (or any other form of creative writing), we’d love to see your way with words. And remember, even the best writers trip up sometimes. Give us your best only after you — or someone whose eyes you trust — have proofread your work.

For Visual Arts & Design

It’s a multichannel digital world, but it wouldn’t exist without traditional two- and three-dimensional work. Drawings, paintings, prints, collage, photography, sculpture, jewelry, fibers, fashion, furniture — please show us examples of your own original work (no copies of someone else’s work, please).

For the Nontraditional Makers

Do you learn, create and solve problems in innovative and unexpected ways? That’s how the greatest minds in history did it. As a nontraditional maker, you could demonstrate your creative process by sharing, say, a robotics project you worked on, the go-kart engine you rebuilt or the iPhone wallet holder you designed and created. Please feel free to upload images or videos about your projects.

Tips & Resources from CCAD

  • Know your deadlines.
    • Early Application Deadline: December 1, 2016
    • Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2017
    • For more information, check out our admissions calendar.
  • Get advice from teachers, professionals and peers.
  • Consider doing projects for clubs, organizations and non-profits.
  • Select your work.
  • Photograph and document your work. Click here to for more tips and instructions. 
  • Make sure your digital submissions are in the correct format.
  • Submit your work.
    • For admission to CCAD, you must complete our online application. Learn more at Apply to CCAD.
  • We're coming to you.

For more information about developing a portfolio or to request a catalog, please contact us at 614.222.3261 or