National Portfolio Day

Thinking about pursuing art or design in college? Don't miss National Portfolio Day. It's a chance to have admissions representatives from art and design colleges review your portfolio and give you feedback. Come armed with your best work—whether that means finished pieces, works in progress, or sketchbooks—and we'll give suggestions on how to make your portfolio even more impressive (so it's ready when you apply to CCAD).

Learn more about National Portfolio Day below.

National Portfolio Day events

See the events here.


What is National Portfolio Day? 

National Portfolio Days serve a variety of purposes. Most importantly, they help further the development of young artists by bringing together experienced college representatives to review artwork, and offer critique. You'll hear many different opinions about your work. Do not hesitate to explain how you develop your ideas, and where you want to go with them.

Some people make certain kinds of art more successfully than others. Do not be discouraged if you see work that is "better" than yours. A National Portfolio Day may be the first time you see so many people in one place who share a powerful commitment to the arts. This experience is a small taste of what attending a professional art program can be like. We hope you will enjoy the intensity of the experience.

National Portfolio Days are also about the exchange of information: information about your work, yourself, your college plans, your concerns. They are not an examination or a competition. The colleges represented are pleased to discuss their programs with you. Of course, they can be most helpful when discussing your work.

No admissions decisions or scholarship awards will be offered to you at National Portfolio Day.

Some colleges represented may accept the portfolio you present as the visual portion of your application. Other colleges have review structures which prohibit them from making a definitive admission decision at the time of your review. All expect your art to progress in the coming months. We urge you to discuss your work with as many representatives as possible.

View the list of majors and minors available.

National Portfolio Association

The National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) was created solely for the organization and planning of National Portfolio Days. Since 1978, NPDA members have been hosting portfolio days throughout the country. The Association consists of regionally accredited art colleges which are members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It is the only organization of its kind, and its membership represents the highest standard of visual arts education available in the United States.

Choosing an art college

The first and most important thing to remember in choosing an education in the visual arts is that artmaking is a special kind of learning experience. In addition to considering academic standards, extracurricular activities, housing, costs and financial aid, there are other things to think about. Of particular concern to art students should be the faculty, facilities, equipment and proximity to museums, galleries and other cultural resources. We urge you to thoroughly read about the art colleges in which you think you are interested.

  • Try your best to visit them.
  • Get a feel for the college before you make your final decision.
  • Investigate its accreditation and transferability of credits.
  • Be sure you understand its degree offerings and majors.

Get as much information as you can so that you can choose a supportive and stimulating environment that is right for you.

We look forward to reviewing your work. We are interested in your development, and will endeavor to provide you with the information necessary for you to make the right choice for the next important step in your education.

Your portfolio

Your portfolio should include your best and most recent work, but it can also include works in progress, sketchbooks, and tear sheets. Do not spend an inordinate amount of time matting or framing your work or worrying about presentation. The work itself is what is of interest. Whenever possible, you should bring your original artwork.

If you bring digital media or work that is time-based, such as video, animation, or performance, it is your responsibility to ensure that the work can be viewed. You may choose to bring your own device (laptop, iPad or other tablets). Be advised, however, that you will not have access to an electrical outlet.