Attend National Portfolio Day events

Meet individually with admissions staff from art and design colleges across the country and get valuable feedback on your application portfolio.

National Portfolio Day Events

Learn how to make your application stand out

Student presenting her work at CCA.

What to expect

This year, you’ll have opportunities to attend National Portfolio Day events virtually or in person at locations across the country. More than 40 leading art and design colleges accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design will participate and offer portfolio reviews. Representatives are there to answer your questions about their institution’s programs and application requirements and help you put together your best portfolio. (Please note: No admissions decisions are made or scholarships awarded at National Portfolio Day events.)

A student presents a framed artwork during a presentation.

How to prepare

All virtual and in-person events require advance registration. Register by creating an account through the National Portfolio Day Association event page. Once you have completed the online registration form, you’ll be able to RSVP for virtual and/or in-person events.

You do not need to upload or submit your portfolio in advance of a National Portfolio Day event. For virtual events, you should have digital images of your work ready to share. You’ll be meeting with reviewers via Zoom and should be prepared to share your screen. For in-person events, you are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to share your portfolio digitally or bring sketchbooks or pieces that you can carry with you easily.

Fashion student sketching outfits on an iPad tablet.

What to include

Your portfolio should include your best and most recent work, but it can also include works in progress, sketchbooks, and first drafts. We recommend that you collect 10–15 pieces that show the range of your work. Schools are often interested to learn about your process, methods, and thinking. Before the virtual session or event, practice explaining how you develop your ideas, articulating where you want to go with those ideas, and sharing how you arrive at a completed work.

We encourage you to ask questions and take this opportunity to learn about the process of applying to an art and design college. This is your chance to learn how to apply with your best portfolio and find the best-fit schools for you.

Additional information

Whether you attend an in-person or virtual event, you can expect to receive the same high-quality, engaging experience with the colleges’ admissions staff. We encourage you to choose the events that best suit your schedule, location, and comfort level.

All in-person events will require attendees to wear masks and practice social distancing. Students may only bring one guest. Each host school may have additional rules and regulations, such as vaccination verification, for its in-person events. Learn more with NPD’s FAQs.

San Francisco Undergraduate National Portfolio Day

Attend this in-person event at CCA

A student holding a large painting shakes hands with two CCA admissions counselors at the 2019 National Portfolio Day.

2021 Undergraduate National Portfolio Day

CCA is hosting Northern California’s in-person Undergraduate National Portfolio Day event. Meet one-on-one with admissions counselors to find out what colleges are looking for and get feedback on your application to make your portfolio stand out!

Saturday, November 13, 2021
10 am–2 pm PT

CCA
1111 Eighth St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

All attendees must register in advance. We will not be able to accommodate any walk-ins to this event.

Important information

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our health and safety protocols, which keep our staff and students healthy. All guests to campus will be asked to:

  • Wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times during the event and to practice social distancing.
  • Provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering campus buildings. Upon arrival, you will be asked by CCA Public Safety to show ID and a copy or image of your vaccine card to demonstrate that you have received your last dose at least two weeks before the event.

San Francisco Graduate National Portfolio Day

Attend this in-person event at CCA

A student in the Master of Architecture program presents his work in the Nave to Dean Keith Krumwede.

2021 Graduate National Portfolio Day

CCA is hosting the West Coast in-person Graduate National Portfolio Day event. Meet one-on-one with faculty and graduate admissions staff to get feedback on your graduate admissions portfolio. You’ll be able to ask questions and find out what an ideal portfolio looks like for your program of interest. To prepare for this event, we recommend researching portfolio application requirements that pertain to your program of interest.

Saturday, October 30, 2021
10 am–2 pm PT

CCA
1111 Eighth St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

All attendees must register in advance. We will not be able to accommodate any walk-ins to this event.

Colleges and Universities represented

  • ArtCenter College of Design
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • California College of the Arts (CCA)
  • College for Creative Studies (CCS)
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Laguna College of Art + Design
  • Maine College of Art & Design
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • MICA
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)
  • New York Academy of Art
  • NJIT
  • Otis College of Art and Design
  • Parsons School of Design/Parsons Paris at The New School
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
  • Pratt Institute
  • San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
  • School of Visual Arts (SVA)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts)
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Important information

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our health and safety protocols, which keep our staff and students healthy. All guests to campus will be asked to:

  • Wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times during the event and to practice social distancing.
  • Provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering campus buildings. Upon arrival, you will be asked by CCA Public Safety to show ID and a copy or image of your vaccine card to demonstrate that you have received your last dose at least two weeks before the event.

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