CCA seeks students who are engaged (or want to engage) in creative exploration that tells your story.

Your portfolio shows us your creative interests, illustrates what you enjoy making, and informs us who you are. We look forward to seeing your creative expression in a wide range of making practices.

Ideal applicants have developed skills in specific media (drawing, painting, photography, digital, etc.). Yet applicants who may have taken a slightly less traditional path capture our attention, too. Perhpas you've experimented with robotics, written lyrics for a band, or kept a sketchbook of your creative ideas.

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What Is a Portfolio?

CCA has a broad definition of what constitutes an effective portfolio. It may feature multiple creative endeavors, including completed as well as in-progress work:

  • animation & video
  • architectural design
  • apps & video games
  • blogs & websites
  • clothing (original or altered)
  • comics & zines
  • graphic design
  • objects & ephemera
  • notebook & sketchbook pages
  • paintings & drawings
  • photographs (digital or film)
  • sculpture & ceramics
  • stories, poems & lyrics
  • t-shirts (screen-printed or painted)

How to Present Your Portfolio 

A first-year portfolio typically consists of 10-15 examples of your best and most recent work through either a single medium or a range of mediums.

Stand-alone film, video, and animation samples should not exceed five minutes total; however, multiple clips are acceptable provided their cumulative length is five minutes or fewer.

You may also submit a “maker" portfolio, one that highlights a creative project you made (e.g., a bike you redesigned or clothes you found and restructured).

Architecture Portfolio
While not required, if you choose to submit architectural images, your work should reflect design, not drafting skills.

Writing & Visual Studies Portfolio
Follow the portfolio guidelines above or submit a five-to-10 page writing portfolio (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, lyrics, or a graphic novel).

Your writing sample may be a class assignment that expresses your creative writing potential.

Visual Studies applicants may submit an example of a written history assignment.

Download our portfolio pocket book for helpful suggestions!

Transfer Student Portfolio
You may include more than 15 pieces, but be sure to include enough work that reflects the college units you wish to transfer. Provide work that reflects your skills and concept development.

For advanced standing in studio courses, your portfolio should reflect the coursework taken at your former institution(s). Faculty members review your portfolio for advanced standing in the major.

Always include project descriptions, dates, and, if the project is collaborative, your role in contributing to the project.


5 Tips for Building an Effective Portfolio

Check out five practical tips to help you build the framework of an awesome portfolio!

Five handy tips