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Admissions . Apply . Submitting Your Portfolio . Portfolio Checklist 

Portfolio checklist

A strong portfolio can position you for acceptance into an art and design school, and may qualify you for scholarships.

What to include in your portfolio

At CIA, our admissions committee will evaluate the work in your portfolio for:

  • technical abilities
  • conceptual problem-solving skills
  • how you use your chosen mediums

Your portfolio should be a selection of your best 12 to 20 pieces of art. Fewer than 12 doesn't allow you to show the breadth of your skills; more than 20 may dilute your overall portfolio submission.

Sketchbook pages are highly encouraged, as it allows us to see how you think.

Try not to include work copied from photographs or other published work. We want to see how you think.

Preliminary portfolio review

We'd love to help you throughout the process, and invite you to contact us for a preliminary review. Our admissions counselors will help you build your best portfolio for admission. 

And we encourage you to start your application, even if you're not ready to submit your portfolio. Starting an application early ensures you'll be considered for the maximum financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Portfolio checklist

When to submit your portfolio

  • If you are using CIA's internal application, you will upload your artwork through the Online Application. You can do this at the same time that you submit the application, or return to the Applicant Status Page at a later date. You may also upload your artwork through SlideRoom.
  • If you are completing your application through the Common Application website, you will receive instructions for uploading your portfolio within 48-72 hours of submission. You will use the Applicant Status Page or SlideRoom to upload this artwork.
  • CIA has two application deadlines: Early Action Decision is December 1, and Regular Decision is March 1. If you wish to complete your application file by either of these dates, we ask that you have all of your materials submitted to us by no later than two weeks past the decision dates.

Transfer student portfolio

Once your application requirements are submitted, including your portfolio of 12-20 pieces of artwork, an admission decision will be communicated to you. At that point, we may request that additional artwork be submitted to allow for a thorough assessment of your art and design skills and how your coursework aligns with our CIA curriculum requirements and/or open studio electives. 

For more information:

216.421.7418 | Contact

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