Portfolio Requirements for Select Graduate Programs


Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Science for Teachers (MST) Applicants should submit their portfolio online using the SlideRoom website. SlideRoom is a web service independent of and selected by RIT for the easy submission of electronic portfolios.

Submit 10-20 examples of your recent artwork. The examples can include a range of media, methods and subject matter. The work should reflect your understanding of compositional organization, the elements and principles of art, creativity, attention to detail, and craftsmanship.

You may also link to media from your own websites, blogs, YouTube, Vimeo and/or SoundCloud.

Our MS Game Design & Development and MA Architecture programs DO NOT UTILIZE SLIDEROOM for submission of portfolios. The MS Game Design & Development and MA Architecture Portfolio Submission requirements are located lower on this page.

There is a $10 (USD) charge for your SlideRoom account access. This fee is separate from RIT’s application fee. NOTE: the SlideRoom site will allow you to register for an account and upload your portfolio without paying the $10 fee, however, your portfolio will not be available to MFA faculty for viewing and assessment until the $10 fee is paid to SlideRoom.

Access the SlideRoom website.

Please review specific portfolio details below related to the MFA program(s) you are applying to.

NOTE: If you created a SlideRoom account and/or uploaded a portfolio in the past year and wish to upload your portfolio for the first time or upload a new portfolio for consideration for a future academic term, you can simply start again and all of your information will be automatically pulled in. The SlideRoom database is not connected to the RIT admission system, so the admission system and your portal checklist does not immediately indicate receipt of your portfolio. The portfolio item in your checklist usually takes 2-3 days to be updated.



School of Art & School for American Crafts

  • Art Education (Visual Art-All Grades) MST
  • Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture MFA
  • Fine Arts Studio MFA
  • Glass MFA
  • Metals and Jewelry Design MFA
  • Furniture Design MFA

Portfolios submitted to the School of Art and the School for American Crafts should consist of at least 20 examples of the applicant’s best visual work.

School of Design

  • Industrial Design MFA
  • Visual Communication Design (formerly Graphics Design & Computer Graphics Design) MFA

As part of the entrance requirements, applicants must demonstrate an understanding of design principles and visual computer skills using Adobe products. A portfolio of 10-15 examples must demonstrate a good sense of design, typography, and illustration in addition to the applicant’s interests in and aptitudes for advanced study and, specifically, potential for success at RIT. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best original work. Applicants should not submit work copied from film, television, photographs, magazine/book illustrations or other sources.


School of Film and Animation

  • Film & Animation MFA

The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not need to necessarily be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, animation, photos, drawing, paintings, sculpture, stop motion puppets, script, storyboards and original music.

The applicant must present what they consider to be the best of their work, not all their work. The film or videos should total 12 minutes or less. A complete work is preferable to a ‘demo reel’. If there are no short works then a 12-minute excerpt of a longer piece is acceptable.

In addition to this, we are also asking that each applicant produce a 2-3 minute video self-portrait to be submitted online along with his or her online portfolio. You must appear on camera and speak to the lens. We want to know where you are from, why you want to attend the School of Film & Animation at RIT and what concentration you want to pursue. Please tell us about one significant accomplishment you have made. This is in addition to your written essay. Please do not read your essay on camera. Make sure the sound and picture quality is acceptable.

Applicants must place the link to their portfolios and video self-portrait on the SlideRoom website. Please include an inventory sheet or table of contents with your portfolio, and if it is not obvious, clearly indicate what your contribution was to group and collaborative pieces. This can be a separate description or can be included in the portfolio presentation.


Please contact Graduate Enrollment Services if you are unable to upload your portfolio online.


School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

  • Photography & Related Media MFA

Applicants should submit a portfolio of 20 images representing a cohesive body or bodies of recent work. Through Adobe SlideRoom and the Graduate Admissions website, applicants will submit their Letter of Intent and an Artist’s Statement.  Images must be uploaded to rit.slideroom.com.

The application deadline is January 15. Admission selection for the fall semester is made in the spring from among all portfolios and completed applications received. Acceptance occurs only once a year for a fall admission.

Portfolio instructions to SlideRoom:

  • Submit a portfolio of no more than 20 images to the college's portfolio website: rit.slideroom.com. (Size restrictions can be found through SlideRoom.) SlideRoom supplies space for captions, titling and additional information about each image, such as: title of the work, date, size, and medium
  • Number images 1 to 20 in the order the applicant wishes them to be viewed
  • Include a one-page Artist's Statement discussing submitted work and applicant’s creative process
  • Include a one-page Letter of Intent explaining why the applicant is interested in obtaining an MFA and specifically why RIT would be a successful fit for pursuit of a professional study degree


MFA Medical Illustration

Submit 10-20 pieces of your best work. At least half of the pieces should demonstrate your ability to draw from direct observation of the subject (i.e., not from your imagination or copied from photographs). Drawings of the human figure and/or other body parts (hands, feet, portraits) are preferred, but drawings of other organic objects (animals, plants, still lifes of natural objects) are also acceptable, as long as they are drawn from your own observation. The remaining portfolio pieces may be anything that demonstrates your understanding of composition, design, and creativity as well as the range of media you have mastered (drawings, paintings, prints, graphic design, digital media, sculpture, crafts, etc.). You are not required to submit any pieces depicting medical or scientific subject matter, although you are free to include these if they demonstrate your drawing ability or mastery of a particular medium.


MS Game Design & Development

The Game Design and Development MS degree program requires a portfolio as a part of the application process. The portfolios may include (but is certainly not limited to) the following types of articles:

  • Small games or programming exercises from undergraduate work 
  • Simple game engines 
  • Game artificial intelligence 
  • Level or map systems 
  • Work in computer graphics 
  • Usage of current APIs 
  • Level designs
  • Character designs 
  • Work in user-interface or control systems for games/entertainment 
  • Game ‘mods’ for existing titles, constructed using scripting languages 
  • Game development narratives

The primary focus of the portfolio review is to ensure that students have undergraduate technical preparation for the Game Design and Development degree. The portfolio process is also designed to provide baseline samples of core concepts such as object-oriented programming, computer literacy, and other desired skills. All entering students are expected to exhibit these skills.

Master of Architecture M.Arch.

All applications must be accompanied by a PDF digital portfolio. Print or bound portfolios or digital portfolios in formats other than PDF will not be accepted or reviewed. Please note that all PDF portfolios should not exceed 6.0MB. Files larger than this will not be accepted or reviewed. In the event the review committee requires additional information or higher resolution images, the applicant will be notified.  You may submit only one PDF file as your portfolio.  Your portfolio should be submitted through your application on the materials section.

Guidelines for portfolio preparation:

  • Image quality: A medium-quality image setting on a digital camera is sufficient. No images should be pixelated.
  • File size: Your portfolio should not exceed 6.0MB. Alternatively, you may use the PDF portfolio feature (found under FILE, in more recent versions of Acrobat) to create your portfolio.
  • Orientation: Landscape orientation is preferred.
  • Image enhancement: If the image files of your work are not accurate after photographing, image-editing software is allowed to correct the appearance of the files you are submitting. Please use caution. It is important to maintain the integrity of the original artwork. Images should be clear and free of reflections or ‘hot spots.’
  • Content:
    • Standard Admission Portfolio Content: In recognition that you do not have an architectural background, any variety of work in your portfolio is acceptable. While we value work related to architecture and the built environment, it is not essential if you do not have prior experience. Your portfolio should reflect your academic background and potential for creative expression by including things such as personal drawings, paintings, sculptures, crafts, or anything related to a design endeavor. Photography and creative writing such as poetry and music are also acceptable. Overall, the portfolio should display evidence of the potential for creative expression and critical inquiry.
    • Advanced Standing Portfolio Content: A portfolio of design work is required for all Advanced Standing applicants. The admissions committee is interested in the quality of the work, not the quantity, so please limit the portfolio to no more than 20 pages. Work can be academic or professional. If multiple people worked on a project included in your portfolio, please be sure to indicate your contribution to the project. Process work is highly encouraged.