Portfolio Guidelines

Color and Design Portfolio Submission Guidelines:

  • Your portfolio should include a minimum of 4-6 design projects including academic, personal and professional.
  • Portfolios that reflect an understanding of the research and design process, an attention to detail and quality, and a well-developed design aesthetic
  • Computer proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, including:
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • InDesign
  • Think strategically when you choose your best pieces. The quality of your work and your presentations is much more important than an adorned and complicated presentation.

Interaction Design Portfolio Submission Guidelines

  • Portfolios should reflect interactive design work including elements such as:
    • Wireframes
    • User persona
    • General design principles
    • Attention to detail
  • Demonstrate experience in broadband technology, video streaming, mobile, and other internet technology

Integrated Design (formerly Interdisciplinary Design) Portfolio Submission Guidelines:

Applicant with design background:

  • Your portfolio should consist of a minimum of 4-6 projects including academic, personal and professional work.
  • Every project should show all phases of the design process (research, analysis, initial sketches and development), with use of effective storytelling.
  • Include some of the following as related to your specific background in 2D or 3D design:
    • Sketching and freehand drawing ability. Model making ability and an awareness of rapid prototyping technologies. 3D modeling skills package (such as Pro/E, Alias, Catia, I-DEAS or Solidworks, 98, Form  Z, Rhino 3D, 3D Studio Max, etc.), and final renderings.
    • Typography, layout, motion graphic.

●You are encouraged to include pieces that show your ability to work in a multidisciplinary team indicating clearly your role and contribution to the project.


Applicant with no Design background:

Please provide 3 examples of work that demonstrate your ability to:

  1. Be creative - photographs, illustrations, writing samples, movies, etc.
  2. Think critically - examples of quantitative and/or qualitative research where you derived meaningful conclusions and insights from your findings
  3. Synthesize and translate - samples of work that is about finding a solution to a given problem or an opportunity.

Transportation Design Portfolio Guidelines:

  • Your portfolio should include a minimum of 3-4 design projects including academic, personal and professional.
  • All projects must have a clear representation of the phases of the design process - including your project brief, research, target market development, concept ideation, development and final renderings and models - presented in a fluid, clear, systematic manner.
  • Submissions should demonstrate your functional skills including freehand sketching in accurate perspective, use of Photoshop and Alias – or other use of 2D/3D modeling and rendering software.
  • Include a significant amount of original process sketches and/or a separate sketch book as a PDF attachment in SlideRoom, or if necessary, mailed or e-mailed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • The portfolio should reveal a high level of skill in critical thinking, creative conceptualization and visual communication.


For applicants from related fields interested in pursuing the MFA degree as an entryway into design:

Your portfolio should demonstrate that you can communicate complex ideas in a professional manner and that you have ability to work in one type of design discipline. We are looking for your unique approach to design solutions.

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