Undergraduate Admissions

Show us your work

Showing your work is often considered the most intimidating part of the application process. Don't be intimidated, simply show us what you've got. In the event that you are looking for a little guidance, check out some of these helpful tips we've assembled to help you along the way.

Helpful Dos and Don'ts

Send Us Your Portfolio

Portfolios should be uploaded to Slideroom
You will be charged a $10 upload fee

Upload Portfolio

NOTE: Any work submitted may be published in future CCS brochures or presentations. CCS reserves the right to print submitted works.


  • Show drawings from observation of real life; people, places, objects and environments. Put your subject in a specific time or place.
  • Portray objects accurately – but creatively and with originality.
  • Experiment with mixed media, oil paints, watercolor and pastels.
  • Take a ceramics or metal and jewelry class. Create something three-dimensional.
  • Show art that combines technical ability with interesting ideas.
  • Talk about your ideas with instructors or admissions counselors and learn how to present your work. Keep a sketchbook and include it with your portfolio.
  • Ask for feedback. Put constructive criticism to work for you.
  • Include figure drawing if you have it.


  • Show drawings primarily from photographs.
  • Show copies of other’s work, for example existing characters, CD covers, styles or genres. Isolate objects in the middle of the page.
  • Draw on notebook paper.
  • Limit yourself to pencil.
  • Show only classroom assignments.
  • Ignore the background.

General Guidelines

Show us what you’ve got! One of the first lessons you’ll learn about becoming an artist or designer is the value of a strong collection of your work that you share with others. We want to see pieces that best convey your process and skills.


All Majors:

  • The art work you submit with your application should demonstrate original thinking and should be a reflection of you and how you view the world.
  • It should include examples of work that indicates the type of student you will be at the College for Creative Studies.
  • It should provide us with an understanding of your interest in and commitment to the field of art and/or design.
  • Your work may show how other artists and designers have influenced you.

You may also want to show how other aspects of culture - i.e. literature, music, film, politics, fashion, etc. - have helped you develop both intellectually and artistically.

  • The art work you submit does not need to include examples of your work in your intended major. The work should emphasize your strongest skillsets and show us how you think.
  • Edit your work. Quality is more important than quantity. Limit your art samples to 5 to 8 consistent pieces. Work completed within the last two years is usually the strongest.

Entertainment Arts: Animation
Entertainment Arts: Games
Fine Arts
Transportation Design

The portfolio you submit for Entertainment Arts: Animation, Entertainment Arts: Games, Fine Arts, Illustration or Transportation Design should show strong drawing skills.

  • A minimum of 5 drawings from direct observation and/or imagination, in any medium, must be included.

Entertainment Arts: Concept Design

The portfolio you submit for Entertainment Arts: Concept Design should show your interest in storytelling and your ability to visualize it. You can choose an existing story or create your own which you will then execute original design ideas that include the following requirements:

  • Portfolio's should be submitted digitally in a landscape, PDF format.
  • Show all four major subject areas, environments, characters, architecture and hardware (vehicles and props).
  • Include early concept sketches, development and inspiration photos along with finished renderings of your design ideas for each subject area. It is important to show your thinking process from rough to finish. This process should flow as follows: Inspiration photos-Rough sketches-Value studies or Silhouettes-Final rendering.

Additional Tips & Recommendations

Guidelines for Observational Drawing

  • Draw from observation of objects, scenes, still lives, landscapes and people. Include descriptive or representational drawings of your surrounding environment.
  • Include accurate line drawings and examples of fully rendered compositions using a complete range of light, middle and dark values.
  • If possible, include figure drawings or partial figure drawings (hands, feet, etc.) or portraiture.
  • Consider the entire picture surface; try not to isolate one object in the center of the page.
  • Any medium is acceptable for these drawings, including but not limited to: charcoal, graphite, pen and ink, paint, pastel, colored pencil and digital rendering.

Guidelines for Imagination Drawing

  • When submitting original character drawings, include the surrounding environment you envision them working, playing and living in.
  • Consider filling the entire picture surface. Try not to isolate one object in the center of the page.
  • Character development should incorporate your own unique style as opposed to copying a pre-existing style (i.e. anime or manga).
  • You may combine one or more reference sources in combination when creating your own unique image. Copied images are not acceptable.
  • If submitting your own original inventions or concept design (i.e. products, fashion, transportation or furniture) you may include sketches, background research and inspiration used to develop them. Show us your thinking process!

Suggested assignments for those with little to no art background or portfolio for admission

A minimum of 5 to 8 pieces are still required for admission. You may complete any of these suggested assignments multiple times.

  • 2 Dimensional Design project:Use a camera to create the following:
  • A portrait of how you see yourself.
  • A portrait of how others (or “the world”) sees you.
  • Documentation of your environment and how you interpret your environment.
  • Three Dimensional Design project:
    • Create a 3D sculpture from a variety of found objects or materials that you are drawn to. Explore color, texture, form and message. Photograph it in its environment.
    • Create a mask that transforms the wearer into a whole new character, creature or world.
  • Written project: Create a distress / “SOS” or “message in a bottle” letter. Contact the Admissions Office for more suggestions.

Submission Guidelines for the Visual Portfolio

Images of your final portfolio may be uploaded to http://ccs.slideroom.com. You will be charged a $10 upload fee. If it is not possible for you to upload your work, you may make other arrangements with your admissions counselor.

We encourage you to seek valuable feedback by presenting your work to an admissions representative, during a visit to CCS or at a National Portfolio Day

In order to be considered for our highest scholarships - you must submit all parts of your application and upload your work to slideroom before December 1.