How to put together a portfolio for a university application

Written by risa edwards
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A college portfolio is one of the most important pieces of the application. Examples of your work often count more towards an admission decision than your grade point average or test scores. A portfolio is most often required when applying to an art program, but other departments may require samples of your academic work and writing ability. Start preparing your portfolio early and give yourself time to work on any deficiencies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Samples of creative or written work
  • Digital camera (for art pieces)

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  1. 1

    Check with your prospective college and create a list of everything that the school requires in the portfolio.

  2. 2

    Assess your work and choose the pieces that best showcase your ability. You may want to consult with your current or previous teachers to help you choose.

  3. 3

    Convert your materials into the required format. This varies greatly according to the type of program to which you are applying. Some colleges may require digital photographs or slides for art, PDF copies of papers, or MP3 files for music samples. Other colleges may require hard copies of your work.

  4. 4

    Label all physical items that you will send to the school. Make sure your name and address are clearly visible on each piece.

  5. 5

    Include a resume if you have any applicable experience in the field you are applying for. This may be part of the application process.

Tips and warnings

  • Attend a workshop that gives you tips on compiling your portfolio.
  • Look at sample portfolios of other students to get ideas.

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