National Portfolio Days

graphic asset

Bring your portfolio of artwork and have it reviewed by more than twenty-five colleges and universities from around the United States and Canada. The events are free and open to the public.

What is National Portfolio Day?

National Portfolio Days are educational events for young artists, held at host colleges throughout the United States and Canada. Portfolio Days bring together students and experienced college representatives who review artwork, offer critiques, discuss college plans, and share information about their schools. These events are not an examination or a competition. The art college representatives are interested in the student's development, look forward to reviewing the work and will provide helpful information for this next important step in the student's development as an artist. We suggest that students work with as many representatives as possible.

Who should attend?

Any high school student considering studying art or design at a college level should participate in National Portfolio Day. At Portfolio Day, you'll get a small taste of what it could be like to attend a professional art program. You'll see a variety of artwork created at different levels by young artists with varying skills and experiences. You may hear many different opinions about your work. Do not hesitate to explain to the college representatives how you develop your ideas, and where you want to go with them.

What should you bring?

Your portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks. We ask you to bring your original artwork whenever possible. If your work is large, 3-dimensional or otherwise hard to carry, you can bring photographs of the work instead. We suggest that you do not spend time and money matting or framing your work. Keep your presentation simple; the work itself is what is of interest to us. We can not guarantee that schools reviewing work will have laptops available to look at digital portfolios. We recommend that you bring your own laptop to present your portfolio if it is in a digital format.

No Admissions decisions or scholarship awards will be offered to you at a National Portfolio Day. Some of the colleges represented may accept the portfolio you present as the visual portion of your application, while others have policies that prohibit making a definitive admission decision at the time of your review. All will expect that your artwork will progress in the coming months.

Do you need to make a reservation?

Reservations are not required to meet with a college representative at a National Portfolio Day, but you may pre-register to speed up the student check-in process online here. All Portfolio Days are free and open to the public, with a first come, first served format.


National Portfolio Day at MCAD

Sunday, October 13th, 2013
Noon–4:00 PM
Minneapolis, MN

National Portfolio Day at MCAD Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Noon–4 PM*

MCAD's Main Building Minneapolis, MN

The only National Portfolio Day event in Minnesota.

Directions & Parking

Directions to MCAD may be found here. Free parking for National Portfolio Day is available in MCAD’s Parking Lot C located off of 26th Street, a one-way street on the South side of campus. Other campus and lodging information may be found at


*Come early to attend a special presentation on creative careers in art and design as well as a chance to tour our amazing facilities!

Morning @ MCAD
Sunday October 13, 2013
Time: 10:00–11:30 AM (Please arrive 10 minutes early for student check-in)
Morning @ MCAD will feature a presentation on creative careers in art and design to help you make the most of your time at National Portfolio Day as you begin the selection of your college major. An opportunity to tour our amazing facilities will be available as well. 

Registration is required; RSVP online for free.

Fall 2013—Attending Colleges: 

  • CalArts (Califronia Institute of the Arts), Valencia, CA
  • California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
  • Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH
  • Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA
  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC, CANADA
  • FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, CA
  • Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
  • Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Beach, CA
  • Maine College of Art, Portland, ME
  • MICA/Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
  • Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN
  • Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
  • Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  • PNCA|Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
  • Paris College of Art, Paris, France
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Denver, CO
  • San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA
  • School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
  • University of Kansas Departments of Design & Visual Art, Lawrence, KS
  • Washington Univesity in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


High School Art Teachers: Perpich Center for Arts Education and MCAD have teamed up to give you and your students more opportunities for learning about art and design careers and preparing for an arts focused education on Monday October 14th! Check out the PCAE website for more information.


Can’t make it to one of MCAD’s hosted National Portfolio Days?

Undergraduate National Portfolio Days

Look for us at these other scheduled National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) events. Please check the schedule on the NPDA's website, as the events are subject to change including updates to exact locations, times, and dates.

Sat, Sep 28: Denver, Colorado

Sat, Oct 5: Austin Texas

Sun, Oct 6: Dallas, Texas

Sat, Oct 12: San Diego, California

Sun, Oct 13: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minneapolis College of Art and Design 

Sat, Oct 19: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sun, Oct 20: Chicago, Illinois

Sat, Oct 26: Kansas City, Missouri

Sun, Oct 27: Detroit, Michigan 

Sun, Oct 27: St. Louis, Missouri

Sat, Nov 2: Des Moines, Iowa 

Sun, Nov 3: Boston, Massachusetts

Sat, Nov 9: Atlanta, Georgia

Sun, Nov 10: Chicago GRADUATE Portfolio Day

Sun, Nov 10: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sun, Nov 10: Rochester, New York

Sat, Nov 16: Purchase, New York

Sun, Nov 17: New York, New York

Sat, Nov 23: Washington, DC

Sun, Nov 24: Baltimore, Maryland

Sat, Dec 7: Phoenix, Arizona 

Sun, Dec 8: Albuquerque, New Mexico


Sat, Jan 11: Seattle, Washington

Sun, Jan 12: Portland, Oregon 

Sat, Jan 18: San Francisco, California

Sun, Jan 19: Los Angeles, California

Sat, Jan 25: Miami, Florida, Miami Dade Campus



Graduate National Portfolio Days

If you are interested in graduate programs, we encourage you to attend the NPDA Graduate National Portfolio Days hosted around the country. MCAD will have Admissions representatives attending these events. Please check the schedule on the NPDA's website, as the events are subject to change including updates to exact locations, times, and dates.

Sat, Oct 26: Los Angeles, California GRADUATE Portfolio Day

Sun, Oct 27: San Francisco, California GRADUATE Portfolio Day

Sat, Nov 23: New York City GRADUATE Portfolio Day

Sun, Nov 24: Boston, MA GRADUATE Portfolio Day



For more information, please visit the National Portfolio Day website. If you have any questions about the events hosted by MCAD, please contact the Admissions Office at 612.874.3760 or 1.800.874.MCAD ext. 1 or by emailing

Admissions events hosted by MCAD are always free and open to the public.