National Portfolio Days

graphic asset

Bring your portfolio of artwork and have it reviewed by more than thirty 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.

Should I 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 I 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 I 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. All Portfolio Days are free and open to the public, with a first-come, first-served format.

National Portfolio Day at MCAD

The only National Portfolio Day event in Minnesota. 
Check back for the date of the 2015 National Portfolio Day at MCAD.

Morning @ MCAD
Morning @ MCAD features a presentation on creative careers in art and design as you begin the selection of your college major. An opportunity to tour our state-of-the-art facilities is available as well.


Can't make it to MCAD’s hosted event?

Undergraduate National Portfolio Days

Look for us at these other scheduled National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) events.

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.


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.