Preparing and Submitting a Portfolio

In order to apply to a masters program in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon, you must submit a portfolio and introductory video as described below.


Whether your background is in design or not, you're required to submit a portfolio that includes 5-9 pieces or projects. Recognizing and appreciating the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our applicants, we welcome the submission of a range of work. Include samples of recent work that represent the strengths of your professional, creative, or academic experience. Your portfolio might be filled with design projects, writing samples, or summaries of other original projects you have undertaken. You may use photography, video, writing, or interactive presentations to demonstrate your work.


Upload a one-minute video that describes your interests in design and your fit in our program. You are welcome to include any visuals that support your story. Keep in mind, this piece is intended to provide us with some insight into who you are and what excites you so we encourage you to have fun with it and be yourself. Note, the video will stop after one minute.


Upload your Portfolio to the GradCAS application as (1) a pdf including 5-9 pieces or projects OR (2) a single pdf that lists a url for your portfolio website and any necessary passcodes. For each piece submitted, provide a brief description of the project’s content, and context, and duration. 

We encourage you to upload pdfs of your process work, where possible, to help us understand your creative and problem-solving approaches and learn about your interests. For long works – theses, book designs, software applications – please select excerpts that best represent your strengths. If you include a collaborative project, be sure to identify your specific role and contributions. 

Your portfolio will be evaluated from multiple viewpoints including visual and/or verbal communication skills, critical/analytical thinking, craftsmanship, and creativity.

Upload your introductory video to Slideroom from GradCAS. You may link to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.