AMES, Iowa —The Iowa State University College of Design and Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) will co-host a National Portfolio Day for prospective undergraduate and graduate art and design students Sunday, Sept. 22, in Ames.

At this free event, representatives from seven accredited Midwest institutions will review students’ portfolios and provide feedback to help them better present their work. Participating schools include Iowa State, MCAD, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kansas City Art Institute, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Northern Illinois University and University of South Dakota.

“It’s a great way to meet reps from multiple schools all at once, to get a feel for the programs and what they’re looking for and hopefully help determine which school you want to apply to later,” said Jennifer Anderson, ISU College of Design undergraduate recruitment and marketing coordinator.

National Portfolio Days are annual events held in multiple locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. They allow students to gain feedback from professionals to improve the quality of their portfolios for submission to art and design schools.

The Sept. 22 event will be from 10 a.m–4 p.m. in the College of Design building on the west side of the Iowa State campus. In addition to portfolio reviews, the day will also feature panels with Iowa State faculty and tours with current students who can answer prospective students’ questions and share information on ISU’s art and design programs.


9:45 a.m. Doors open

10 a.m. Check-in begins

10–11 a.m. “How to Build a Portfolio” panel session 1, facilities tour and admission information (King Pavilion)

11 a.m.–noon “How to Build a Portfolio” panel session 2, facilities tour and admission information (King Pavilion)

Noon–4 p.m. Portfolio reviews (Atrium)

This is a come-and-go event, but those planning to attend should register online prior to check-in. Participants can register any time until the end of the event.

Students should bring their portfolios; physical or digital portfolios featuring both finished projects/products and in-progress work are acceptable. Those with digital portfolios should bring a laptop or tablet and ensure their portfolio can be viewed offline.

Free parking will be provided outside the College of Design in lots 9, 10 and 11. View campus map. Iowa State student volunteers will be on hand to help participants and families. Questions may be directed to Jennifer Anderson, (515) 294-7415, janders@iastate.edu.


Jennifer Anderson, Design Student Services, (515) 294-7415, janders@iastate.edu
Hailey Allen, Design Communications, hallen15@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu