Every applicant to the School of Architecture must use Carnegie Mellon's online SlideRoom portal to electronically submit the architecture portfolio, for review by the architecture admission committee. 


About the Architecture Portfolio

The portfolio consists of the completion of two forms and the submission of ten different creative works submitted to the architecture portfolio portal of SlideRoom.

In your portfolio, we seek evidence of your curiosity, critical thinking, innovation, problem solving, spatial reasoning/visual thinking, ability to synthesize, and desire to make and build things. The quality of the portfolio’s overall composition is as important as the quality of any individual piece. You should carefully curate and arrange your portfolio to tell a compelling story about yourself, your abilities and passions, and your commitment and motivation to study architecture.

Please keep in mind the following:

  • Acceptable types of work include, but are not limited to: 2-D and 3-D design, drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, digital work, maker projects, and inventions. All portfolios must be submitted online, so prepare high-quality digital scans or photographs of works where necessary. See a full list of specifications and acceptable file types in SlideRoom. You should include as varied a range of projects as possible, while highlighting your strengths.
  • A portfolio cannot contain more than ten works, each uploaded separately. We understand that within these constraints, some larger or more complex pieces cannot be displayed in their entirety. In this case, please choose one representative image of the piece (or combine a maximum of no more than three images in an effective layout). Don't attempt to represent a complex work with a collage of multiple images as this may compromise a reviewer's ability to see your work.
  • All applicants are encouraged to include examples of drawings. Drawings can be observational or created from the imagination, but they should not be drawn from a photo or other two-dimensional image. CAD drawings should not be included.
  • Your portfolio must be submitted online via SlideRoom, where you must register for an account before uploading content. You must submit the Common Application to Carnegie Mellon first, in order to submit your portfolio to SlideRoom. Only portfolios submitted through SlideRoom before the published deadline will be reviewed by the architecture admission committee.
  • When uploading an image of each work, you'll be asked to provide information and a brief written description of each work. The descriptions should be considered as part of the arc of the portfolio and, as such, thoughtfully composed.
About the On-Campus Review of the Architecture Portfolio

The School of Architecture strongly recommends that each applicant register to attend an on-campus review of their portfolio submission. The on-campus review involves visiting campus to discuss your portfolio submission with faculty. During an on-campus review, you’ll be able to ask questions and engage with School of Architecture students, faculty and staff. (School of Architecture faculty don't critique or evaluate portfolios outside of the scheduled on-campus reviews listed below.)

The School of Architecture requires the online submission of your portfolio through SlideRoom regardless of whether you attend an on-campus review or not. Visit SlideRoom to submit your work electronically.

2019-2020 On-Campus Review Dates:

  • Sunday, November 3, 2019 (Early Decision applicants only)
  • Sunday, January 26, 2020
  • Sunday, February 2, 2020

Register here!

If participating in the on-campus review of your portfolio submission:

  • Early Decision applicants should plan to submit their application in advance of the November 1 deadline to be able to register for the November on-campus portfolio review day. Early decision applicants must submit their portfolio to SlideRoom by November 1.

  • Regular Decision and Transfer applicants can register to attend either the January or February on-campus portfolio review day (registering by January 1) and submit their portfolio to SlideRoom prior to their scheduled review January 15.

Architecture Portfolio FAQ

How do I submit my architecture portfolio for review?

Submit your architecture portfolio online through the School of Architecture’s SlideRoom portal. You must first register/create an account in SlideRoom in order to begin uploading images for your portfolio. In order to submit your portfolio to SlideRoom, you must first submit your Common Application to Carnegie Mellon.

What if I've already registered/submitted an online portfolio through another institution's SlideRoom portal?

Many institutions use SlideRoom as their applicant portfolio management system. If you’ve already created a SlideRoom account, you don’t need to create another one to submit to Carnegie Mellon. Use the email and password that you’ve already created on SlideRoom to submit a portfolio to Carnegie Mellon. Please note that the SlideRoom system only allows each applicant one email account. 

Who do I contact if I'm having a technical issue with SlideRoom?

Once you’ve registered with SlideRoom, you’ll see a Help tab on the online portal. From this section of the website you’ll be able to submit your technical questions, which will be answered by a SlideRoom representative. Technical issues with submitting your online portfolio should not be sent to Carnegie Mellon. 

Do I need to submit multiple portfolios if I'm applying to more than one area at Carnegie Mellon?

Yes. The School of Architecture, School of Art and School of Design at Carnegie Mellon are individual schools with individual admission processes and committees. Each school within the College of Fine Arts has its own undergraduate degree programs, faculty, and therefore, each school has different portfolio requirements. Therefore you'll need to submit a portfolio to each school within the College of Fine Arts that you wish to be considered for admission to. Portfolios submitted to only one school will not be evaluated by the other schools in the College of Fine Arts.

How much does submitting a portfolio cost?

Each submission requires a $15.00 fee that is paid online through SlideRoom. For example, if you’re submitting portfolios to the School of Architecture and the School of Design, you’ll be charged $15.00 for each school or a total of $30.00. 

The architecture portfolio section of SlideRoom will only allow me to submit 10 images. Can I submit more?

No. The architecture portfolio consists of 10 different works—no more, no fewer.  

For my architecture portfolio, I have a piece of work that consists of more than one picture, like a 20-page illustrated book. Is it possible to submit multiple images of one work?

In this area, our faculty reviewers strongly believe that “less is more" and including more images entails sacrificing the quality, visibility, and impact of any individual image. In the case of a highly complex work, choose a maximum of three representative images of the piece, and arrange those in an effective layout.

Am I able to provide a description of each work in the portfolio?

Yes. SlideRoom allows you to provide a brief description of each work, including the title, year, medium, and size (dimensions or file size).

There are size limitations to what I can submit. In addition to the portfolio uploaded to SlideRoom, am I permitted to mail a paper copy or a higher-quality digital version of my portfolio?

No. The portfolio reviewers don't accept any mail-in or emailed portfolios or supplements. The architecture admission committee will only review work submitted online through SlideRoom.

I have registered for an on-campus review to show my portfolio. Do I still need to submit them to SlideRoom?

Yes. The School of Architecture will only accept portfolios submitted through SlideRoom. Your electronically submitted portfolio will be made available during your scheduled on-campus review.