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First-year applicants: Creative portfolios

Researchers, performing artists, visual artists, and makers may submit optional portfolios for review by MIT staff or faculty through SlideRoom.
 For more information on each type of portfolio, please review the descriptions below.

Portfolios must be submitted by the same deadline as your corresponding application cycle: November 1 for Early Action or January 5 for Regular Action.

Research

Students who have worked on a significant research project outside of high school classes are welcome to submit the Research Supplement via SlideRoom. If you have worked on more than one research project, you should focus on one project that is most significant to you.

Please answer a brief questionnaire about your research and provide a letter of recommendation from your research mentor. Researchers may include a PDF of their abstract or research poster, if available. If the work being submitted has been published, a citation can be provided.

Note: only one Research Supplement is permitted per applicant.

Music & theater arts

Performing artists (musicians, composers, dancers, designers, directors, writers, and actors) with exceptional talent are welcome to submit a supplement via SlideRoom. We recommend submitting work that represents a range of styles or skills if available.

We require one letter of recommendation from a current or recent music or theater arts teacher, submitted through the SlideRoom system.

  • Musicians: Submit two recordings representing contrasting styles or periods, 10 minutes total combined duration. Each selection must be an unedited solo performance. Accompaniment may be included if appropriate.
  • Composers: Submit one recent composition score in PDF format.
  • Actors, dancers, directors, and designers: Submit up to three videos or images. 10 minutes maximum total combined video time.
  • Screenwriters/playwrights: You may submit all or part of one or two scripts. Submissions should be no longer than 10 pages total. If your work was performed and recorded, you may submit up to 10 minutes of video. This portfolio option is meant for screenwriters/playwrights; while MIT values creative writing, we do not currently offer a portfolio to review creative writing, essays, poetry, etc.

Visual art & architecture

Creative individuals with exceptional talent are welcome to submit a portfolio via SlideRoom.

We encourage all types of media art, including design, drawing, painting, mixed media, digital media, photography, sculpture, and architectural work. You may submit a portfolio of up to 10 images of your work for review. Include the title, medium, a brief description, date completed, and a brief description of each work’s concept or inspiration.

Note: only one Visual Art & Architecture portfolio is permitted per applicant.

Makers

The Maker Portfolio is an opportunity for students to showcase their projects that require creative insight, technical skill, and a hands-on approach to learning by doing. Members of the MIT Engineering Advisory Board review the portfolios. If you would like your technically creative work to be reviewed by academic and instructional staff, then it might be a good fit for the Maker Portfolio.

For your Maker Portfolio, you may submit images, video totaling no more than 120 seconds, and up to one PDF of technical documentation and/or specifications via SlideRoom. You may document one project or many, and your work may have been done inside, or outside, of school, and alone or with a team; just make sure you explain it to us!

Note: only one Maker Portfolio is permitted per applicant.

Portfolio fee or waivers

The fee to submit each portfolio is $10. However, we understand that paying college application fees presents a hardship for some families. If the submission fee presents a hardship for you and your family, you may qualify for a fee waiver. To request a fee waiver, send a brief email to our SlideRoom portfolio team with the subject line “SlideRoom Fee Waiver” by the deadlines listed below. Include your full name and date of birth in the body of the email. Your SlideRoom portfolio must be in progress to receive a fee waiver; we cannot proactively grant fee waivers for portfolios that have not been started.

Fee Waiver Deadlines

Early Action: October 27 (Portfolios must be submitted by November 1)

Regular Action: December 28 (Portfolios must be submitted by January 5)

Allow 3–5 days for your request to be processed. You will receive an email once your fee has been waived; you must then submit your portfolio by the submission deadline.