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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. Creative portfolios are truly optional, and should only be submitted if they feature work that is both significant to you and relevant to your MIT application.

Portfolios must be submitted by the same deadline as your corresponding application cycle—Early Action or Regular Action.


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, focus on one project that is most significant to you.

  • Please answer a brief questionnaire about your research experience.
  • Include a PDF of your abstract or research poster, if available. If the work being submitted has been published, provide a citation.
  • Nominate your research advisor, mentor, or Principal Investigator to submit a letter of recommendation directly through the SlideRoom portfolio.

Note: only one Research Supplement is permitted per applicant.

Music & Theater Arts

Students with exceptional musical, theater arts, or performing arts talent who would like their work to be reviewed by professional faculty from the MIT Music & Theater Arts department may submit a portfolio via SlideRoom.

  • All Music & Theater Arts submissions: We require one letter of recommendation from a current or recent music or theater arts teacher, requested directly through the SlideRoom portfolio. We also ask that you upload a performing arts résumé.
  • Musicians: Submit two recordings representing contrasting styles or periods, 10 minutes total combined duration. Each selection must be an unedited solo performance, and accompaniment may be included if appropriate. (Shortening the length of a video or compressing the file size is permitted.)
    • If you play two instruments equally well, you may optionally choose to submit a separate music portfolio for each instrument. Please create a second SlideRoom account using a different email address to submit a separate portfolio for your second instrument.
  • Composers: Submit one recent composition score in PDF format.
    • The composition portfolio is currently designed for musicians who compose music using Western musical notation. If possible, we ask that submissions that feature music production or electronic beats provide some musical notation, scores, or arrangements.
  • 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 total of video.
    • This portfolio option is meant for screenwriters/playwrights only. While MIT values creative writing, we do not currently offer a portfolio to review creative writing, essays, poetry, etc.

Visual Art & Architecture

The Visual Art & Architecture portfolio is designed for students with exceptional creative talent who would like their work to be reviewed by professional faculty and staff at MIT. You should consider submitting work via SlideRoom if your work is a significant part of your application and demonstrates strong creative talent for a young artist.

  • 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.


The Maker Portfolio is an opportunity for students to showcase their technical creativity—from carpentry to coding to cosplay. Your submission will be evaluated by the Engineering Advisory Board, a group of MIT faculty, staff, and alumni with notable technical expertise in different modes of making. If you make the kind of thing(s) you might exhibit at a Maker Faire, demo at a hackathon, or just do for yourself and friends, then the Maker Portfolio in SlideRoom is a way to show us.

  • Please answer a brief questionnaire about what you make, how you make, and why you make. Provide clarity on relevant goals, issues, setbacks, and lessons learned. We want to know about your problem-solving process and motivations, not just your visible end result.
  • Submit images, video totaling no more than 120 seconds, and up to one PDF of technical documentation and/or specifications. 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.
    • Sometimes, less is more! If you’re particularly prolific, consider focusing on the details for a few of your favorite projects.

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 4)

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.