Architecture Portfolios for prospective highschool applicants?

I am currently a junior considering Architecture as my major for next year when I apply. While I have viewed a handful of art portfolios for art/design majors, I can’t find any examples of what an architecture portfolio would look when applying to universities. I’m aware that it all depends on the person but I’m sure there are clear differences between a portfolio created for art/design and a portfolio created for Architecture. If possible, I’d be grateful if anyone can share examples of architecture portfolios as I am a little lost of what to create.


Cornell has videos on YouTube of freshman portfolios-just some simple searches should give you pretty decent results. My program didn’t require a portfolio though, mostly because they don’t want incoming students assuming they know how architecture works. A lot of kids here have lots of AutoCad/Revit experience but we aren’t even allowed to touch computers the first year-we all have to learn hand-drafting, graphite rendering, etc. You have to crawl before you walk anyway. Depending on which school you apply to, some are like mine where a portfolio isn’t required. However, if you’re stuck and have to make a portfolio, use your best works in AutoCad/Revit if you have any. Create some diagrams digitally to explain your work. Our professors really stress sheet composition so make sure everything is laid out in a way that flows nicely. Sometimes you can even include personal artwork such as your own renderings or freehand sketches.

Obviously hit the requirements if there are any, but otherwise, explore yourself through a vast amount of media (model-making, pen/pencil sketches, paintings, photoshop, or AutoCAD). Looking at other people’s portfolios in my program, there’s no recipe to follow in getting you into your dream-school.

I made a 6-foot long concept-model of a “sustainable” city as one of my pieces (may have been a little much, looking back). I also had a simple pencil-sketch of a cafe I happened to find nice-looking.

While a good portfolio is about creating a decent balance, try to surprise your reviewers while also incorporating your own opinions and views on the world.