Is Portfolio School Worth It?
January 10, 2024

Is Portfolio School Worth It?

If you're wondering if portfolio schools are worth the hype, the answer is yes!

Sarah Latz

Are you thinking about going to an advertising portfolio school? You might be wondering, "Is it really worth the money and time?"

Our answer is a resounding: YES.

The two biggest benefits of portfolio school are: 

  1. Hands-On Action: Portfolio schools are set up like agencies. You dive head-first into creating tons of campaigns, and your teachers act like creative directors who continually give you feedback. There are very few lectures…you learn by doing. And having the structure and standards to consistently create book-worthy work really improves your portfolio. It's a crash course in ad life.
  2. Networking Galore: Portfolio schools really are like magnets for advertising pros. Expect guest appearances from industry big shots who become part of your network when you graduate. The right connection could be your golden ticket to landing your dream gig.

And there are truly so many great options to choose from these days. Everyone, depending on their schedule and budget, can find a portfolio school option for them.

1.) VCU Brandcenter:

Full program cost: Approx $54,000
An awesome, in-person 2-year school located in Richmond, VA. If you want a Portfolio AND a Masters Degree, this is the school for you. They have programs in Art Direction, Copywriting, Strategy, Brand Management and UX Design.

2.) Miami Ad School:

Full program cost: Approx  $38,800
Another in-person 2-year school with locations all over the world. (They have online classes too.) They have programs in Art Direction, Copywriting, Strategy, Photography and Design, and also have an optional masters degree track. 

3.) Denver Ad School

Full program cost: $27,000

A cool, in-person 1 year school in Denver, CO that offers programs in Art Direction, Design, and Strategy.

4.) book180 Portfolio School

Full program cost: $9,950 ( includes the Adobe Creative Suite)
Hi it’s us! If you can’t afford the time or money the 1 & 2 year programs cost, or just want to get a great book right away so you can start your career faster, then we’re a fantastic option for you. We’re a 6 month, completely online school, with instructors from around the world. We have programs in Art Direction and Copywriting.

5.) Adhouse

Per class cost: $699
Adhouse a great option for people who want to test the waters on portfolio schools or polish up their book with one or two pieces. They offer 10 week classes at a time in a variety of subjects, like creative process and campaign ideation. One cool thing is that the classes are held in-person at the instructors’ agencies.

6.) The BLAC Internship Program
If you're part of the BIPOC community and dream of being in advertising, check out this fantastic non-profit organization. BLAC is a twelve-week, paid internship. It takes place at ad agencies across the country. You'll get hands-on experience, paired with educational portfolio-building components.

In a nutshell, if you're dreaming of a career in advertising, portfolio schools will turbocharge your journey. Sure, it takes some time and money, but trust us, the investment is worth it for the exciting world of advertising that awaits you. Take your time exploring the different options out there. There are a lot of threads on Reddit you might find helpful!Ask to sit in on a class or talk to a current student! The most important thing is that you find a school with a strong sense of support and community, because that type of environment always creates the best work. .