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Test-Optional Portfolio Path

Since 1991, Lewis & Clark’s Test-Optional Portfolio Path has allowed students to achieve a more personal representation in the admissions process.  Designed to reinforce success in the classroom, the test-optional path allows an applicant to provide an academic portfolio demonstrative of the student’s intellectual curiosity, depth and breadth of curriculum, and overall preparation for college work.  Students who choose this option still submit the Common Application and other required documents.  In addition, applicants must also provide a total of two academic teacher recommendations and a portfolio of graded academic work.  Applicants may choose whether or not to include standardized test scores in their applications.

An academic portfolio must include the following:
  • One sample of graded analytical writing (expository writing, essay exams, research papers…NOT creative writing).
  • One sample of graded quantitative/scientific work (science lab report, math/statistics or science test or work).  Sample should demonstrate student’s ability to use numbers to work through a problem.
  • Two academic Teacher Evaluations (total of two; written by academic teachers from 10th - 12th grade courses, with preference given to junior and senior years. Transfers must submit evaluations from college instructors.).
    • One letter must be from an English, social studies, or foreign language teacher.
    • One letter must be from a mathematics/statistics or science teacher.
Additional important criteria:
  • Students should indicate their intent to apply using the Test-Optional Portfolio Path on Lewis & Clark’s Member Page on the Common Application.
  • First-year applicants must submit work from their junior or senior years in high school.
  • Transfer applicants must submit college-level work, preferably completed at their current institution (or the institution most recently attended).
  • All work must be graded; instructor comments or markings can be helpful.
  • First-year students must submit teacher evaluations from classes taken 10th - 12th grades with preference given to junior and senior years.
  • Transfer applicant recommendations must be from instructors of recent college/university courses.
  • If artwork is to be included as additional material, a link to an online gallery is preferable.  You may also submit electronic files or hard copies, although please do not submit originals as they will not be returned.

Teacher evaluations/recommendations must be submitted to our office directly by your teacher, either through the Common Application or via email.

Graded work samples should be submitted electronically via your Pioneer Portal once you have applied. Other methods include emailing your admissions counselor, fax or USPS. See contact info to the right. Please note: portfolio contents sent to us by mail will not be returned.