Only to the extent of what I've read on the websites of several programs:
Originally posted by nrschmid
From the U of Illinois @ UC site:
A portfolio must be submitted to the Department if the student's undergraduate or professional work is in a design field. Non-design students are exempt from this requirement.
From the U of Minnesota site:
Applicants to the MLA Path I program, without previous professional design degrees, may submit a dossier of written work such as papers or reports on environmental issues, or other writing samples. Submission of a portfolio is recommended but not required.
From the U of Michigan siteAs I mentioned in my previous post, most schools do require a portfolio to be submitted when applying. However, it seems from the application guidelines quoted above, a portfolio isn't required for admission to all schools.
MLA applicants: Portfolio optional
Regardless, I think we can both agree that in applying for admission your are much better off if you send in a portfolio. This is true even if it means submitting non-design works, such as the art and writing samples you've mentioned.