This page details all of the application materials and admissions requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Music and Sound Design degree program. Read all sections carefully — particularly the submission of a performance portfolio, which is unique to the program — and please contact admissions[at]digipen[dot]edu if you need clarification on any of these requirements.
Application for Admission
You must submit an online application to be considered for admission. You may save your progress partway through the application if you choose to complete it over more than one session. We recommend that you review the application instructions on this page and prepare the necessary materials prior to beginning the online application.
You will need the following materials in order to complete the application for admission:
You must include a $60 application fee along with your application. If applying online, you can either pay by credit card or select the option to pay the fee later. Fees can be paid by credit card, cash, check, or money order (made out to DigiPen Institute of Technology).
DigiPen waives the application fee for applicants who demonstrate financial need through an SAT fee-waiver program or who participate in a similar need-based program. DigiPen also provides fee-waivers to applicants who visit the campus for an admissions meeting or on-site information session.
We require all undergraduate applicants to complete the SAT or ACT and submit their scores along with their application (see exceptions, below). There is no minimum score requirement for either test and neither test is preferred over the other. SAT II Subject Tests are not required for admission but may be taken into consideration during the evaluation process if included with your application. SAT or ACT test scores must be sent directly to DigiPen by the issuing organization or included on your official high school transcripts.
Average SAT scores (prior to March 2016) for BS and BA programs are over 1700; average SAT scores (for tests starting March 2016) for BS and BA programs are over 1220; average ACT composite scores for BS and BA programs are generally over 26.
To have your official SAT or ACT scores sent to DigiPen, include the college program code 4138 on your SAT form or 6659 on your ACT form.
High School Transcripts
In order to meet the minimum requirement for admission to DigiPen, all applicants must have completed grade 12 or the equivalent. We recommend applicants have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale in their most recent studies. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all high schools attended, including a final transcript showing proof of high-school graduation.
Type of transcripts you must submit depend on your situation:
Current high school seniors should submit their most recent high school transcripts with their application. Final transcripts will be required from all high school seniors prior to enrollment.
Students who have earned their GED should submit sealed transcripts for the time that they attended high school, along with official GED test scores.
Homeschooled students should submit official transcripts from an accredited curriculum and/or (as applicable) official GED test scores. See the For Homeschooled Applicants page for more information.
International students must submit certified-true copies of their academic records. See the For International Applicants page for more information.
You should request official copies of your transcripts from each high school attended. The documents can be either mailed to DigiPen directly from the school (preferred) or mailed by you in a sealed envelope as prepared by the school. DigiPen cannot accept opened, faxed, or emailed transcripts.
If you have completed a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution, you are not required to submit your high school transcripts, but you must submit final transcripts from the college or university attended along with official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
College and University Transcripts
Required for: All applicants who have taken coursework at the college or university level.
If applicable, you must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. Applicable coursework includes high school concurrent enrollment programs, Running Start, community college, and university courses. Students typically need to request official transcripts from the institution’s registrar’s office and should do so early to allow time for processing. Transcripts must be sent directly to DigiPen Institute of Technology in a sealed envelope as prepared by the issuing school. Transcripts may be sent by the applicant if sealed in an envelope and stamped over the seal by the registrar, showing that the envelope has not been opened. Unofficial transcripts are not accepted.
Why have you applied to this program, what inspired you to pursue a future in this field, what have you done to prepare yourself for this field, and why is DigiPen the right school for you to realize your goals?
While answering this question, consider addressing coursework you have taken related to your chosen field, participation at DigiPen workshops or events, what you hope to do after graduating from DigiPen, what it means to be a professional in your chosen field, and your understanding of your chosen degree program at DigiPen.
Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are all considered. Proofread your essay carefully.
Essay Submission Guidelines
Essays can be submitted either by:
For online submissions, it is best to have your essays drafted and prepared before beginning your application.
For paper submissions, your name and degree program should be printed at the top of each page; each page should be typed and double-spaced; each essay should be signed and dated on the last page.
Applicants to the Music and Sound Design degree program must submit a performance portfolio exemplifying their musical performance abilities. This portfolio should contain two unedited video recordings of live musical performances in contrasting styles with your primary instrument and a maximum of four examples of musical involvement. Performances done within the last three years are strongly preferred.
The performance portfolio must adhere to the following requirements:
For the two (2) unedited video recordings of live musical performance in contrasting styles:
Edited recordings are not accepted.
Audio quality must be clear and free of noise.
For all instruments except voice, at least one of the performances must be unaccompanied.
Both performances should be with your primary instrument, and you must be identifiable as the performer.
Each performance should be approximately two to five minutes in duration.
The recorded performances should demonstrate your musicianship and performance ability and should showcase your expertise with your primary instrument.
All styles of music are welcome, as long as the two pieces are in sufficiently contrasting styles, such as Baroque and Romantic or Classical and Jazz.
For evidence of musical involvement, submit up to four examples of any of the following:
Scores and/or recordings of compositions, arrangements, and/or performances
Reviews of musical performances, recitals, recordings, or other musical work
Awards for musical competitions
Video or audio recordings of musical performances
Documentation of participation in performance ensembles, such as orchestras, bands, or other musical performance groups
Video soundtracks (include video)
Portfolio Submission Guidelines
Submit your performance portfolio via Slideroom. Slideroom requires a $10 fee to upload portfolios; this fee may be waived for students who demonstrate financial need through an SAT fee-waiver program or who participate in a similar need-based program. Please note Slideroom can accept the following file sizes/types:
Images (5 MB max): .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga
Videos (60 MB max): .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv
Audio (30 MB max): .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac
Documents (10 MB max): .pdf
Label performances with the date, title, and composer of the work.
Optional Additional Essay
Use this optional essay to explain any unusual circumstances or situations that you think may have an impact on your application.
Optional Letters of Recommendation
All undergraduate applicants (including international applicants) are strongly encouraged to submit two optional letters of recommendation. Letters must be from individuals familiar with your academic background or work ethic (e.g. an instructor, guidance counselor, or employer). Recommendation letters from family members will not be considered.
You may choose to enter the contact information for your references in the online application. In this case, our system will email each reference a link to an electronic recommendation form once your application is submitted. You should ask your references for recommendations before including their names on your application and tell them to expect a reference request via email.
For hard copy submissions, each letter must be sealed, signed, and dated by the author and must contain a contact phone number. Recommenders should explain how long they have known you and in what capacity. You should provide your recommenders with a link to or a hard copy of the Letter of Recommendation Template. Alternatively, references may write their own letters of recommendation without using this template.
For International Applicants
In addition to the typical requirements for undergraduate applicants, international applicants must also provide additional information to be considered for admission to DigiPen. Visit our International Applicants page for details about Academic Records, the Financial Responsibility Form, and providing Proof of Proficiency in the English Language (for non-native English speakers).
For Homeschooled Applicants
We welcome applicants from all types of educational backgrounds and encourage homeschool students to apply to any of our degree programs. All applicants are evaluated on an individual basis, and all aspects of application materials are considered.
Please visit our Homeschooled Applicants page for specific application requirements.