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This page details all of the application materials and admissions requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation degree program. Read all sections carefully — particularly the submission of an art 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 can start your application, save, and return to it as many times as needed until you’re ready to review and submit it. We urge that applicants complete and submit an application two to four weeks after starting. 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:

  • Name, address, and phone number for all high schools and colleges you have attended
  • Dates (month and year) that you attended each institution
  • Your school counselor’s contact information (if applicable)
  • List of any extracurricular activities you have participated in (optional)
  • Résumé or CV (optional)
  • Contact information for anyone providing a letter of recommendation (optional)
  • Emergency contact person’s details
  • Credit card information (if you choose to pay the application fee via the application portal)

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Application Fee

You must include a $60 application fee along with your application. This can be done via the application portal.

Application fees can also be paid by credit card, cash, check, or money order (made out to DigiPen Institute of Technology).

DigiPen provides application fee waivers to applicants who visit us for an on-campus admissions outreach event or who attend an online information session or virtual admissions meeting.


ACT/SAT Scores

DigiPen has made the SAT and ACT requirements optional for all spring 2023 and fall 2023 applicants. Applicants will not be disadvantaged if they are unable to submit a test score. We evaluate applicants holistically and consider all qualifications and circumstances in our admission decisions.

There is no minimum score requirement for either test, and we do not prefer one test 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. If you would like your scores to be considered for your application, they must be sent directly to DigiPen by the issuing organization or included on your official high school transcripts. You can order your ACT scores at www.act.org and your SAT scores at www.collegeboard.org. 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.

The SAT/ACT requirement is always waived for:

  • International applicants (all degree programs)

  • Applicants who have already graduated from high school and have completed at least one, full-time year of college-level education (not including Running Start or other high school concurrent enrollment programs). Applicants with college-level equivalent credits earned during military service should contact the Office of Admissions for waiver confirmation.

  • Applicants who graduated from high school more than 10 years ago.


Transcripts

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 report their entire academic history from grade nine or equivalent and onward, as well as submit official transcripts from all educational institutions attended.

Accepted students must submit updated official transcripts upon graduation or completion of courses.

Type of transcripts you must submit depend on your situation:

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 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 transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. Applicable coursework includes high school concurrent enrollment programs, Running Start, community college, and university courses. Transcripts can be uploaded to your application.

For Accepted Applicants

Once you graduate or complete courses, please request official updated copies of your transcripts from each high school and/or college attended. Students typically need to request official transcripts from the institution’s registrar’s office and should do so early to allow time for processing.

The documents can be either mailed to DigiPen directly from the school (preferred) or mailed personally if they are sealed in an envelope with the issuing institution’s registrar stamped across the seal. Transcripts should be mailed to:

DigiPen Institute of Technology
Attn: Office of Admissions
9931 Willows Rd. NE
Redmond, WA 98052

DigiPen can also accept transcripts via the following pre-approved digital courier services:

  • Parchment
  • eScrip-Safe
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • SCOIR
  • DigiPen cannot accept opened, faxed, or emailed transcripts as official.

Essay

Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following three topics. Specific questions that may help you state your position are provided below each topic.

  • Describe your passion for a career in the field of production art.

    What inspired you to pursue a career as a visual artist? Have you taken any related courses in high school or at a post-secondary institution (credit classes or extracurricular courses)? If so, how did these courses play a role in your decision to become a visual artist? What type of artistic work do you hope to do after graduating? What is your understanding of what work is like as a professional visual artist?

  • Tell us about the artist who inspires you the most.

    Who is the artist? What is this artist best known for? What is it about this artist’s work that makes it inspirational for you? How would you describe the work to a person who could not see it? If you had the opportunity, what one question would you ask the artist and why?

  • Describe your understanding of DigiPen’s BFA in Digital Art and Animation degree.

    What do you understand about the structure of this program? What is it specifically about this program that appeals to you? Have you participated in any DigiPen events in-person or online, e.g. on-campus preview day or workshop, student shadow, online information session, online workshop, or have you spoken to a DigiPen representative at a college fair? Explain what impact this had on your decision to attend DigiPen. Why do you think DigiPen is the right school to help you realize your goals for the future? What has differentiated DigiPen from other art schools you have considered?

Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are all considered. Proofread your essay carefully.

Essay Submission Guidelines

Essays should be submitted by uploading directly via the online application.

You can also submit your essay by mailing a hard copy to DigiPen’s Office of Admissions or emailing a copy to admissions[at]digipen[dot]edu.


Art Portfolio

This portfolio must include 10-15 pieces of original artwork. Five of these pieces include prescribed drawings and color work. The remaining pieces may be work of the student’s choice from any range of artistic disciplines, such as character and environment design, 3D modeling, animation, sculpture, etc. In regards to the non-prescribed samples, we discourage derivative works, such as fan art, anime/manga, etc. However, master copies from famous fine art drawings, paintings, or sculptures is encouraged; in this case, students would need to attribute the artist being copied.

Presentation will also be assessed, so students must be mindful of the quality of the images (300 dpi, in focus, cropped, even lighting) and video files (animations, model turntables, etc.). Please clearly indicate the five prescribed drawings by selecting the “Representative Work” checkbox when uploading elements of your portfolio. Please also include the date of completion and medium used by making a notation in the description box. Instructions for uploading to the application portal can be found in the Portfolio Submission Guidelines section below.

Pro Tip: Unless otherwise indicated by the instructions below, consider taking photos of your artwork outside for better, more even lighting.

Prescribed Drawings and Color Work

All work must use traditional media and be derived from direct observation, NOT photographs.

Drawings (pencil and/or charcoal):

  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 self-portrait (using a mirror)
  • 1 interior view: a room (using two- or three-point perspective)
  • 1 page of hand and foot studies

Prescribed Color Work (wet media preferred, such as watercolor, paint, or gouache):

  • 1 still life with three simple objects

Miscellaneous Art Samples

The remaining 5-10 pieces can be completed using traditional or digital media and should demonstrate your current range, skill, and process. These personal works may include animations, figure/animal studies, color studies, original character designs, architectural renderings, landscape studies, sculptures, and paintings. The submitted work should not contain illustrations copied directly from manga, anime, animations, paintings, or photographs (cited master copies are acceptable).

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

Upload your portfolio via the application portal. The application portal can support media files as large as 5GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages. We support the following file formats:

  • Video: .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .mxf, .webm, .wmv

  • Audio: .aac, .m4a, .mka, .mp3, .oga, .ogg, .wav

  • Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff

  • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd


Other Materials

Optional Additional Essay

We’d love to get to learn more about you. Use this optional essay to tell us about yourself or 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, school counselor, or employer). Recommendation letters from family members will not be considered.

You should ask your references for recommendations before including their names on your application. Ask them to add @digipen.edu to their safe senders list or address book, then tell them to expect a reference request via email. Enter the contact information for your references in the online application, and each reference will receive a link to an electronic recommendation form.

If your references do not receive an electronic recommendation form, they may send their letter of recommendation to admissions[at]digipen[dot]edu.

For hard copy submissions, each letter must be sealed, signed, and dated by the author and must contain a contact phone number. References should explain how long they have known you and in what capacity.

How optional materials factor into your application

Please note that your application will be sent to evaluation whether or not optional materials are expected to be received and as long as it meets all requirements.

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.

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