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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 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:

  • 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 guidance 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 online)

Apply Online


Application Fee

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.


ACT/SAT Scores

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.

The SAT/ACT requirement is 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.

Score Reporting

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.


Official 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 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.


Essay

Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following five 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?

  • Describe a time you were tasked to learn a new skill quickly and effectively.

    What circumstances and approach did you take to complete the task? What resources did you use? What assistance did you seek? What feedback did you receive and how did you respond to any instruction or advice given? Did you succeed or fail? What lesson did you learn?

  • Describe how you dealt with a challenging situation you faced at school, work, or other activity, e.g. music, sports.

    Describe the situation. How did you overcome the challenge? What was a key motivation that helped you overcome the challenge? Who inspired or mentored you during the difficult time? How did their involvement help? What did you learn about yourself?

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

Essay Submission Guidelines

Essays can be submitted either by:

  • uploading directly via the online application (in which case there is an electronic signature and date stamp),

  • mailing a hard copy to DigiPen’s Office of Admissions, or

  • emailing a copy to admissions[at]digipen[dot]edu.

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.


Art Portfolio

Applicants to the BFA in Digital Art and Animation degree must submit an art portfolio showcasing their best and most recent work. This portfolio must contain between 10-15 samples of original artwork created by the applicant. If necessary, DigiPen may request more samples for review. Artwork created within the last two years is strongly preferred.

The portfolio must include:

Prescribed Drawings from Direct Observation

Using graphite pencil or charcoal and on quality art paper, draw the following four Prescribed Drawings from real life (not from images or photographs):

  • A pair of shoes
  • The same pair of shoes as above but from a different perspective (e.g. shoes drawn from the back) or a different orientation (e.g. shoes turned upside down)
  • An interior space, such as a kitchen or bedroom
  • A self-portrait

The primary objective of these four Prescribed Drawings is for you to demonstrate foundational drawing skills. You should focus on drawing the Prescribed Drawings realistically and accurately, NOT applying any artistic style (e.g. cartooning).

On the corner of the page of each Prescribed Drawing, please write the date created and length of time spent on the drawing.

Miscellaneous Art Samples

The remaining 6-11 pieces 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, animé, animations, paintings, or photographs (cited master copies are acceptable).

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

Submit your art 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 all artwork with the date of completion and the medium used and indicate clearly which drawings are the four Prescribed Drawings from Direct Observation. Images should be in focus and properly oriented for the subject.


Other Materials

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.