Graduate Program Admission Requirements

CDM offers a wide range of practical and innovative graduate programs that respond to market demands for new technology and media skills. Applications for several graduate programs are accepted on a rolling basis, but exact deadlines—and any additional required admission materials—can be found by looking at the specific program information below.

Domestic applications take approximately one month to process while international applications take a minimum of three months (see the International Admission page for more information).

Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor who will assist throughout the program to determine the best course of study.

Contact CDM’s Graduate Admission Office with any questions.

STEM programs are identified with an icon.

STEM designation is granted to programs that produce graduates educated in science, technology, engineering, and/or math who help support U.S. economic competitiveness and growth. International students who earn degrees from STEM-designated programs can qualify to extend their post-graduation stay in the United States for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT provides an opportunity for international students to develop their careers while also helping meet the demand for STEM-educated professionals in the U.S. workforce.

Master's Program Admission

MA Animation

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
FallJune 1 (Priority)
August 1 (Extended)
June 1
SpringFebruary 1 (Priority)
March 1 (Extended)
January 15

General Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Bachelor’s degree awarded from a regionally accredited institution
  • Test of English Proficiency (for international students)
  • Submission of admission materials, including portfolio (as detailed below)

Steps to Apply

  • Complete an online application ($25 application fee).
  • Submit the required reel/portfolio with examples of your creative visual work and a reel/portfolio information sheet along with your application (see details below).
  • Send official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended, one which must show the conferral of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution of record; we do not accept transcripts sent from applicants. Institutions can send them electronically (preferred) or mail them to the address below. DePaul alumni/undergraduate students applying for graduate admission can request a free electronic transcript from DePaul. International applicants must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation. Visit the Transcript Evaluation page for additional information.
  • Optional: Submit any supplemental materials, such as letters of recommendation or professional experience as evidenced by a resume or industry certifications.

Transcripts and other admission materials can be sent via email (preferred) or mailed to:

admission@cdm.depaul.edu

CDM Graduate Admission Office
14 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60604

All submitted application materials will become part of your application file and cannot be returned. Please retain your own copy.

Reel/Portfolio Information

Applicants to this program are required to submit a reel/portfolio and information sheet. The electronic portfolio is uploaded as part of your application. Pending materials may be viewed by faculty prior to your final submission; however, no actual admission decisions will be conducted until the application period has concluded and final materials are received. A pending file at that time will be considered incomplete and ineligible for admission consideration.

  • Reel/Portfolio
    • The focus should be on the work samples.
    • Keep it simple, clearly labeled, and easy to navigate.
    • Reels should be HD quality (if possible, the online version should be on either YouTube or Vimeo). Your reel should be 5-10 minutes showing only your best work. Quality is valued over quantity. For longer works, include segments to the full version. You may include both animations and live action work. You must have had a significant role in the creation of each example.
    • Portfolios can include high-quality scans of drawings, paintings, storyboards, photographs, and designs. Limit your portfolio to the best dozen examples. You may also include detailed magnifications.
  • Reel/Portfolio Information Sheet
    • This document should describe each piece represented in your portfolio, including the title, medium, date, timecode in the reel, duration/dimensions, and your role in its creation.

Transition to MFA

Students who have been admitted to the MA Animation program may apply to the MFA Animation program for the next admission class in their first year of attendance only (maximum 24 credits earned for the MA program). Should a student be admitted to the MFA they may transfer any courses that apply in both programs. The MFA clock begins at the time of first enrollment in the MA Animation program and will not be extended due to a program change.

Master of Fine Arts Program Admission

MFA Animation(STEM)

MFA Animation

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
Fall (Early Deadline)February 1February 1
Fall (Late Deadline)August 1June 15
  • Early Deadline: Applications and all supporting materials must be received prior to February 1st each year for priority consideration. Applicants who meet this deadline will be notified of their admission status no later than March 15th.
  • Late Deadline: If space remains available, applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis up until August 1. Students will be notified of their admission status within one month of their completed application being received. (If space is unavailable at the time we receive your extended deadline application, we will consider it for the following academic year.)
  • Start Date: All students admitted into the MFA program, under either deadline, must begin their studies in the following fall quarter. (Students may not begin the program in the winter, spring, or summer quarters.)

The MFA Animation is a cohort-based program; all students begin their studies in the fall quarter.

General Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Bachelor’s degree awarded from a regionally accredited institution
  • Test of English Proficiency (for international students)
  • Submission of admission materials (as detailed under Steps to Apply)

Steps to Apply

  • Complete an online application ($25 application fee).
  • Submit a statement of creative purpose that includes your artistic goals and your reasons for applying to the MFA. Be specific, vivid, and focused (maximum of 2 pages).
  • Submit a 1-page description of a possible animation project that represents the type of work you hope to produce.
  • Submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation. Your recommenders will receive a link to upload their document. A student may submit more if they wish. Recommendation letters must be sent from the recommender to us, if hard copy they must be in a sealed envelope.
  • Submit the required reel/portfolio with example of your creative visual work and a reel/portfolio information sheet (see details below) along with your application in Slate.
  • Send official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended, one which must show the conferral of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution of record; we do not accept transcripts sent from applicants. Institutions can send them electronically (preferred) or mail them to the address below. DePaul alumni/undergraduate students applying for graduate admission can request a free electronic transcript from DePaul. International applicants must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation. Visit the Transcript Evaluation page for additional information.

Reel/Portfolio Information

Applicants to this program are required to submit a reel/portfolio and information sheet. The electronic portfolio is uploaded as part of your application. Pending materials may be viewed by faculty prior to your final submission; however, no actual admission decisions will be conducted until the application period has concluded and final materials are received. A pending file at that time will be considered incomplete and ineligible for admission consideration.

  • Reel/Portfolio
    • The focus should be on the work samples.
    • Keep it simple, clearly labeled, and easy to navigate.
    • Reels should be HD quality (if possible, the online version should be on either YouTube or Vimeo). Your reel should be 5-10 minutes showing only your best work. Quality is valued over quantity. For longer works, include segments to the full version. You may include both animations and live action work. You must have had a significant role in the creation of each example.
    • Portfolios can include high-quality scans of drawings, paintings, storyboards, photographs, and designs. Limit your portfolio to the best dozen examples. You may also include detailed magnifications.
  • Reel/Portfolio Information Sheet
    • This document should describe each piece represented in your portfolio, including the title, medium, date, time code in the reel, duration/dimensions, and your role in its creation.

Transcripts and other admission materials can be sent via email (preferred) or mailed to:

admission@cdm.depaul.edu

CDM Graduate Admission Office
14 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60604

All submitted application materials will become part of your application file and cannot be returned. Please retain your own copy.

Transition to MFA

Students who have been admitted to the MA Animation program may apply to the MFA Animation program for the next admission class in their first year of attendance only (maximum 24 credits earned for the MA program). Should a student be admitted to the MFA they may transfer any courses that apply in both programs. The MFA clock begins at the time of first enrollment in the MA Animation program and will not be extended due to a program change.

Doctor of Philosophy Program Admission

PhD Computer and Information Sciences

PhD Computer and Information Sciences

The Ph.D. program in Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) offers an opportunity for exceptional students to pursue substantial research in the computer sciences and related areas.

CIS admission requirements and steps to apply.