General Application Process
- Choose the
graduate program that best fits your academic and professional goals. Applicants may have one active application per quarter.
- Complete an
online application ($25 application fee for domestic applicants, $75 for international applicants).
- Submit additional materials required for consideration to your program of interest.*
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. 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.
Transcripts and other admission materials can be sent via email (preferred) or mailed to:
CDM Graduate Admission Office
1 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 8500
Chicago, IL 60604
All submitted application materials will become part of your application file and cannot be returned. Please retain your own copy.
*Program-specific deadlines, supplemental materials, and additional admissions requirements can be found on the
Graduate Program Admission Requirements page.
What is the deadline to apply?
- For most master’s the priority deadlines are 1 month prior to the start of classes for domestic applicants and about 3 months prior to the start of classes for international students. We encourage you to visit the
Graduate Program Admission Requirements page to verify exact deadlines for your program of interest.
- Our MFA programs admit for the Fall quarter only. The Priority Deadline for each year is December 15. The Final Deadline is May 15.
- Our PhD programs admit for the Fall and Winter quarters each academic year. The application deadline for admission to the Fall quarter is January 15. The application deadline for admission to the Winter quarter is October 1st.
GRE/GMAT required for admission?
- CDM's master's and MFA programs do not require either exam.
- The submission of GRE scores is required in order to be reviewed for admission to the PhD in Computer and Information Sciences. It cannot be waived.
- The GRE/GMAT is
not required for the PhD in Human-Centered Design.
TOEFL be waived?
The English proficiency requirement can be waived for applicants who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher in the following countries:
- United States
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Solomon Islands
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
Additionally, you will
find English proficiency requirements by country
Once we receive a transcript evaluation verifying that you have received a degree in one of these countries, the English proficiency requirement will be waived for you.
The English proficiency requirement
cannot be waived for programs outside of these countries, even if the language of instruction was English.
Can the course-by-course evaluation for international applicants be waived?
We require the
course-by-course evaluation to convert international GPAs to a 4.0 scale and verify that the college or university has the equivalence of US regional accreditation. Therefore, this requirement cannot be waived. We cannot begin reviewing for admission until an official course-by-course evaluation is received from one of our three approved evaluation companies; ECE, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth.
Can I apply before I have earned my bachelor’s degree?
For most programs, we will consider you for admission if you are in your final term of your undergraduate degree. If you have not yet received your degree, submitted transcripts must include grades from the term prior to your final term. If you are admitted, you will need to submit an updated transcript after your degree has been posted. If this is not received by the time you begin graduate school here at DePaul, you will be blocked from registering for future quarters. Additionally, US citizens and permanent residents cannot receive federal financial aid for graduate school until we have received proof that your bachelor’s degree has been completed.
* For MFA and PhD programs, please contact the admissions office for further details regarding applying before your bachelor’s degree has been awarded.
Can I apply to more than one program?
Students are only allowed to have one active application per term. If you are not accepted for your original program, or you would like to change your program after admission, please contact your admission officer to discuss your options. Students are not allowed to pursue more than one program at a time.
Can I apply to a PhD program if I haven’t completed my master’s degree?
For the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) program, applicants with an exceptional undergraduate record may be admitted without first holding a master’s degree. For the Human Centered Design (HCD) program, applicants are not required to hold a master’s degree.
Is the application process different for those enrolling part-time? What constitutes part-time vs. full-time enrollment?
- No, the application process is the same regardless of how many classes you intend to take per quarter. Eight credit hours (typically 2 courses) is considered full-time enrollment for graduate students. Four credit hours per quarter (typically 1 course) is considered part-time.
- For PhD and MFA students: While we encourage full-time enrollment, it may be possible to enroll part-time. However, you would need approval from your potential faculty advisor as well as the respective PhD committee.
What is the application process for being an online student? Which programs are offered online?
- The application process is the same for online and on-campus students. When you register for classes after being admitted, you will have the option to choose an online or on-campus section of a course. Visit our
Online Learning page to see which programs and courses are available online.
- For the PhD-CIS program, the ability to complete our PhD program online is dependent upon the approval of a candidate’s potential faculty advisor. For the PhD-HCD program, most of the required coursework does not have an online section. However, after the required coursework, the ability to complete the program online will be decided by a student’s faculty advisor and the PhD HCD committee.
My plans have changed. Can I defer my application or admission?
You can defer your application one time for up to one year. After being admitted, you can also defer your admission one time for up to one year. Students are only eligible to defer their application or admission to available start terms for the designated program.
I don’t have a technical background. Can I apply to your graduate program?
Most of our programs welcome applicants without technical backgrounds. However, those without technical backgrounds may need to take introductory courses to get up to speed. Please view the
academics section of our website for further details.
Should I reach out to faculty in my program of interest?
We highly encourage you to review the
research and creative activity being conducted by our faculty. Contacting CDM faculty whose research aligns with your own can assist with the process of identifying a potential faculty advisor if admitted to your desired program.
Tuition and Funding
What is the cost of tuition? Do out-of-state or international students pay a higher tuition rate?
Current tuition rates are listed on the
Student Financial Accounts website. Graduate programs follow the rate per credit hour set by the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media. DePaul is a private university so everyone pays the same tuition rate.
Where can I learn about financial aid or scholarships?
- Please visit our
Tuition and Financial Aid page for more information on aid and funding.
- PhD applicants seeking admission to the fall quarter are eligible for CDM-based funding consideration. CDM-based funding consideration does not take place for applicants applying for the winter quarter. Learn more about
When and where are graduate courses offered?
Graduate courses are typically offered on our Loop campus from 5:45 pm to 9:00 pm, Monday through Thursday. Several courses can also be taken online.
Most, but not all, of the required MA Animation courses are scheduled at night, and elective courses are offered both at night and during the day, with some electives only offered during the day.
How does the quarter system work?
Quarters are 10 weeks long with optional exams in the 11th week. You can refer to the
academic calendar for a complete listing.
Once admitted, when do classes start?
Our MFA programs are cohort-based and start classes in the Fall quarter only. PhD students begin in the Fall (with classes beginning in September) or Winter (classes in January). Check your program admission page to see if it is cohort-based and consult DePaul’s
academic calendar for important dates.
What is the typical class size?
Most graduate courses hold no more than 25 on-campus and 25 online students. Elective courses are typically smaller.
Graduate Students at
How many graduate students are in CDM? Are there many female or international students?
- We currently have nearly 5,600 students of which 2,000 are graduate students and we enrolled more that 560 new graduate students in fall 2022.
Women at CDM comprise approximately 41% of the graduate student body.
- About a third of our graduate students come from outside the US. We currently have students from 25 different countries. The top 5 countries of origin for our international students are Saudi Arabia, China, India, Taiwan, and Thailand.
What are the career outcomes for graduates of CDM programs?
- You can see College and program-specific career outcomes on the
Career Success page.
- You can also see Learning outcomes on your specific program’s page.