Master of Fine Arts in Animation

Master of Fine Arts in Animation

The Master of Fine Arts in Animation launched as a cohort based program in Fall 2012. The MFA program is for students who are interested in creating original animated films and artwork as their main vocation. This also is the preferred degree for those who wish to teach at the university level.

MFA Application Process for Fall 2018

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.)

Please note, if you are an international student who needs a visa to attend DePaul, your application must be received a minimum of 3 months prior to the start of the term and cannot be accepted after June 1 for fall quarter. International applications received after the posted deadline will be held for the following year’s admitting class.

The steps in applying for the MFA are as follows:

  • Complete an online application.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended that show the successful completion of a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
    • U.S. college and university transcripts should be mailed to the address below
    • DePaul alumni/undergraduate students applying for graduate admission must also submit a DePaul transcript. Request a free electronic transcript.
    • Individuals with international transcripts need to have a course by course transcript evaluated by one of the three evaluation companies that DePaul University accepts. Please visit theTranscript Evaluation page for more information.
  • Submit a statement of creative purpose that includes your artistic goals and your reasons for applying to the MFA. Be specific, vivid and focused. The creative statement cannot be longer than 2 pages.
  • Submit a one page description of a possible animation project that represents the type of work you hope to produce.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from people who can attest to your artistic abilities, commitment, work ethic and creative potential.
  • Submit a reel and/or portfolio within the online application that includes examples of your creative visual work.
  • Submit a reel/portfolio information sheet (see details below).

Statement of creative purpose, description of animation project, reel/portfolio information sheet and reel/portfolio must be submitted within the online application.

Pending materials may be viewed by faculty prior to your final submission, but no actual admission decisions will be conducted until the application period has concluded and final submitted materials are received. A pending file at that time will be considered incomplete and ineligible for admission consideration.

Letters of Recommendation should be sent to:

CDM Office of Graduate Admission
243 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604

All submitted applications materials (including reel and/or portfolio) will become part of your application file and cannot be returned. Please retain your own copy.

Reel/Portfolio Requirements

  • A reel and/or portfolio is required. You can upload your portfolio within the online application.
  • Please keep your reel/portfolio simple, clearly labeled and easy to navigate.
  • The reel/portfolio 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. Include segments of longer works and links to full versions of these. You may include both animations and live action work. You must have had a significant creative role in the creation of each example.
  • The reel/portfolio can include high quality scans of drawings, paintings, storyboards, photographs and designs. Limit your portfolio to the best dozen examples. You can also include detailed magnifications.
  • The reel/portfolio information sheet should list the online reel/portfolio .url. It should describe each piece represented including the title, medium, date, time code 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.

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CDM Graduate Admission Office
14 E. Jackson (Daley)
Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60604

Monday - Thursday
9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm

(312) 362-8714