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 The Short Story

  1. MS applicants are *not* required to submit technical or creative work, but it can help you candidacy. Both MFA and PhD applicants *are* required to submit portfolios of work/research.
  2. For MS students, submit a single piece (two at max), and ensure your work doesn't take more than five minutes to review. PhD and MFA applicants should submit complete portfolios of work.
  3. Define your role in any group project.
  4. Email imgd@wpi.edu with any questions.

The Full Story

We’re excited that you’re considering a graduate degree in Interactive Media & Game Development program (IMGD) at WPI! We thoughtfully consider every application we receive in a variety of ways, to help ensure that we accept as many qualified candidates as possible.

Who is a “qualified candidate” for IMGD? How will we assess this? Certainly your GPA, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation will help us make a decision. However, IMGD graduate students are also talented developers, designers, and artists, and the admissions committee, when appropriate, would like to use your past work to help guide our admissions process.

Some of you might have an extensive portfolio of prior work. Some of you might have a single capstone project that you worked on as part of a team. Some of you might be looking to change your career and not have work relevant to IMGD. If you are applying for the MS program and don't have relevant wok to share, don’t worry(!), this is not a requirement. Don’t feel obligated to submit work unless you think it will strengthen your application and help us to better understand your candidacy. However, for MFA and PhD applicants we do require that you submit examples of your work. This could include published papers, games, animations, libraries of code, music... anything that exhibits the type of work you'd hope to continue and expand upon in IMGD.

Masters of Science in Interactive Games & Media portfolio guidelines

For MS students, selecting one (or possibly two) works that you are excited about is your best option. If you’re having trouble selecting which work to submit, we strongly encourage you to submit work that is related to your statement of purpose. Describe your vision of what you want to accomplish at IMGD in your statement, and then show us the work that you’ve done to prepare for your time here.

If you do elect to submit work, please do not send us a large portfolio to review. Each member of the admissions committee will typically have less than five minutes to review the technical / creative work accompanying an application. That said, if you already have an existing portfolio, there is ideally no need to create another one just for this application. Just provide links to specific pages / sections of your portfolio that you would like us to review.

For each piece you submit (and again, this should be two at the most, preferably one) make sure to provide the following information:

  1. What you want us to pay attention to.
  2. If you worked in a group, define exactly what your role in the team was and the aspects of the work you were directly responsible for.
  3. If the work is a game or user experience, please provide short video documentation (five minutes maximum). We will not compile your project and run it, and we will not read long pdfs describing the work. If video isn’t a possibility, please include a small number of screenshots that capture the parts of the work you think are interesting with a paragraph or two of text.

Masters of Fine Arts in Interactive Games &  Media admissions guidelines

MFA applicants are expected to have a portfolio of creative work for the admissions committee to assess. If, like many artists and designers, you already have a portfolio of work on the web, fantastic! Send us a link. We also encourage applicants to highlight important work to the admissions committee in their artist/designer/writer statement.

Artists/Designer/Writer statements are required of all MFA applicants in addition to a personal statement. For MFA applicants, the personal statement should focus on their past career, their career goals, why the applicant wants to come to WPI, and any important parts of their personal history they would like to highlight. The Artist/Designer/Writer statement should simply highlight what your work is, why you make it, and how you make it.

Please email imgd@wpi.edu with any questions about these two application documents.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Media portfolio guidelines

Applicants to IMGD's PhD program will typically be expected to have a portfolio consisting of some combination of creative work, technical work, and scholarly research; the exact combination will be unique to each candidate. Although broad portfolios of work are useful to the admissions committee, we also encourage candidates to explicitly draw attention to important components that might inform their work at WPI within their personal statements.

Best practices for submitting different types of work as part of your IMGD application

The guidelines below are recommendations. You don't necessarily have to follow them, but they'll help ensure that the admissions committee can easily assess your work. These also don't capture all the types of work that are submitted by IMGD applicants; please do submit other types of relevant work! Contact the IMGD graduate coordinator if you have any questions about how to best present your work: imgd@wpi.edu

You are submitting an interactive experience (e.g. website, game, installation work, toy, robot):

  • Submit a short video of the experience and people interacting with it, along with 1–2 paragraphs of text describing how you made your experience (typically including what technologies were involved… and analog experiences are very welcome!) and what you think is unique or interesting about it. If a video isn’t possible, please provide photographs or screenshots along with your text description.

  • Information about the design process for your project (for example, initial character sketches, mood boards, diagrams, testing reports, etc.) is interesting to the admissions committee, but only if it’s material that specifically guided your individual work.

  • If your experience is publicly and freely released (e.g. a web-based game), we’ll try to interact/play with it. Please be sure to include any technical requirements and, if you include a link for us to play, be sure it runs in a recent version of Chrome or Firefox. Make sure we can get a sense for the experience in a short time (less than five minutes!). It is best to submit video documentation alongside the interactive experience. We will not install or compile software during our admissions review.

You are submitting 3D modeling/animation work:

  • Submit video and/or screenshots that best capture your model and/or animations (e.g. multiple angles)

  • Feel free to submit images / videos of multiple models. However, we always prefer for you to highlight your best work.

  • Be sure to briefly describe what you were trying to achieve with each model, and how you achieved it, both technically (what software / artistic techniques did you use) and aesthetically.

You are submitting development work (code, open-source projects etc.)

  • DO NOT SIMPLY SEND US A LINK TO A GITHUB REPO. We need some guidance to understand what you’d like us to look at. A short video (1–3 minutes) showing your code in action is highly encouraged.

  • Please write one or two paragraphs describing the technologies you used (language(s), platform, libraries etc.) and the technical challenges you addressed in your development work.

  • If you have designed a system, providing architectural diagrams describing it will likely be more meaningful than highlighting individual code fragments.