A member of the USC Games family of degree offerings, the Game Art BFA combines animation and drawing skills with a core education in collaboration, interaction design, and the underlying technical aspects of real time art. This degree prepares students for future careers in the fields of technical game art, environmental art, concept design and game animation, offering both a breadth of education, as well as the ability to specialize in the student's field of choice.
The faculty admissions committee evaluates applications for originality, clarity, personal insight and artistic excellence. Considerable importance is placed on the creative work demonstrated within the application. Though the element that will be most critically examined will be the student's creative portfolio. By limiting the evaluation to the items listed, the committee ensures that all applicants are judged by the same criteria. Some applicants may be contacted for an interview in order for the admissions committee to learn more information or gain clarification of submitted materials.
*Note: All admitted Game Art BFA transfer students are automatically placed on a 3-year course plan. This means that transfer students will enter the sophomore cohort. Students who wish to graduate in less than 3 years may consult with an advisor and submit a petition during their first semester, but approval by the IMGD faculty committee should not be assumed and is not guaranteed.
Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (Must be uploaded in PDF format only):
The Cinematic Arts Personal Statement is an opportunity to express your ideas about and interest in Interactive Entertainment, help us to understand your background and creative potential, and explain why you would like to study interactive media production at the School of Cinematic Arts. This statement will be read by the admissions committee as a measure of creativity, self-awareness and vision. Your statement should give the committee a sense of your long-term goals and artistic ambitions. It should answer the questions: "Who are you as a person? What are you trying to say, using interactive media? Why do you want to attend the Game Art Program? What are your career/professional/artistic goals?"
Project Question (Must be uploaded in PDF format only):
Describe a project that you worked on with multiple collaborators that let you feeling proud and fulfilled. Discuss your role in the project and explain why this collaboration was successful. Then, describe another collaborative project that left you unsatisfied. Discuss your role in the project and explain why this collaboration frustrated you. Finally, summarize what you learned from each of these experiences and describe the lessons you learned that inspire your future collaborations. (No more than one page)
- Creative Portfolio List (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)
The Creative Portfolio List is a written record of the applicant's creative material. Please list all of your creative work, when and in what capacity it was created. For example, was the work made in a class or for a show? What was your role? List your most recent work first and list related work as a single entry, such as a group of drawings completed for a single showing. If you have created interactive software, animation or games, please be sure to list these on your portfolio and describe the development environment for the piece. For example, the program or language used. If you have created paper-based games, please list these as well. The name of the institution or publication should be included when listing creative materials prepared for a class or publication.
Please list any 3D art and animation software you are familiar with, as well as any other software or skills you believe would be applicable.
Portfolio (Upload in Portfolio section)
The Portfolio may consist of Still Images (10-15 pieces) and/or Moving Image Files.
- Life drawing or painting examples
- 2D/3D digital artwork and/or animation
- Integrated live action/animation
- Games or Immersive Media
- Motion graphics work
- Or any other samples that represent the applicant's aesthetic sense and capabilities.
Moving images should be uploaded as individual files not to exceed a total of 15 minutes of material. Please do not upload one single large file.
Regarding playable game content, browser games that do not require installation or have strict system requirements will be more accessible to our admissions committee.
As part of the Interactive Media and Games Division applicant review process, applicants may be selected to have a remote video interview with faculty or staff. Not every applicant will be interviewed, and an interview is not required for admission. The window for the interview time may vary, so please keep an eye on the inbox of the email address used in your application for a request to schedule one. Please respond to such requests within 72 hours.