Resources

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Here are some questions that we get asked often, separated by category, which we hope may be of help to you. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please be sure to email us at dpa@clemson.edu:

CHARLESTON:

Q: Are DPA's MFA and MS degrees being offered in Charleston?
A: Yes, both degrees are being offered in both Clemson, SC and Charleston, SC locations. Students can choose to study at either location without the need to travel between the two locations. For more information, please visit our DPA in Charleston page.

Q: Are there any differences in both the DPA MFA and MS programs between the Clemson and Charleston locations? Are the same courses and resources available in Charleston?
A: Students will get the same education in either location. Some of the classes are taught via teleconferencing linking both locations, depending on where the faculty teaching that particular class is located at the time.

Q: What type, if any, of financial assistance is available to those who want to study in Charleston?
A: We offer financial support (scholarships) in both Charleston and Clemson locations. The level of support will be dependent on the student's application materials, however, we will strive to make costs competitive and affordable to all qualified students. We accept applications throughout the year on a rolling admission basis for the nearest term (Spring or Fall), however, our standard deadline for full consideration is January 15.

APPLICATION & PORTFOLIO:

Q: Whom should letters of recommendations be requested from to make the best impact?
A: Letters of recommendations typically come from faculty, but they could also be from people you have worked with. Please make sure they understand the program you are applying for. Best to ask for these letters from people who know you well so they can speak more knowledgeably and favorably about your work habits and personal qualities.

Q: I want to prepare myself visually and technically to apply to DPA. What are some of the general courses I should take to strengthen my portfolio?
On the technical side: C, C++, Linux OS, Python (NOT: Java, C#, Perl, or Windows.) Math related: Calculus, Linear algebra (matrix algebra). Visual side: Art history, drawing, design, photography. Also, highlights on drawing for visual narrative including work that shows perspective, life drawing, and drawing from life with movement. We also suggest summer art courses, those at other colleges, or local art workshops in your city.

Q: Does each programming sample have to have over 200 lines of code?
A: 200-lines is a basic guideline for how much (total) code we are interested in seeing to assess the prospective student's coding skill and style. It need not be in a single file, but the code should be representative of the depth of coding the applicant has written.

Q: Can a single coding sample consist of multiple programs?
A: Multiple programs are acceptable. They should be unique and selected to showcase particular aspects of the coders' knowledge and/or programming style. If multiple programs are submitted, a short description (plain text file - readme.txt) of what is unique/interesting in either is recommended.

Q: What are the minimum TOEFL and GRE requirements for DPA MFA and MS?
A: The DPA programs do not have an official minimum for TOEFL or the GRE. However, as for TOEFL scores, our experience is that scores below 90 indicate that the student may have difficulties in our program if admitted. And as for the GRE scores, you can see the typical median scores for previously admitted students on the Grad School website.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE, and if so, when?
A: Yes, in order for your application to be complete and a final decision made by the University, you will need to take the GRE. You may email us your unofficial scores at dpa@clemson.edu until the official scores are recorded into the system. You may also refer to this video for more information on the GRE.

Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Application deadline for Fall semester (which is the only semester to start the DPA MFA program) is January 15, however, we accept applications after that date on a space-available basis. Please refer to our admission page for the latest application deadlines, or send us an email.

Q: Do I need to submit my official transcripts with my application?
A: Official transcripts do not need to be submitted until the applicant is accepted into the program and receives an official acceptance letter from the Graduate School. If admitted, the student is required to provide his/her final official transcript or certificate to the Office of Graduate Admissions during his/her first semester enrolled at Clemson University. Please visit the Graduate School website for more information.

Q: Where do I submit my portfolio?
A: Please refer to Submission Methods section on our admission page.

Q: I've applied. Now what?
A: You can watch the video here to see what happens after you apply.

POTENTIAL STUDENTS:

Q: I am a high school student interested in the DPA MFA program. Do you have to have a Computer Science undergraduate degree to apply to the DPA MFA program?
A: No. Most of our MFA applicants have or can benefit from a Computer Science undergraduate program, however, we accept applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their undergraduate degree. Undergraduate programs in Architecture, Art, and Digital Media are particularly strong choices. What is important is to start building a strong portfolio with artwork as well as developing math and coding skills. The MFA program requires strong skills both artistically and technically. If the applicant chooses to go in a direction other than Computer Science for his/her undergrad, we would urge him/her to take college level computer science courses as a supplement to their major. To review the portfolio requirements for the MFA program, please refer to our admission page.

Q: I am an undergrad entering my senior year. I plan on applying to the DPA MFA program. I am able to take some DPA classes at the 6000 level and earn dual credit for my undergraduate and Masters degrees. Can the credits from the 6000 level class be applied towards my Masters?
A: The course cannot double count--undergrads can take grad courses if they have a high enough GPA. But, if they use these credits for their BS or BA, then they cannot apply them towards the MFA as well. If they do not count the credits towards their BA or BS, then they can count them for the MFA. In any case, if an undergrad fulfills a DPA core course as an undergrad, then they do not have to retake it, instead they can choose an additional elective.

Q: Do you offer a minor in DPA to undergrads?
A: Yes, we do. Please visit the DPA Minor page for more information. The Minor in DPA is offered to undergraduates regardless of their chosen undergraduate major as long as they satisfy the required classes as noted here. The minor is well suited for those who are planning on pursuing the DPA Masters program, and being a Computer Science major definitely provides the important background and technical skills necessary to pursue the MFA program. If you wish to declare a minor, please see this form and discuss it with your academic advisor.

Q: Do you give tours of the DPA facilities?
A: Yes, we give tours of DPA facilities throughout the school year. Please email us at dpa@clemson.edu to set up a tour. There are also other opportunities/events throughout the year to obtain information about our program, such as DPA Open House, DPA End of Year Show, and School of Computing tours. Visit the DPA Facilities page to see photos and find out more about the DPA spaces including our studios, screening rooms, and classrooms.

Q: I am looking for a Masters program that can help place me in the motion graphics industry. I have reviewed the curriculums of both the MFA and MS and I realize that this isn't necessarily a motion graphics degree, but I think the courses will lend themselves to training me in that area. Am I right?
A: In short, the MS is a technical degree, well-suited for computer science or engineering undergraduates interested in advancing technical skills. It is not an entry level for art related undergrad degrees. The MFA can and is set up for art related students incoming and will challenge and advance these students in a technical way, but primarily focus on digital art production. Our MFA is not precisely geared toward motion graphics, but a student interested in this area can advance their understanding. Our focus has been aimed more toward animation and effects (e.g. for the 3D movie and game industries), but we also offer teaching in 2D animation, effects, and game design which have strong overlap with (2D) motion graphics.

FINANCIAL:

Q: Does the DPA program offer financial support?
Students can now choose to study in Clemson or Charleston, SC and we offer financial support (scholarships) in both locations. These level of support is dependent on the student's application materials, however, we will strive to make costs competitive and affordable to all qualified students. We accept applications throughout the year on a rolling admission basis for the nearest term (Spring or Fall), however, our standard deadline for full consideration is January 15.

Q: Where can I find the tuition information for DPA?
Tuition and detailed fee information can be found on The Graduate School website (Premier Program). There is no tuition difference based on residence for the DPA programs. In-state, out-of-state, as well as international students pay the same amount regardless of residence.

Q: Can DPA MFA/MS students get assistantships?
DPA MFA and MS graduate students may pursue hourly-based employment from on-campus units. However, all assistantships for the DPA MFA and MS students must be approved through the DPA Director prior to accepting employment.

NEW/CURRENT STUDENTS:

Q: Is there a specific laptop you recommend for purchase?
A: The type of computer does not really matter--you will want to be able to run the computer graphics software, so the machine you purchase should have ample memory and reasonably good graphics.

Q: Are DPA MFA students required to do an internship?
A: The DPA MFA program does not have an internship requirement as part of the curriculum, however, many of our students do find internships on their own during the summers which are useful for gaining hands-on experience and making connections.

Q: I am a DPA student planning on graduating this semester. Are there any deadlines to apply for graduation and how do I submit my thesis defense to the Graduate School?
A: Visit the Graduate School's Graduation Deadlines website to see a list of forms and procedures for graduation. You will also need to email a copy of your defense announcement to the DPA Administrative Coordinator at dpa@clemson.edu so that it may be distributed/advertised school wide.

Q: I have been accepted into the MFA program. What happens next and when can I register for classes?
A: Here’s what to expect after you have received your official acceptance letter from the Graduate School: 1) Student confirms their intent to enroll (required in order to register); 2) The Graduate School updates Banner with the student's confirmation (the next day); 3) An activation code is generated in Banner and sent to Admit (the next day); 4) An email is sent to student with their ID, activation code, and registration information; 5) The student onboards (log in for the first time) with ID and activation code, receive their username and set up their password; 6) From there, the student can go to iRoar and register for classes. If you are wondering what happens during or after the application process, or for other informative videos by the Graduate School, please visit their YouTube channel.

Q: I am planning my move. Can you give me some information on housing?
A: Housing really depends on how you will be commuting to and from school—will you have your own transportation or would you rather walk and/or take the bus. Clemson University Parking and Transportation Services offers a variety of transit options available to faculty, staff, and students which can be found here. Additionally, you may visit the following links:

Here is the link to Clemson housing website as well as some links to rental companies. You can also ask our students their opinions and suggestions if you are visiting us for a tour—you may also see if any of them might know of a roommate situation that you may be interested in. The links to off-campus properties below are provided for your information only--DPA does not promote or endorse any of these businesses.

On campus: http://housing.clemson.edu/livin-options/

Off campus:
Tiger Properties
Clemson Rentals
Slann Properties


CONTACT US

For all general inquiries, please email us at dpa@clemson.edu or call 864.656.5577

 

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