The electronic arts program is an interdisciplinary collaborative program consisting of Faculty and Students from the Art & Design, Media, Journalism, and Film, and Music Departments.
The program is competitive, but this shouldn't discourage you. Instead, this should let you know how serious we are to making sure that your peers will consist of motivated students who are passionate about their pursuits.
The pre-admit core classes are ones that have been identified by the faculty as foundational in each of the emphasis areas, they are ART100, MUS216, MED290 and MED365.
All of the courses are important, but the faculty from each emphasis area will be looking for specific things, so it is important that you make sure to take the pre-admit core for your area as soon as possible.
Audio Studies - MUS216
Computer Animation - ART100Interactive New Media - MED290
Video Studies - MED365
These courses are not only intended to help you grasp the basics needed in each area, but to also begin building a portfolio that you will use to apply to the program.
The candidacy review is the process by which you as the student submit a portfolio along with other requested materials as application to the program. This process typically begins mid semester, each semester. Students are eligible to apply once they have completed 3 of the 4 pre-admit courses (one of which must be the course specified above for their area). Announcements are made online and in class as to when the submission deadlines are and where to turn in your materials. The departments involved in the EA program also hang posters in relevant hallways that display dates and details.
There is a portfolio involved. It is the most important part of the application!
You should include 2 to 3 of your very best work examples. Your selections should also properly represent your chosen emphasis.
We as faculty do not want to see everything you've ever done; instead, we want you to construct a strong portfolio, representative of the strengths you have to potentially contribute to projects in the future.
If you apply to the program and are not admitted, the first thing to do will be to take a look at the accompanying comments given to you by the faculty and take steps to put the advice into practice. If you are an Audio Studies, Interactive New Media, or Video studies student, you are able to re-apply the very next semester provided you work hard to include new and improved work in your portfolio. Computer Animation applications are typically only encouraged in the Spring semester due to the number of courses that are required to be taken in consecutive order. However, in re-apply situations, Computer Animation students have made successful applications in the Fall semester following a denial in the previous Spring.
The senior project is the culmination of your studies within the Electronic Arts program. As a process, it begins at the end of your Junior year during ART300: Fundamentals of Collaboration in the Electronic Arts. In this course you will form relationships with your fellow EA students and begin discussing possible projects for your final year in the program. By the end of the course, each student will have pitched an idea to the class. After deliberation, students begin self-selecting which projects to get behind. It should be noted that not everyone's project may get selected, but the goal is that if yours does not receive the backing, then you will surely have found another project to involve yourself in.
Beginning in the summer after your Junior year, you will be communicating and collaborating with your self-selected group to refine the central goals and themes of the project. Once classes begin in the Fall of your Senior year, your group should have clear focus as to how to begin production. You will work on this senior project for both semesters of your final year, with the experience culminating at the Electronic Arts showcase where you will share your work with a typically packed auditorium in the Plaster Student Union. Additionally, we have in place support for students to be able to share their work nationally and internationally in festivals and competitions.
It is difficult to say without defining what "better" means. In terms of having a realistic, industry comparable, creative and collaborative experience, then it would be hard to match what the Electronic Arts program has in any other stand alone disciplinary area. If this weren't the case, then there would not be much of a reason for the program to exist. The faculty within the EA program came together because they saw the symbiotic relationship between their disciplines and knew that students could greatly benefit from immersing themselves in an environment that pushed them to be their best and to hone a multitude of skills.