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Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering Admissions Information

Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering

Admissions Information


Applications are reviewed in one batch after the application deadline. There are no early admissions deadlines. 

The Utah Division of Games offers a master’s level graduate program focused exclusively on game development. The aim of the Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree (MEAE) is to produce graduates ready to design, develop, create assets, and provide leadership for the video game industry of today and tomorrow.

The GRE is optional for all tracks. The University of Utah’s GRE code is 4853.

To be admitted to the MEAE you must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

All applications must be submitted here.

Requirements for all Applicants

While completing the University of Utah’s online application form you will need to provide the following items:

Application information will become available in November.


  • Writing Sample: A sample of critical writing from any discipline. The document should be either a previous academic paper or a sample of your professional writing. The purpose of this piece is to show us your ability to write at the level of a college graduate at minimum. Please do not submit creative writing pieces or papers with editing and grading marks on them.
  • Personal Statement: The personal statement should be a description of your background, why you want to pursue a career in games, what goals you are interested in pursuing in the industry, and how you feel this degree program will help you accomplish your goals. The statement should be approximately 2 – 3 pages, double spaced. Here's some tips for your personal statement!
  • Resume: 1 – 2 pages.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation: When you apply online you will be asked to provide names and contact information for three recommenders. They will each receive an emailed request to fill out an evaluation form and attach a letter on your behalf. At least one of these three recommendations should be from an academic source. We encourage applicants to “waive the right” to see the recommendations, because most evaluators consider letters written in confidence to be more valuable.
  • Transcripts: Please upload the student copy of your transcripts for the admissions evaluation (please enter GPA as it is stated on your transcript even if this number is not a GPA from the 4.0 system used in the U.S.). Then you will need to arrange to have official transcripts and degree certificates sent directly to the Admissions Office – Graduate Admissions Division at: The University of Utah, 201 South 1460 East, SSB – Room 250, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. NOTE: If your transcripts are too large to upload directly, please use Adobe Acrobat to make a pdf file of the right size. PLEASE NOTE: To be admitted to the MEAE you must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Additional Requirements (dependent on track):

  • Technical Arts Track Applicants Only: Applicants should submit both an art portfolio and code samples. The portfolio should demonstrate a solid understanding of art and design fundamentals and a breadth of technical ability which may include 3D modeling, animation, rigging, technical animation, lighting, VFX, shaders, materials, or problem solving with scripting languages or node based scripting. Preferably, a code sample should demonstrate an understanding of usability from an artist perspective or game systems. Code samples from any language are acceptable. Technical artists frequently use scripting languages such as Python and some focus on compiled languages such as C++.
  • Engineering Track Applicants Only: A code sample is required. Any non-scripting language is acceptable (preference to C++, C# and Java) working code that you developed, but does not need to be a complete buildable/compilable system. Some topics that would be useful to demonstrate include understanding of modularity, object-oriented concepts, macros, operators, etc. Your code should help show that you have an understanding of algorithms and data structures. All code samples should be submitted with your application. Please include at most two different code samples – maximum of 1000 lines of code. Source code only. GRE scores are optional.
  • Art Track Applicants Only: Applicants to the Master Game Studio degree program must submit an art portfolio. This portfolio should contain between 10-15 samples of original artwork by the applicant for review (3-5 samples of drawing from life preferred). The portfolio should demonstrate that the applicant has strong foundational art (demonstrable knowledge of design principles) and observational skills. The portfolio should include drawings directly from live observations. The emphasis should be on representational accuracy rather than on cartooning or heavy stylization. The drawings should clearly communicate the structure and three- dimensional form of the subject. Include your best work regardless of the subject matter or medium. Students accepted into the program without either a traditional 2D design class or digital media experience may be encouraged to take an articulation class before starting their first semester. Work may include but not limited to the following original traditional and digital artwork: Figure poses/life drawings, artwork that demonstrates design principle knowledge (i.e. composition, design), environmental drawings, animation, graphic design, typography, digital media samples of digital art are strongly encouraged, screenshots from games created, work created in such digital programs as Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., or samples of painting, sculpture, animation, figure/animal studies, character designs, architectural renderings, and landscape studies may be included.
  • Game Design Track Applicants Only: Applicants should submit a design portfolio featuring completed works, as well as summaries of individual contributions to those works. The portfolio should demonstrate a solid understanding of design fundamentals and/or engine-oriented technical ability and may include samples such as level layouts, game design documents, loot tables, quest chains, enemy designs, and videos/schematics of implemented mechanics and combat features from completed works. Strong applications will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in multiple design areas and a level of criticality and depth of knowledge in at least one of the major design areas: systems design, level design, encounter design, economy design, world building/narrative design, serious games, etc. As the design track is still under development, there are no guarantees of rollout for the Fall 2024 cycle. However, if interested in the design track, students should apply under the Production track, submit a design portfolio, and indicate an intention to enroll in the design track at the start of their personal statement. In the event that the design track is not approved, applicants will be evaluated as part of the production track.


Questions about applications? Join our weekly info session on Zoom!

Guidelines for All Portfolio Submissions:

  1. Submit the portfolio as a cloud storage location (Dropbox, Ubox, Google Drive) or website through the application portal.
  2. All artwork should be submitted as .jpg format. Movies or animations should be in .mov (H264) format. (Each artwork must be under 5MB.)
  3. Include a README text file or (Word file) of the work.
  4. Label all artwork with the date of completion and the medium used. MGS prefers that the work submitted be completed in the past 12 months.
  5. Avoid cliché examples that rely on characters with exaggerated physical qualities as large eyes, big hair, and elongated limbs, or samples copied directly from manga, animé, Disney, Pixar etc. Instead, focus on creating works that demonstrate your ability to draw from observation and your own imagination.
  6. Please do not send us your original work (i.e. drawings, sketchbooks etc). Your traditional media artwork should be scanned into a digital file.
  7. Work should be of your best work that represents artistic abilities. Familiarity with 3D is not a requirement, but if you have solid examples you are encouraged to include them.
  • Please Note: The work required for the game development industry is primarily applied art rather than fine art. Fine art students are encouraged to apply but must be interested and willing to work with peers on creating work for applied game applications. Your submissions will tell us a lot about you as a student as well as your artistic eye and capabilities. Among other things, we will be examining your work to determine your ability to see visually. Use of shading to accurately depict the way light and shadow work on the volumes and masses in observational art is a plus. Composition always matters as well as considered choices regarding value, hue, and color schemes. Your work submitted should be selected with an eye toward quality, design, and composition. Prior knowledge of digital 2D and 3D programs is a definite advantage for what you will be doing, but it is not a requirement.

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