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Admissions Requirements

Important Statement Regarding Westphal’s Response to Coronavirus:

First year applicants may apply for Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision. Learn more about Early Decision and Early Action. For the 2020–2021 academic year, a Winter Entry Program is also available for all programs at Westphal, except our Architecture program. If you have questions regarding Winter Entry, please email westphaladm@drexel.edu.

We appreciate your interest in applying to Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Below you will find key information about applying to all of our undergraduate programs at Westphal.

Admissions Dates and Deadlines

All first-time freshman applicants to Westphal are eligible for our Early Action, Early Decision and Regular Decision deadlines. If you are unsure what deadline is the best fit for you, we encourage you to read more about Drexel's Admission Deadline Options.

Early Decision and Early Action

Deadline Documents Due
November 1 Applications and all supporting documents due; decisions released in mid-December.
November 15 CSS Profile due; required to be considered for institutional need-based financial aid. Read more about How to Apply for Aid.

Regular Decision

Deadline Documents Due
January 15 Applications and all supporting documents due; decisions released by April 1st.
February 1 CSS Profile due; required to be considered for institutional need-based financial aid. Read more about How to Apply for Aid.

First Year Application Instructions

All undergraduates must apply online through either the Common Application or Coalition Application. For the full list of requirements to apply to Drexel, please visit our First-Year Instructions. For Westphal first year applicants, we require an additional Westphal supplemental essay of 500 words and an eight to 12 piece portfolio for some of our majors. Both of these application requirements for Westphal allow our faculty to better understand your passion and desire to attend one of majors.

For Westphal first year applicants, we require an additional Westphal supplemental essay of 500 words and an eight to 12 piece portfolio for some of our majors. Both of these application requirements for Westphal allow our faculty to better understand your passion and desire to attend one of majors.

Westphal Supplemental Essay

We view our Westphal supplemental essay as an opportunity for students to express their passion and interest in Westphal and their intended major. The Westphal supplemental essay is different than the Common or Coalition essay and specifically speaks to your interest in the visual, media, or performing arts majors at Westphal. The essay should be 300-500 words max and submitted with your Common or Coalition application.

Westphal Portfolio

Applicants are encouraged to follow these portfolio guidelines carefully and submit materials that strengthen their application.

Required Portfolios

Applicants to the following programs are required to submit a portfolio for admission:

  • Animation & Visual Effects
  • Architecture
  • Fashion Design
  • Game Design & Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Virtual Reality & Immersive Media

Optional Portfolios

Applicants to the following programs are not required to submit a portfolio for admission. It is optional.

  • Art History
  • Design & Merchandising
  • Entertainment & Arts Management
  • Film & Television
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Interior Design
  • Music Industry
  • Product Design
  • Screenwriting & Playwriting
  • Undeclared

Audition Process – Dance Applicants Only

Dance majors are required to audition. Auditions can be done live or by video. Visit Westphal College's Dance Auditions page for guidelines and dates.

Portfolio Guidelines

The Admission Committee is examining your work for originality, creative problem solving, and systematic thinking. Applicants should submit eight to 12 pieces of your strongest and most recent work in a variety of media that demonstrate a balance of technique and concept. Thematic work or a series of pieces is received favorably.

Portfolio contents may include any combination of drawings, paintings, printmaking, photography, graphic design, architectural design, interior design, ceramics, sculpture, fiber art, fashion design, jewelry and metals, furniture, designed objects, animation, computer-generated images, film, video, performance art, audio recordings, websites, video games, sketchbooks, scripts, storyboards, or screenplays.

If the portfolio includes audio, film, video, animation, game design, and interactive work, it may not exceed five minutes of total running time. For collaborative works, it is important to provide credits and describe your role(s) within the creative process. Writers, please submit a minimum of eight to 12 pages of written work of either a single piece or numerous smaller pieces.

The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Upload the highest possible quality of documentation of your creative work. Media requirements are outlined in SlideRoom for files consisting of images, audio, videos, PDF, or embedded media. If the file is an example of a recording, composition, or mix done in Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, or GarageBand, please include an in-progress screenshot and a detailed description of your process.

Projects for Students with Limited or No Art Background or Portfolio

If you do not have any background in art or design, you can still apply. For example, you may want to start your portfolio by drawing from life: sneakers, bedrooms, friends, and landscapes are all excellent subjects, or you may photograph and document your day, your life, or an ordinary event in an extraordinary way.

Other examples of creative work may include a mixed-media collage inspired by your dreams, a research-based paper or project, video blogging, online curation, a video game proposal that modifies a children's board game so that it requires the skill of an adult, a résumé for performing arts or technical theatre, business or marketing plans, social media/promotion plans, examining and redesigning an existing product or interior, a narrative outline for a short script or interactive design, or an observational essay of curatorial practice in a museum gallery or public space. When you have eight to 12 projects you want us to see — you have a portfolio! Upload your projects to SlideRoom.

Westphal College offers a quarterly webinar series aimed to help current high school students and instructors learn portfolio building projects from home. These free online one-hour webinars taught by our award-winning faculty experts range from portfolio specific guidance to easy projects for students to do at home. To learn more and see upcoming dates, visit our events calendar.

Portfolio Review Days

Meet a representative of Drexel's Westphal College for a portfolio review and receive helpful feedback prior to submitting your application. We participate in portfolio review days with the National Portfolio Day Association.