Applying to GSAS: Portfolio Requirements

Portfolio Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a statement of intent and a portfolio that demonstrates creative excellence and preparation for interdisciplinary studies in games.  The portfolio should contain 3-5 examples representing what the applicant considers to be their best work in any medium.

Successful portfolios may include any of the following:

  • Games created by the applicant, either digital or non-digital
  • Interactive digital media and artworks
  • 3D models
  • Animation, either digital or non-digital
  • Visual art and design in any media (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, etc)
  • Audio recordings
  • Creative writing samples
  • Game mods
  • Level designs
  • Computer programs (including programs other than games), written by the applicant that demonstrate originality and problem-solving ability

Notes for specific media types

  • Digital games, Mods, Levels, and Interactive Media: Windows, Mac, or Linux compatible. Include:
    • All required files for your game to run
    • Detailed installation and play instructions
    • Written description of the game, tools used to create it, and your role if it was a team project
    • Image and/or video documentation of the game
  • Playable Physical Games (board games, card games, etc):
    • Submit image and/or video documentation
    • Include written description of the game and rules
  • Images: still images in JPG or PNG format.
  • Video: Video DVD or digital files on CD-ROM or Data DVD
    • Recommended resolution: 640x480 or higher
    • Recommended formats for video files: AVI, Quicktime, WMV, Flash, or Ogg/Theora
    • Recommended compression: for AVI, Quicktime, and WMV: MPEG-4 or H.264
  • Audio: MP3 or Ogg/Vorbis

Incoming Students (Freshmen and External Candidates)

Submitting a portfolio is optional for students applying as freshmen, but should you decide to include one with your application Rensselaer strongly recommends that you use the online portfolio system to upload your portfolio with digital files.  The online portfolio link can be found here and supports the following formats for each media type:

  • Images (5MB each: jpg, png, gif)
  • Videos (60MB each: mov, wmv, flv)
  • PDF (10MB each: pdf)
  • Audio (10MB each: mp3)

If the online portfolio system does not support your desired submission format, applicants can also submit their digital portfolio on CD or DVD. Do not submit original work with your application. Your CD or DVD portfolio should be mailed to:

Rensselaer Admissions
Undergraduate Programs
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, New York 12180-3590

For questions or assistance, contact: Undergraduate Admissions

Current Rensselaer Students

Prepare a digital portfolio to submit with your application. Contact: for application instructions and submission assistance. 

Notes for Programmers and Engineers

Portfolios may include work specifically in games and simulation, as well as work that demonstrates originality and talent in a relevant discipline.  For example, students intending to major in GSAS with a Computer Science Concentration might include any of the following:

  • Digital or non-digital games, created solo or with a team, created in a class, a summer camp, a game development club, a game jam, or just on your own
  • Programs written by the applicant that demonstrate originality and problem-solving ability.  May include standard CSCI assignments/projects; be sure to note any extensions beyond the original homework.
  • Participation in the RPI UPE Programming Competition or other programming competitions
  • Summer internship projects
  • Independent study projects
  • Projects completed through the RPI Undergraduate Research Program or Rensselaer Center for Open-Source Software, or similar programs