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Master of Digital Media Grad School Application Checklist

Oct 26, 2021 By Elyse Economides

Applying to graduate school requires planning, organization, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Admissions committees want a complete picture of who you are, what skills you have to offer and how you see yourself fitting into the program - and the program application is your opportunity to share that story. Like many graduate program applications, the Master of Digital Media program requires a variety of elements, including a portfolio/sample of work, letter of intent, resume, introduction video, short essay, reference letters, and a transcript. The MDM is a highly competitive program, and each piece of your application is evaluated to determine if you have the aptitude to excel in the program and the skills to contribute to the cohort.

Before you begin your application to any program, including the Master of Digital Media, do your research to be sure you meet the minimum admission requirements and are eligible to apply, know the total cost of the program, and most importantly, know the deadline to apply.

Although it’s not complicated, there are many important pieces to the application, so start the process early! Many programs, like the Master of Digital Media, accept applications on a rolling basis, which means prospective students can submit a completed application before the deadline, and receive a response to their application sooner. Once you’ve done your research and are ready to apply, keep the following timeline in mind as you move forward with the process.

Gather all the required information

Book Your English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)

If you did not complete an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language, you will need to take an English proficiency exam (IELTS or TOEFL) to apply to the Master of Digital Media program. Exam slots can fill up quickly, so book your test date as soon as possible. While you can submit the other components of your application for review, no formal offer can be made without a record of official test results. Read more about our English Language proficiency requirements.

Establish Your Financial Aid Options

There are many scholarship opportunities available to both domestic and international students of the Master of Digital Media program. Approximately 50% of students receive a scholarship or other financial assistance throughout the program that can help cover the cost of program tuition and housing.

Prospective students can also explore other scholarship options through Canadian or their local government sites and independent organizations, bursaries through our administrating school, or taking out loans.

Talk to Your References

Many graduate level programs require references who can speak to your capabilities and aptitude for a particular program, and the Master of Digital Media program is no exception. Identify individuals in your academic or professional career who can share how you will contribute to a collaborative program, confirm they are willing to serve as a reference for you and then provide them with the necessary background on the MDM program and its objectives.

Research Housing Options

Living on-campus at the Centre for Digital Media is an opportunity for students to expand their learning experience in the MDM program and develop invaluable connections amongst fellow students. Student apartments are available for rent to accepted students.

Students who want to explore off-campus housing options, should consider proximity to the campus, availability of services and accessible transit routes.

Work your way through the application process

Create Your Online Account

Before you can begin your application to the Master of Digital Media program, you need to create an account in the system, pay the application fee and wait for the payment to be processed. Once your payment has been received and recorded, you’ll be given access to the system to upload all the components of your application. You need to start this process a minimum of 2 weeks before the deadline to ensure all the components of your application are received in time.

Start on Your Sample of Work/Portfolio

Start thinking about what work you want to showcase and how you’ll demonstrate your skills and knowledge. A portfolio is not something that can be done overnight; it needs critical thought and a lot of revisions. It is a reflection of who you are and how you choose to present yourself. This is where you will spend most of your time during the application process, so start early!

When considering what work to include, remember: quality over quantity. Don’t include anything unless you are confident that it shows your best work. If you’re submitting work that you’ve done with an employer, check and see that you can use it. Check out our full list of portfolio tips.

Start Your Letter of Intent

Similar to your portfolio, you need time to write a good letter of intent to outline your focus, how the program aligns with your goals and the skills that you’ll bring into the program. The letter needs to show your passion for the field you are entering. For the admissions committee, it answers the question of why you are applying to the Master of Digital Media program.

Draft Your Short Formal Essay

The short formal essay demonstrates your academic writing ability. Choose a topic that interests you, and consider how you will showcase your written critical thinking skills. A great candidate is one who can think from multiple perspectives.

Draft Your Resume

A resume should outline your professional achievements and provide a clear picture of your academic and career journey.

Record Your Intro Video

A video recording provides dimension to your application, and gives the admissions committee a sense of how you communicate and present yourself. For the Master of Digital Media program, the intro video is an informal component of the application, and should reflect your communication skills versus your video production skills.

Order Your TOEFL or IELTS Score to Be Sent to the School (if applicable)

Order your English proficiency test score to be sent to Simon Fraser University. Scores can be sent online to the school, which is faster than having hard copies sent. Be sure you make the request in enough time for the official results to be received by the school before the application deadline.

Check in with Your References

Send a reminder note to your references, when you start the application so they know when to expect a notice from the school. Communicate the timeline of when you need the reference letter and how they should be sent in. 

Before you submit your application

Ask for Feedback from Your Network

While the admissions committee cannot provide specific feedback to applicants, consider reaching out to people in your academic, professional or personal network to provide their feedback on your application pieces. Getting another perspective on your application can help identify any missing components or any important details that may have been overlooked.

Proofread all of Your Documents

Proofread your letter of intent, short essay, resume and summary of work documents, and watch your video recording. Review the admission requirements to ensure your application pieces satisfy what is being asked.

Make Sure You’ve Submitted Everything

Go through the application list and make sure all the required documents are uploaded and that nothing further is required. If you have any problems, contact the program’s admissions officer. Don't wait until the day before the deadline to submit your application; give yourself a buffer of at least a week or two in case there are any issues with your submission.

Know How to Order a Copy of Your Official Transcript

If you are offered a spot in the program, the offer is conditional based on receipt of an official transcript. Be sure you know how to order an official copy of your transcript(s) from your previous educational institution(s), should you be successful is securing a spot in the program.

After you apply

Check Your Application Status

As part of the rolling admissions process, our admissions committee will do its best to review your application within 21 business days, and provide you with an updated status via the system.

Keep an Eye on Your Email Inbox

Any updates on your application status and the program will come via email, so keep an eye on your inbox, and check your spam or junk mail folder occasionally to ensure you aren't missing any important updates.

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Additional Info for Applying to MDM

MDM Admissions Requirements

MDM Admissions Process

Tips for Preparing Your Portfolio

MDM FAQ

Want to know more about the Master of Digital Media program and how to apply? Register for one of our free upcoming webinars or contact our admissions team.