Application FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about applying to our program:

1. What are you looking for in the production sample?
Your “voice.” The ability to surprise. To emotionally engage. We are looking for maturity of subject matter, understanding of character, playfulness with form. Ambition, sensitivity, passion. In short: Potential. You may submit up to 10 minutes of material (either fictional or documentary or a combination of the two). Include written summary description for all samples submitted.

2. Do I have to be proficient or knowledgeable in film/video production or interactive media to apply to the program?
Some previous experience with film/video or interactive media production certainly is a plus, but we are as interested in your imagination, inspiration, and perception as we are in your technical training to date.

3. Can the production sample be longer than 10 minutes?
Nope. It’s got to be 10. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we can only view 10 minutes from everyone with written summary. You may submit any combination of complete works or excerpts that you want; one complete work; a few complete shorter works; excerpts from several works; still image documentation from one or several installations. Just keep your total under 10 minutes. The one exception: If you are submitting an interactive piece such as a game or website, and the work does not adhere to a linear model, send the piece or link and we will play or view for a maximum of 10 minutes.

4. Is the GRE required?
No. Media-makers can be unconventional. Some don’t test well but still have tremendous potential. We emphasize the production sample, statement of purpose, and essay question over tests.

5. What are you looking for in the one-page Statement Of Purpose?
We are looking for a deeper understanding of your background and goals as a media-maker. You may also address what you hope to learn in this program and/or what you will bring to your peer group. We are looking for YOU in your statement. Don’t write what you think we want to read, write who you are.

6. Is there anything else you can tell me about the essay questions?
Choose the one you’re most excited to write. Mostly, we just want to see how your mind works and how you view media critically.

Other Questions? Email docmedia@northwestern.edu or call 847-467-4696.We look forward to speaking to you.