Admission Requirements

Required for All Applicants

All applicants to DigiPen Europe-Bilbao must submit the following materials in order to be considered for admission:

In addition to the materials listed above, we highly recommend applicants also submit two letters of recommendation from professors or employers. 

*If academic records are in any language other than English or Spanish, the applicant must supply a literal English translation along with the original version. See Educational Records for more information. 

Educational Records

All applicants to DigiPen must provide certified-true copies of all secondary and post-secondary (if applicable) academic records, including leaving certificates, grades, and exam results. Documents should be certified by an official school representative or other authorized notary and sent directly to DigiPen.

Academic Records in Languages Other Than English or Spanish

If the documents are written in a language other than English or Spanish, applicants must submit certified true copies of both the original document and a literal English translation. Please note that applicants should not convert or interpret their grades in any way when providing this translation. As it may take some time to certify and send all of the required materials by mail, please request official transcripts and records from your current and previous educational institutions as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about your particular academic records, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions[at]digipen[dot]es.


Proof of Proficiency in the English Language

Non-native English speakers must provide proof of English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • A minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (paper exam), 213 (computer exam) or 80 (iBT — Internet-based Test). TOEFL code: 6750
  • A minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or higher. (
  • A minimum Cambridge English: Advanced (also known as a Certificate in Advanced English or CAE) score of C1 or higher.
  • A certified copy of the Cambridge First Certificate, plus a successful score on DigiPen Europe-Bilbao's internal English Assessment
  • Completion of four years of high school at an English-speaking school.
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in the United States at an English-speaking school, or an International School where the primary language of instruction is English.
  • DigiPen may use its discretion and own internal assessments in determining sufficient English proficiency for students transferring from one DigiPen campus or program to another.
  • DigiPen may accept other proof of English proficiency, such as through the submission of internationally recognized standardized English test scores, the completion of English preparatory coursework, or internal English assessments on a case-by-case basis.

Application Essay

Your Application Essay is an important part of your application for admission to DigiPen. What you write will help us find out information about you that is not apparent from your application or transcripts.


Please address the following topic in your essay:

Obtaining a degree from DigiPen will prepare you to be a professional software engineer/game programmer (BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation) or digital artist (BFA in Digital Art and Animation). Write an essay that conveys what your chosen profession means to you and why you want to devote your life to it. Also state why you think you are ready to enroll at such a challenging school, why you think DigiPen is a good fit for you, and what you have done (and what are you doing now) to prepare yourself to succeed at DigiPen. Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, along with the correct use of punctuation, capitalization, quotation marks, etc. are all considered, so proofread your essay carefully.

Optional Essay
Applicants should use this optional essay to explain any unusual circumstances or situations that you think may have an impact on their application.

Guidelines for the Application Essay

Please consider the following guidelines:

  • Spelling, grammar, and content will be considered, so proofread your personal statement carefully.
  • Except where noted, each question should be answered in no less than 150 words and in no more than 300 words.
  • Applicants may answer each question individually or all together in full essay form.


Applicants may choose to type their application essays directly into the online application (which automatically adds an electronic signature and date stamp) or mail a hard copy to DigiPen's Office of Admissions, where it will be added to the applicant's file. Those who opt for online submission of their application essays should be sure to have their answers drafted and prepared before beginning the online application.

Formatting a Hard Copy for Submission

Applicants must adhere to the following requirements if submitting a hard copy of their application essays:

  • The applicant's name and the program to which he or she is applying should be printed at the top of each page.
  • Each page should be typed and double spaced.
  • The completed application essays should be signed and dated on the last page.

Mathematics Requirements for BSCS Applicants

In addition to meeting the regular admissions requirements, all applicants to DigiPen Europe-Bilbao's BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation (BSCS) program should have completed Bachillerato with a 7 average in mathematics, including a minimum of algebra, geometry, and (when possible) calculus. Applicants who do not have a 7 average in mathematics will be required to perform a math assessment. (See below.) Relevant courses in physics, chemistry, and computer science will also be considered in the evaluation process.

Math Assessment

Applicants to the BSCS program must demonstrate (through grades, exam results, and coursework) sufficient knowledge of a number of topics in mathematics to be considered for admission. DigiPen's Math Assessment covers various topics in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. It is not used as a strict measure for determining the admissibility of a candidate, nor is it used to compare any one applicant to another. Rather, it is used for informational purposes and to supplement an application that is lacking in mathematics coursework. Satisfactory performance on the math assessment, combined with other strong application materials, may improve an applicant's chances of admission.


Art Portfolio for BFA Applicants

DigiPen reviews applicants’ portfolios to ensure that students have the appropriate foundational skills to succeed in the degree programs to which he/she is applying.

Applicants to the BFA in Digital Art and Animation degree are required to submit an art portfolio. This portfolio must contain between 15 to 20 samples of original artwork created by the applicant. At least 10 pieces must be drawings from direct observation, rather than from photos, other 2D references, or the student’s imagination. The remaining pieces should demonstrate the applicant’s artistic range and skill. Animations, figure/animal studies, character designs, architectural renderings, landscape studies, sculptures, and paintings are preferred for this part of the portfolio. If necessary, DigiPen may request more samples for review.

The portfolio should demonstrate the following:

  1. The applicant has sufficient foundational drawing skills to meet the challenges of DigiPen’s rigorous curriculum. The portfolio should include at least 10 drawings directly from live observations, preferably of people and animals (not from the applicant’s imagination, memory, or from two-dimensional references such as a photograph or another artist’s work). These drawings should clearly communicate the structure and three-dimensional form of the subject. The applicant should focus on representational accuracy rather than on cartooning or heavy stylization.
  2. The applicant is a serious amateur artist. The portfolio should include five to 10 samples of the applicant’s best work, regardless of the subject matter or medium. Sustained drawings (i.e., those that took two to three hours to complete) are encouraged to demonstrate the applicant’s skill and concentration. These works should be selected with an eye toward quality, design, composition, and a dedication to craft.
    Guidelines for All Portfolio Submissions

Note: Applicants should avoid including samples of work that rely heavily on exaggerated physical features such as large eyes, big hair, or elongated limbs. In general, portfolios should not include samples copied directly from manga, animé, Disney or the like. These types of work have a very specific visual language, and relying on this language will hinder one's growth as an artist. Instead, applicants should demonstrate how they draw from observation or their own imagination.

Submission Guidelines

DigiPen encourages all BFA applicants to submit their art portfolios online via Slideroom. Artwork sent electronically should be submitted as either JPEGs or PNGs.  For more information or to submit your portfolio, visit Online submission expedites the review process and helps guarantee that your artwork is in a format that is viewable by our evaluators.

Applicants who choose to submit a physical portfolio through the mail should follow these guidelines:

  • Applicants should label portfolios clearly with their full name on the front.
  • All artwork should be labeled with the date of completion and medium used.
  • Portfolios will not be returned. However, we will accept color copies, photocopies, slides, photographs, or work contained on CDs.
  • Applicants who submit hard copies of artwork should place their portfolios in A4-sized binders.