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Masters in Media Arts -- is a portfolio a critical part of the application for the master's program?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) May 27th, 2012

I’m hoping those of you who have completed graduate programs in the arts or media, or who evaluate applications for graduate programs, can give me some advice on how my younger son should apply for the upcoming fall semester. He wants to apply to MIT and USC for their Master’s program in Media Arts. But his portfolio is now 4 years out of date and he knows he could now do better.

What should he do? Write a killer application essay and not include a portfolio, include the portfolio as it is (if it’s missing it stands out like a sore thumb but if included it’s hardly reviewed), or work not only on the application but on updating the portfolio and making it strong?

He really wants to get accepted at one or of those two schools because there are not many schools that even offer the Masters in Media Arts and that’s the degree that takes him where he wants to go as a game or media producer. He feels strongly that the cachet of those schools would position him to land the job he wants.

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