Becoming a GSAS Major

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Becoming a GSAS Major


This page is for current RPI students looking to add or change majors to GSAS. 
For prospective RPI students interested in applying to GSAS, please visit RPI Admissions!



On this webpage, you will discover more about Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and how to join the program (either through a dual major or switching your major to GSAS). Please understand that there are a limited number of openings available each semester. Not being admitted may not be a reflection of your talent. We will always encourage you to pursue your passions regardless of the results.


Please read this webpage in full!


Application Deadlines and Details:

Whether you plan to dual or to change your major to GSAS, you must apply to the program.

  • Incoming RPI Students (during the summer before your first term).
  • Current First Year and Rising Sophomore Students.


Accepted GSAS Duals: Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Electronic Arts, Management, Music, and Communication and Design. (We cannot accept dual applications from other majors at this time).


Due to the courseload requirements of GSAS, students applying to add to the program after their first year often need to plan to stay for at least an extra semester.

For prospective RPI students interested in applying to GSAS, please visit Admissions!



  • Fall 2023 Semester Deadline: December 15th
  • Spring 2024 Semester Deadline: May 15th 
  • Summer 2024 Deadline: June 15th

* For a Fall-Term Admission, we often accept another round of students in late August. If you miss the Spring 2024 deadline to apply, or you are a newly admitted/incoming student wishing to apply, please inquire ( 


Please note: you will need to resubmit a transcript with your final semester grades at the end of the semester. This required step will likely occur on or past the deadline. 

  • Within two weeks of the above-mentioned deadline.
  • This is not a rolling application process. All submissions will be reviewed at the same time.
  • This is an incredibly competitive program. We ask that you register for next semester’s courses as if you will not be accepted to GSAS. If you are accepted, our advisors will be available to support schedule changes (including overrides).


The Application: Required Materials

Applications missing any of the following will automatically be dismissed. Please use all of the information and advice on this webpage to best develop and organize these requirements.

Begin by selecting your GSAS Concentration! Please review this information carefully. 
You should tailor your portfolio and application materials to one of the available GSAS concentrations.

In 1 to 2 written pages, go beyond your love of games, and explain how this major will help you meet your professional goals! Describe your interest in the major, why you would like to enter the program, and what your goals are. List any relevant experience, including courses you've taken, programs you have participated in, and projects you have completed.

Also, be certain to note whether you’re looking to change your major or add GSAS as a dual.

This is a semester-by-semester plan that shows how long it will take for you to complete all graduation requirements. In your plan, you must draw attention to...

  • Prerequisites for advanced courses: are your courses listed in the correct order?
  • Courses that are Spring Only, Fall Only, or Summer Only: are you placing all courses in the correct semester based on when they are offered?
  • Duals: Are you including all the requirements for your non-GSAS major?


Find and download a GSAS or Blank Plan of Study template for your Plan here!

If you need support developing a dual plan, please meet with your current Academic Advisor.

A descriptive list of items in the portfolio. For each item, list:

  • Medium (such as “original composition”, “3D animation”, “videogame”, or “program”)
  • Year created
  • For collaborative projects, list your role and responsibilities on the team
  • Any relevant details on the work

The portfolio is required for all current students. It should be a collection of your work. Our faculty will review each portfolio and use what they learn to guide you through your first registration. The insight provided through your materials will be used to connect you to a GSAS faculty advisor. 


The Portfolio is a great chance to express your creativity! We ask that you present any games you have made in video form to focus on the highlights, rather than a file. Have fun with it!


Begin by selecting your GSAS Concentration! Please review this information carefully. 

You should tailor your portfolio and application materials to one of the available GSAS concentrations.


What must your Portfolio include?

  • 3-5 examples of original works representative of the program.
  • Make sure to identify work that aligns with GSAS and your chosen GSAS Concentrations.


Notes for Specific Media Types Included in Portfolio:

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 a written description of the game and rules
  • Images: still images in JPG or PNG format.

Video: Should be uploaded directly to the Box Folder

  • Recommended resolution: 640x480 or higher
  • Recommended formats for video files: AVI, Quicktime, WMV, or Ogg/Theora
  • Recommended compression: for AVI, Quicktime, and WMV: MPEG-4 or H.264 Audio: MP3 or Ogg/Vorbis

Acceptable formats for portfolio items are DOCX, PDF, AIFF, WAV, MP3, QUICKTIME, JPEG, or PNG. Allowed media types and size limits are as follows:

  • Images (up to 5MB each)
  • Video (up to 250MB each)
  • Audio (up to 30MB each)
  • PDFs (up to 10MB each)
  • 3D Models

The deadline may come before your final grades have been submitted. Please provide an unofficial transcript that shows all progress to date, and resubmit your transcript once all grades have been finalized. 

How to save an unofficial transcript:

  1. Head to SIS and click "View Transcript."
  2. On this page, print (ctrl+p). 
  3. Using the 'Destination' drop-down menu, scroll until you see "Save as PDF."
  4. Save your Transcript as a PDF in a safe space (save with your last name and the date saved).
  5. Upload your new PDF document to your Box folder. 


Any other materials that would help your application to the major including...

  • faculty references, recommendation letters, 
  • or other relevant materials.



Submit your Application:

Please request a Portfolio box folder through HASS Student Services ( 
If you don’t have a Box @RPI account, you can request one here.

  • All Portfolio Items should be submitted within one folder that you create in your Box Folder.
  • Please clearly label each of your Application Materials.


We wish you the best of luck! 



Head back to the HASS Hub Homepage

Head back to "Becoming a HASS Major"

Meet with a HASS Hub Advisor


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The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

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