Graphic Design Track: MS, MFA, & PhD
Apply by this date if you wish to be considered for funding assistance or would like an early decision. Decisions are usually emailed to applicants by early March. Funding decisions are made by the end of March.
Applications received from December 16 through April 1 will be reviewed, but may not be considered for funding.
Fall Admission Only
There is no spring admission. Both deadlines are for admission to the design graduate program beginning the following fall semester. You will be notified via email about funding decisions on average four weeks after you have been accepted into the program.
Related undergraduate study
Students applying to the graphic design track must have either an undergraduate or graduate degree in design or a related area (art, architecture, technical communication) or significant professional experience (3–5 years) in design (graphic, exhibition, etc).
In addition, each applicant should demonstrate the following:
- Coursework in design or art foundations
- Computer literacy in industry-standard programs (e.g., Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.)
- Professional coursework in design (12 credits minimum) or several years of professional experience with evidence of effective design
- Academic and professional records of applicants will be evaluated on an individual case basis.
All materials must be received by the program's deadline. The program’s review process takes between four and six weeks once the application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. After faculty review your application, a faculty member may contact you for a follow-up on-line video, or telephone interview.
Materials required for all applicants
- Complete University of Minnesota Graduate School Application
- Strong academic record with a preferred 3.0 GPA
- Personal statement of your academic and professional goals for the degree desired (1–2 pages)
- Diversity statement (1–2 pages; make the statement relevant for the Diversity of View and Experience Fellowship if applying)
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE scores) are not required for the graphic design track of the Design Graduate Program, but many scholarships require GRE scores (school code is 6874)
- Three letters of recommendation written by individuals who can judge your academic performance and promise as a student
- All transcripts
- Application fee of $75, international students pay $95
- A portfolio with 15–20 examples of current work in PDF file format or a link to a website
For applicants to the PhD
- A writing sample (PDF file format) authored solely by the applicant that demonstrates the applicant’s writing skills and ability to analyze information and develop an argument and/or conclusion based on the analysis (5,000 words maximum)
- Samples with multiple authors will not be accepted.
Note: New students are not admitted to the Design Graduate Program to pursue a doctoral degree without a master’s degree.
For applicants who are non-native English speakers
- TOEFL or IELTS scores submitted in PDF file format to the University of Minnesota (school code: 6874)
- Please note that the exam date should be within two years of the graduate program start date.
- For more testing options and details, view the Graduate School English Language Proficiency guidelines.
- Minimum accepted TOEFL scores are:
- Total Score: 79
- Writing Subscore: 21
- Reading Subscore: 19
- Minimum accepted IELTS scores are:
- Total Score: 6.5
- Writing Subscore: 6.5
- Reading Subscore: 6.5
NOTE: If you will earn or have earned an undergraduate degree in the United States you do not need to submit English language test scores.
You will be notified about funding decisions on average four weeks after you have been accepted into the program.
The majority of our graduate students receive some form of financial support. Graduate assistantships in teaching and research are available based on your expertise and the needs of the department. Assistantship offers are made after you have been accepted into the program. A limited number of departmental and university-wide fellowships are available, and awards are made on a competitive basis. Grant-based funding is also available to support research and creative scholarship and to attend conferences to present scholarship.