Product Design Track: MS & PhD

Application Deadlines

December 15

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.

April 1

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.

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Minimum Requirements


All undergrad degrees welcome
Students applying to the product design track do not need a product design degree to be considered for the program.

Portfolio encouraged
At this time, a portfolio is not required as part of your application, but if you have one available we encourage you to submit it. If you do submit a portfolio, it should include examples of your design and creative work with a description of each project and your role in team projects, if applicable.


Degree type

An undergraduate or graduate degree in product design or a related field (i.e. industrial design, mechanical engineering, human factors, graphic design, interior design) is preferred. 


Experience in product design and development practice is preferred.

GRE is required. A portfolio is not required.

Application Materials

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
  • CV
  • 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 MS but are required for the PhD product design track of the Design Graduate Program. Additionally, 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 that demonstrate a strong academic record with a preferred 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Application fee of $75, international students pay $95

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)
  • 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.

For applicants to the PhD program

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


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.