Students doing research

Doctor of Design Admissions

Doctor of Design Admissions

For practicing designers looking to develop a high level of expertise in the areas of architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, industrial design, and other art + design fields supported by College faculty.


Application checklist:

  • Undergrad and graduate degree transcripts (min 3.0 GPA)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)*
  • TOEFL or IELTS (exceed min. NCSU Grad School standards)
  • Curriculum vitae (cv)
  • Statement of purpose, topic/focus, and description of proposed research questions
  • Applicants are required to submit a digital portfolio of creative work and/or professional practice activities within the online application.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (at least one from applicant’s current employer)

*Contact Program Director for waiving considerations and options.

The Doctor of Design degree focuses on applied design research relevant to professional practice in design. We seek applicants who are self-directed, focused, and resilient—capable of independent inquiry and critical thinking. Successful applicants will have a track record showing a high level of achievement:

  • Successful applicants hold a Master’s degree from an accredited design, fine arts, or equivalent program. Applicants are expected to demonstrate mastery over their respective practices in the submission of a digital portfolio. The portfolio should highlight relevant professional experience and/or current accomplishments in a design firm or studio, public or private museum, or governmental agency involved in design/planning.
  • A short statement of purpose for graduate study (not to exceed 400 words or 1-2 pages overall) will convince the reader that the applicant is motivated and prepared.
  • Successful applicants possess the capacity to articulate a clear topic with specific research questions. Applicants submit an abstract proposal for a clear and compelling research topic (statement not to exceed 750 words or 2-3 pages overall).

Applicants submit transcripts of previous academic work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (undergraduate and graduate studies) along with standardized graduate test scores such as the GRE* (Graduate Record Exam), and international students further provide TOEFL or IELTS scores.