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Off-Campus Transfer

It’s never too late to become a part of the Designlife here at NC State. College students, both domestic and international, who are looking for a premier institution to study design in the context of a larger university in the heart of the Research Triangle need look no further than the NC State College of Design!

Studio-Based Majors: Fall Admissions ONLY

Important Dates

  • August 1st: Application opens for transfer applicants looking to apply to NC State University.
  • Mid-October: Students are encouraged to submit Common Application in order to gain access to the NCSU wolfPAW system which is the platform used for the submission of their portfolio by the November 1st deadline.
  • *November 1*: 10-piece Portfolio and Design Essay due for Studio-Based Majors in wolfPAW. In order to submit the required portfolio and design essay, the Common Application should have been submitted before November 1. 
  • Late December: Admissions Update – College of Design provides one of the following recommendations to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (Accept with no additional review from design needed; Invitation to Interview with the faculty in the department; Declined for studio-based major). Undergraduate Admissions will review recommendations for final evaluation and provide updates in wolfPAW.
  • Mid-January: Departmental interviews for studio-based major applicants by invitation only.
  • Mid-February: Final Decisions will be released by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • April: College of Design will reach out to Transfer students for academic advising resources.

Admissions Process

Steps to Complete Application:

Fall Entry

  1. Submit a completed Common Application for your studio-based major.
    • *Important! Submit your application by mid-October to ensure you have time to complete and submit your 10-piece portfolio and design essay by the November 1 deadline. Incomplete portfolios or portfolios received after November 1 may not be reviewed for admission. Check your wolfPAW portals checklist frequently to view any missing application materials.
  1. After your application has been processed, you should receive an email from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to gain access to wolfPAW.
  1. Use wolfPAW to upload your 10-piece portfolio and design essay.
  • You must upload 10 SEPARATE design pieces for your portfolio and 1 document for your essay into wolfPAW.

Design Essay Prompt – Your essay question is available below and in your wolfPAW account. Please submit your essay as a .doc or .pdf file in wolfPAW.

Transfer Guides

The College of Design has created transfer guides to help prospective transfer students with course and program information as they pursue an education at a NC Community College.

Studio majors such as; Environmental Design in Architecture, Art + Design, Graphic and Experience Design, and Industrial Design have 8 semesters of studio AFTER transfer which typically takes 4 years of enrollment at NC State, regardless of the number of transfer credits or completion of an associate’s degree.It is strongly recommended that you contact the Undergraduate Student Service Coordinator at to go over your transfer plans. Click on the major below to view the suggested transfer pathway.

Studio Majors: Architecture | Art + Design | Graphic and Experience Design | Industrial Design

Non-Studio Major: Design Studies 

NCSU Credit Opportunities

Design Essay Prompt – Fall 2024 Admissions

Architecture AND Industrial Design Prompt

Discuss one project in your portfolio that best reflects your current understanding of design. Consider how it might be received or used by somebody other than yourself. 250-300 word count. 

Art + Design Prompt

Reflect on your interest in Media Arts, Design and Technology. Select one project in your portfolio that best demonstrates your understanding of Animation, Gaming & Interaction Design, or Fibers & Soft Construction. Discuss how this project demonstrates your understanding of the design process, and how it’s connected to your potential career in design. 250 – 300 word count

Graphic and Experience Design Prompt

Discuss one project in your portfolio and describe your process in creating it, explaining your decision-making and any inspiration you drew from it. 250-300 word count.

Portfolio Guidelines

What is a Portfolio?

The digital portfolio consists of works you have designed from a wide range of experiences and mediums. These can be designs you have created from high school, community college, workshops, commission, or learning new skills on your own time. Design pieces do not need to be major-specific; any medium is accepted. You must submit 10 SEPERATE design pieces into the wolfPAW portal.

Portfolio Recommendations

Recommendations for the portfolio vary per major, please review the Admissions Booklet for Freshmen and Transfer Students. Common mediums may included the following;

  • Two-Dimensional Design
    • Drawing, Sketching, Painting, Pastels, Charcoal, Screen Printing, etc.
  • Three-Dimensional
    • Sculpture, Ceramics, Furniture, Woodwork Making, Metals, Fibers etc.
  • Digital Media
    • Photography, Animation, Video Game Clips, Videography, Graphic Design, etc.

Students are encouraged to showcase their creativity and passion for design through various mediums.

*The College of Design DOES NOT provide assistance with portfolio development!*

Digital Portfolio File Sizes and Types:

We support media files as large as 5GB, larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. 

We support the following file formats:

  • Video: .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mp4, .mxf, .webm, .wmv
  • Audio: .aac, .m4a, .mka, .mp3, .oga, .ogg, .wav
  • Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff
  • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd

(Portfolio Guidelines PDF)

Interview – By Invitation Only

Mandatory interviews may be conducted in order for the departmental faculty and/or their representatives to learn more about the student’s interest in the applied major. Invitations and details will be provided to the invited applicants in late December.

Tours and Virtual Info Sessions

What to learn more about the College of Design? Sign up for an in-person tour or virtual information session. You can also connect with a Design Ambassador as they are current design students.

Photo credit: Cannon Architects.

Non-Studio Based Majors – Fall and Spring Admission

Design Studies

No portfolio required

Important Dates

Fall Entry

  • Application Deadline  – February 15
  • Decision Notification – Rolling beginning April 15

Spring Entry

  • Application Deadline  – October 1
  • Decision Notification – Rolling beginning November 15

Steps to Complete Application:

  1. Apply via the Common Application by the Undergraduate Admissions deadlines.
  • No portfolio required or design essay.
  1. After you apply, you will receive access to your wolfPAW account, which is your applicant portal. Check your wolfPAW account frequently to view any missing application materials, check your application status and upload materials.

Bachelor of Architecture (5th Year)

Deadline: January 31

This is a one-year professional degree program and is not available for recent high school graduates nor for college transfers (please see the BEDA program requirements if you are applying from high school or transferring into architecture).

Applications to this program from graduates of other comparable four-year pre-professional programs in architecture are welcome. Admission requirements include prerequisite courses that must be included in the applicant’s undergraduate program. A transcript review will identify any prerequisite deficiencies. If accepted to the program, the applicant will be advised regarding how to comply with the prerequisite requirements.

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