Undergraduate Applicants

Undergraduate Applicants

Due to the College's prominence and history of success, our selection process is informed by a careful review of skills and measures – such as high school grades, test scores, and class rank. In addition, a potential student’s creative work is given careful consideration for entry into studio-based majors. The portfolio review is particularly critical as departmental admissions committees a sense of the student's creative talent and individual approach to problem solving, and a more complete assessment of his/her potential as a design student. The review emphasizes the ideas presented, rather than the finished product.

While we have no “typical” student, a common thread among College of Design students includes their ability to show their independent thinking and initiative through drawing, painting, writing, or some other creative means. Applicants to Design Studies, a non-studio-based major, are not required to submit a portfolio.

Our students are smart, creative, and passionate. Their portfolio pieces should represent the applicant's activities, interests, capabilities, and creativity both inside and outside the classroom.

Deadlines and Requirements

Applying for Studio-Based Majors

Studio-based majors are in disciplines which require students to participate in studios and complete project-based work. These programs are subject to a different admissions review process than most majors at NC State University, and they only admit students for the Fall semester. Submission of a portfolio and essay is required for admission.

Studio-based majors in the College of Design include Architecture, Art + Design, Industrial Design, and Graphic Design.

Steps to Submitting a Complete Application:

  1. Submit Application with Design studio-based major selected as first choice major. We HIGHLY recommend that you put a second-choice major. If you are not selected for your first choice major, you could be under consideration for your second choice major. Your second choice major cannot be another studio-based major and should be something that interests you. 
  2. Activate wolfPAW Account. You MUST submit the completed application FIRST in order to access the portfolio and essay site within wolfPAW. Once you submit your application, you will be emailed a confirmation with instructions on how to activate a wolfPAW account.
  3. Log into wolfPAW. Click “Submit Design Supplemental Application” under “To-Do List” on the right side of the screen. Submit 10 portfolio images and design essay through wolfPAW. The portfolio and essay link will only be displayed on your wolfPAW account once you have submitted your complete application.
  4. Complete "To-Do List" in wolfPAW.

FIND OUT MORE about the required portfolio and design essay.

Studio-Based Major Application Timeline

Common Application Deadline: October 15th


Supplemental Materials (Portfolio/Essay) Deadline: November 1st

Admissions Review Day: January 21st (Invitation Only)

Admissions Review Day is an opportunity for the most qualified candidates who have applied to studio-based majors for Fall semester admission to be invited to the College of Design for either a mandatory interview with faculty members or an information session given by the department heads (varies by major). Presentations are given by representatives of the College, and a student panel speaks about life as a student at the College of Design.

This part of the admission process is typically held on a Saturday in late January. Applicants will be notified in December if they have been selected and will receive detailed information at that time.

Applicants are typically notified of their admissions decision in mid-March.


Applying for Design Studies (Non-Studio-Based Major)

DEADLINES: Various - set by Undergraduate Admissions

Applicants are only required to submit a Common Application and provide any other university required documents (check the "To-Do List" on wolfPAW).

International Applications

DEADLINES: Various - set by Undergraduate Admissions

Applicants are only required to submit a Common Application and provide any other university required documents (check the "To-Do List" on wolfPAW).

Bachelor of Architecture

DEADLINE: January 5th

This is a one-year professional degree program and 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 which 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.

FIND OUT MORE about the required portfolio and other requirements