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Master of Art + Design Admissions

For students who want to earn a first professional degree in a design discipline and students with undergraduate design degrees who want to take their education and professional development to the next level.

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Important Dates

  • January 15: Priority application deadline for domestic and international students (fall admission)
    • Late applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • September 1: International Student spring admission Art + Design Track 3 only
  • October 15: Domestic Student spring admission Art + Design Track 3 only
  • March 1-31: Notification to students regarding admission status (applicants check their status through the online system)
  • March 1: University deadline for international applications for fall admission
  • April 15: Deadline for students notifying the College of Design that they intend to matriculate in fall
  • June: Pre-registration of incoming graduate students for fall courses
  • August: New College of Design graduate student orientation
  • Mid-August: First day of fall classes

Got Questions?

Do you have questions about our graduate program? Please fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.


Academic Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA from all previous study at the college level
  • English Proficiency for International Applicants.
    • Acceptable minimum online TOEFL score:
      • Combined score of 80 and at least 18 on each individual component
    • OR minimum IELTS score for international students
      • Overall band score of at least 6.5 in each individual component
    • OR provide Duolingo score of 110 or better
    • OR be a citizen of a country where English is the official language and the language of instruction in higher education.
    • International applicants who have successfully completed at least one year of full-time study at a four-year US college or university do not have to submit TOEFL and/or IELTS scores. To request a waiver, contact the Graduate Admissions Office.
  • A portfolio of work
  • Uploaded unofficial transcripts for each institution attended (official transcripts will be required i

A fee of $75 for US applicants ($85 for international applicants) is due at the time of application.

No admissions decisions will be made on the basis of email correspondence. All applicants must use the online system and provide the following:

  • Personal Statement stating career objectives, prior experience, intention of graduate study, and their relevance to the selected program at NC State University
  • A portfolio of work as per the requirements of your desired discipline
  • Uploaded unofficial transcripts for each institution attended (official transcripts will be required if admitted)
  • Three uploaded letters of recommendation from people who know your academic record
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students only
    • TOEFL institution code for NC State is 5496
  • Residency statement for US citizens only (more info)
  • Personal resume
    • Include under “PDF Documents” in the online system

Art + Design-Specific Admission Requirements

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 are required to submit GRE scores.

Portfolio Requirements for Art + Design

The portfolio submitted to the Department along with the application package is the most critical element in the review for admission. Its purpose is to reveal the creative potential, breadth of experience, and discipline sophistication of the applicant. Review of your past work in conjunction with information gleaned from your essay of intent, allows the Faculty admissions committee to discern your aptitude for art and design work and readiness for graduate level.

The portfolio should be planned carefully to show your talents, interests, skills, and experience. It should specifically show preparedness or predisposition for success in your desired medium (fibers or animation). Include only your strongest work. Attend carefully to the portfolio format and quality of reproductions. Do not send out of focus, unclear images with confusing contexts.

Experimental Media Arts

  • Concentrate your selection on past interactive work, material studies, digital images, and/or illustrations in a proportion that fits your experience.
  • Do not exceed 15 images. Time-based work should take no longer than 10 minutes to review.
  • Please include a short write-up about each piece submitted. These should be included to identify dates of execution, your concepts, and materials (when appropriate).