Application Procedures

Application Procedures

Applications for the Master of Arts in Design program are accepted October 1 through May 1 for admission the following fall semester.

Apply to the Division of Graduate Studies

Admission procedures and eligibility requirements are available from the Division of Graduate Studies and SF State Bulletin (Catalog):

Applications are accepted through Cal State Apply. The Cal State Apply application for Design will include basic information and upload areas for a statement of purpose, portfolio, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents. We recommend that you prepare these documents before starting your Cal State Apply application.

Application requirements include:

  • Undergraduate degree with an overall 3.0 grade point average.
  • Portfolio showing evidence of visual design, artistic, written, and/or technical work.*
  • Current résumé or cv.
  • Statement of purpose (500-750 words) : Tell us why you want to attend the MA in Design program at SF State. Include your research emphasis or interest and what you believe you can contribute to graduate study. How will graduate study in the School of Design facilitate your future career goals? You may discuss any personal, educational, or career highlights if you wish.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. These can be requested through Cal State Apply.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.
  • Record of language scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE) is required for international students. The minimum accepted TOEFL score is 80 (iBT) or 550 (PBT); the minimum IELTS score is an overall band score of 6.5; minimum Pearson Test of English score is 59.
  • Applications are due on May 1st. Late applications may be considered on a space-available basis.


* Portfolio should include evidence of creative, written, or technical work (or work that best exemplifies your past educational and/or professional experiences). This may include: visual materials (design projects and renderings); fine art/craft work; written materials (articles, publications); and or technical/professional pieces. Not all of these categories need to be represented in the portfolio. Ideally, we would also like to see sketches, illustrations, and/or renderings showing an ability to express ideas visually. Please describe the work briefly and specify your role in its creation. Portfolio materials may be submitted as a PDF file or online via a URL.