Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked application questions.

Do you accept applications from people who do not have an undergraduate major in design?

Yes, we welcome applications regardless of your undergraduate major. Approximately half of our current graduate students have an undergraduate major in design or a related field, and approximately half do not.

 

Is the GRE required for this application?

No, the GRE is not required.

 

What are you looking for in a portfolio?

We are looking for evidence that indicates that you would be a good candidate for graduate study in design. This might include: design projects that you worked on as an undergraduate, projects that you worked on professionally, written examples that highlight your skills and experiences, websites or graphic design tasks that you worked on, artistic works, etc. Depending on the person, you might have some, but not necessarily all, of these represented in your portfolio.

If you do not come from a design background, you may have other evidence that shows you are a good candidate for graduate study. For example, perhaps you have done drawing, photography, painting, or other arts in the past and you could include some samples of your work for consideration.

Or maybe you are a published author and you can include some examples of articles that you have written. Or maybe you come from a technical background and you can upload technical briefs or diagrams from your past work. Or maybe you have done some computer graphics work in the past. Any of these would be welcome in a portfolio.

 

How many pieces of work should I show in my portfolio?

We encourage you to show your best work in whatever medium it is. We suggest that your portfolio should include a minimum of 5-7 works and possibly more.

We also encourage you to include a brief paragraph explaining the nature of the work and your role in its creation, so that we can understand what the project/document/picture represents.

 

Do you accept late applications?

Occasionally, we will accept late applications on a space available basis. Please try to get your application in on time in order to maximize your chances of admission. Please contact the School of Design, design@sfsu.edu in case you wish to file a late application.

 

When will I find out my application decision?

We review all application materials on a rolling basis. Depending on when your application is completed, we hope to give you a decision within 4-6 weeks. Sometimes it will be longer due to university breaks, holidays, etc. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed until they are complete. Because our admissions are done on a rolling basis, it is best to get your application in on the early side.

 

Do you maintain a waitlist for people who were not immediately admitted?

Yes, a subset of applications are usually waitlisted and additional students may be added in on a space available basis.

 

Is design considered a STEM field?

No, design is not currently considered a STEM field.

 

Are there any scholarships available? 

Scholarship information is found at the bottom of the MA in Design page.

 

Where can I go for more information?

If you have further questions, please contact us at design@sfsu.edu. Your question will be routed to the appropriate party.