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Welcome to The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

ASU admission

This is where your future begins.

Take your next step by completing the admission process and find out why The Design School is among the most comprehensive schools of design in the nation.  

ASU Events

Steps to apply


Your first step in the application process is to apply to ASU. You are urged to complete this process as soon as possible the year before your proposed entrance.


  • A baccalaureate grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is encouraged for application. Students with a GPA less than the minimum requirement may still receive consideration if they have supporting evidence of creative work, significant work experience, or other indicators of their potential to succeed in the program.
  • Acceptable proof of English proficiency for all international students whose native language is not English.

In addition to the above requirements, please check the admission requirements for your preferred program of study. Quick links are noted below for your reference:

Research Degrees

Studio Degrees

Admission Procedure

Applications for Fall 2024 will open on September 1 with a priority deadline of January 15. However, we will accept applications until May 1.

Students are admitted to the PhD program only upon completion of a master's degree in Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture or Art History (visual art students may be considered for the design concentration) or upon the demonstration of equivalent standing. Students must be familiar with design or art history and will be expected to demonstrate a high level of academic maturity before being admitted to the program.

The PhD executive committee evaluates only completed applications and supporting materials in a holistic manner during the spring for fall semester admissions. Admission decisions are based on the compatibility of the applicant's career goals with the purpose of the degree program, the research mission of the PhD program and the research interests of faculty; previous academic training and performance; GRE scores; recommendation letters; and the ability of the potential mentor to devote time to the student.

The recommendations of the PhD executive committee are forwarded to the director of the PhD program, who subsequently recommends the candidates to the dean of the Graduate College for approval. Graduate College will notify all applicants electronically of the admission decision. Applicants may also log into the MyASU system in order to view admission status. Admission decisions are typically communicated by mid-April.

Application forms

The electronic application form is found on the Graduate College website. Filing your application electronically is faster and provides you with the ability to submit all of the supplemental materials immediately. You will also be able to see what items you may be missing in order to complete your application. Please be aware that missing items will make your application incomplete and therefore not reviewed by the PhD program. It is the applicant's responsibility to complete the application. However, note that once you submit the application, you will NOT have the ability to go back into the application to submit the supplemental materials. Consequently, please have those materials ready to upload when you begin the application.

Please visit the ASU Graduate College website to access the electronic application.

Submitting the application form and materials

The following are application requirements for Graduate College. If there is a discrepancy between the information below and the information on the Graduate College website, the Graduate College website takes precedence.

  • Online application found at the Graduate College, including the mandatory application fee.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded with your application for evaluation, but official copies from all post-secondary institutions must be sent after admission. See full transcripts policy.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Please ask ETS to send score report to Institution Code 4007, Department Code 4403). Find more information about GRE and ETS
  • International students must demonstrate proof of English proficiency. A list of accepted exams with minimum scores and approved waivers is available.

Submitting the PhD program materials

In addition to the Graduate College requirements, applicants must submit the following PhD application requirements to The Design School Slideroom application. The application will be considered incomplete if one of these items is missing.

  • A personal statement summarizing career objectives and the reasons for pursuing doctoral education.
  • An indication of proposed area of concentration (design; history, theory and criticism).
  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably academic, although could be professional). Students will provide the names and contact information of two recommenders at the time of their online application. Recommenders will receive an email with a link to upload their recommendation. All letters must be in English.
  • Abstract of your proposed research (maximum 500 words).
  • A sample of sole-authored written work (i.e. Master’s thesis, research paper, published articles).
  • Resume

Admission decisions

Admission decisions are a two-step process. Students must be admitted to both the PhD program as well as Graduate College. Students will receive confirmation of admission by email to log into the MyASU website, normally by the middle of April. Students may check their application status as well as any information they are missing by logging onto the MyASU website.


The program attempts to provide some support for full-time doctoral students through Teaching Associateships (TAs). Support is awarded on a competitive basis at the time of admission. Associateships typically waive out-of-state tuition and include monthly stipends, per funding availability.

Note: International applicants, whose native language is not English and who are considered for TA positions, must also submit a Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of at least 50 or have a score of 24 or higher on the speaking section of the IBT TOEFL. Only those applicants who meet these requirements will be considered for TA positions.

Additional information about loans, work-study and employment opportunities is available through Financial Aid and Scholarship Services or by phone at 480-965-3355.

Tuition costs

Current ASU tuition costs is available.


For further information, please contact

Summer Admission: The MIA 3+, MID 3+, and MVCD 3+ programs only admit students to the summer term.

Fall Admission: The MArch 3-year & 2-year, MIA 2-year, MID 2-year, MLA 3-year & 2-year, MS.Arch, MSD, MSIVD, MUD, and MVCD 2-year programs only admit students for the fall semester.

Spring Admission: The MLA 2+ program only admits students for the spring semester.

Online applications are open through September 1 with a priority deadline of January 15. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis on the 15th of each month after that.

Summer Admission: 3+ programs only admit students to the summer term. We accept applications up until March 1.

Fall Admission: 2-year programs only admit students for the fall semester. We accept applications until May 1.

Applications for assistantships and scholarships are generally considered at the same time as the application. Learn more about applying for a teaching assistantship at The Design School.

All application materials will be submitted through two different online systems: ASU Graduate College and SlideRoom. Please read the following application directions carefully. Materials that are not sent directly to the appropriate locations could experience a delay and may result in the applicant’s denial.

Please submit the following items directly to Graduate College:

  • Complete online application
  • Application fee: Domestic $70.00; International $115.00
  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded with your application for evaluation, but official copies from all post-secondary institutions must be sent after admission. See full transcripts policy.
  • International students must demonstrate proof of English proficiency. A list of accepted exams with minimum scores and approved waivers can be found.
  • GRE scores are required for MS.Arch. Send official scores through ETS, institutional code 4007. There is no minimum score.

Once the Graduate College office receives the application, students are notified of their ASURITE ID and activation code through an acknowledgment sent by Graduate College within 48 hours of receipt of the application. If you have submitted an application and have not received this code, please contact Graduate College at 480-965-6113.

Applicants are then able to track the status of their application materials submitted to Graduate College through their MyASU page. Through this website, applicants will be notified of missing documents (transcripts, application fee, etc) and provided with up-to-date information on the routing of the application.

All other required application materials should be submitted online in SlideRoom. These materials include the following:

  • Application fee: $10 per application
  • 10-digit ASU ID number
  • Two references: names and contact information only. References will be contacted via email and provided a link to upload their recommendations.
  • Statement of intent
  • Electronic portfolio or body of creative works
  • Resume: required for MSD, MLA, and MVCD

Applicants who need technical support when submitting materials through the SlideRoom system should send emails to

Failure to file the appropriate documentation in the appropriate place can cause a delay, or worse, a decline in your application for graduate school. Please contact The Design School if you have any questions about the application process:

The faculty evaluates the applications and supporting materials and recommends to Graduate College whether the applicant should be granted admission. Applicants can log into the MyASU system in order to view admission decisions and the admission decision letter. If admission is granted, the Design School informs the applicants of the procedures for enrollment.

Herberger Institute Recruitment and Admission

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Contact us!

Our admission representatives in the Herberger Institute can provide admissions guidance and support to prospective students.