Applications for Fall 2023 will open on September 15 with a priority deadline of January 15. However, we will accept applications until July 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 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.
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).
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.
Current ASU tuition costs is available.
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