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

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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. 

Scroll down for further information on the undergraduate and graduate application process or click below to get started.

Steps to apply


Apply to ASU

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.

Your second step is to apply for the degree milestone.  Undergraduate students (with the exception of Environmental Design students) in The Design School must successfully pass a degree milestone at the end of their freshman year to continue in the professional degree program. More.


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is required for application.
  • Acceptable proof of English proficiency for all international students whose native language is not English:
    • TOEFL: score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet-based)
    • IELTS: overall band score of 6.5

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 requirements for PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts

Admission requirements for PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts

Admission Procedure

Applications for Fall 2019 will open Sept. 15, 2018 and close Jan. 15, 2019.

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.

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. The only items that you will have to mail to the Graduate College Admissions office will be your official undergraduate and graduate transcripts and your official test scores. At your request, ETS will send test scores electronically to Graduate College. 

Materials required by Graduate College must be mailed directly to Graduate College at this address:

Regular Mail                                                                  FedEx, DHL, UPS

Arizona State University                                              Graduate Admissions Services

Graduate Admissions Services                                    Arizona State University

PO Box 870112                                                              1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112

Tempe, AZ 85287-0112                                               Tempe, AZ 85287-0112

  • Online application found at the Graduate College, including the mandatory application fee.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • 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
  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. (Please ask ETS to send score report to Institution code 4007, department code 12) see for more information. The program will also accept an overall minimum band score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with no individual band score below 6.0. These scores must be official and sent directly from ETS to Graduate College. You can find additional information on the Graduate College website or by clicking here.

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).
  • An indication of a potential mentor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. We require that you email the faculty member(s) that you feel have related research interests to introduce yourself and to inquire about their availability to be a mentor to you.
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably academic, although could be professional). Students will provide the names and contact information of three recommenders at the time of their on line application. Recommenders will receive an email with a link to the on line letter of recommendation to complete. 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 Additional description:

All application materials must be uploaded with the application. In order to upload files, they must meet the following specifications:

  • File must be formatted as text (*.txt), rich text (*.rtf), Adobe PDF (*.pdf) or Microsoft Word (*.doc).
  • File size must be limited to 1MB.
  • File name must be comprised of 50 or less letters and numbers only, with no special characters (e.g. MyResume.doc).

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 can be found at


For further information, please contact

Admission Terms

Admission Terms

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

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

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Online applications are open through September 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019 for the following programs: MArch 2-year; MArch 3+; MIA 2-year; MIA 3+; MID 2-year; MID 3+; MLA 2-year; MLA 3+; MSBE; MSD; MUD; MVCD 2-year; and MVCD 3+.

Late applications will be reviewed and considered on a space available basis.

Applications for assistantship and scholarships are generally considered at the same time as the application. All interested applicants can apply online for a teaching assistantship position through this website.The online application for the 2019-20 academic year for a teaching assistantship will be available from Jan. 15, 2019 through May 15, 2019 at midnight. 

Application: Steps to Apply

Application: Steps to Apply

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 only the following items directly to Graduate College:

Regular Mail                                                                  FedEx, DHL, UPS

Arizona State University                                              Graduate Admissions Services

Graduate Admissions Services                                   Arizona State University

PO Box 870112                                                              1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112

Tempe, AZ 85287-0112                                               Tempe, AZ 85287-0112

  • Official TOEFL or IELTS test scores. This requirement is only for international students. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 on internet-based test, 550 on paper-based test, or 250 on computer-based test is required of international students whose native language is not English. IELTS minimum requirements is an overall band score of 6.5.
  • GRE scores are required for MSBE and MUD programs. Applicants to the MArch and MLA programs are encouraged to report GRE scores, especially if the applicant’s background is broad or other than a traditional design major, but it is not required.
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.
  • A completed online graduate application.
  • A paid application fee.
  • International students may be required to submit additional documents to the Graduate Education. Please click here to view additional International Applicant requirements.

Once the Graduate College office receives the application, students are notified of their ASURITE ID and activation code through an acknowledgement 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 at SlideRoom. These materials include the following:

  1. The names and contact information of three references. References will be contacted electronically and provided an access code to provide information about the applicant.
  2. A current résumé is required for applicants to the MSD, MLA, and MVCD degree programs.
  3. A Portfolio or body of creative works must be submitted online at SlideRoom.

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:

Selection Procedures and Notifications

Selection Procedures and Notifications

The faculty evaluates the applications and supporting materials and recommends to Graduate College whether the applicant should be granted regular or provisional admission or if admission should be denied. If admission is provisional, Graduate College specifies in its letter of admission the provisions to be met to gain regular status. 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.

At The Design School, you are surrounded by people who want you to succeed.

Talk to an advisor.
The advising team in the Herberger Institute specializes in all design and arts disciplines and can help you navigate your curriculum. 
Schedule an advising appointment

Tuition and Paying for College
Thousands of dollars in scholarships and fellowships are awarded to Herberger Institute students annually. Explore all of your options.
ASU has many financial aid options available.

Have questions?

Have questions? We are here to help!
Phone: 480-965-3536

Herberger Institute Recruitment and Admissions

With more than 135 undergraduate and graduate degrees to choose from across our five schools, you can develop your skills and become the creative, expressive professional you aspire to be.

Contact us!

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