Applications for Fall 2021 will open September 15 with a priority deadline of January 15. However, we will accept applications until June 15.
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. 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:
FedEx, DHL, UPS (recommended for international students)
Admission Services Applicant
Student Services Building
PO Box 870112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
Arizona State University
Admission Services Applicant Processing
1150 East University Drive Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281
- 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 www.gre.org and ETS www.ets.org
- 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 www.toefl.org 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.
- 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 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 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 can be found at www.asu.edu/sbs/fees.html.
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