If you are a research-focused student excited about exploring design and discovering new perspectives on how to teach, deliver and communicate visually in a dynamic world, then this is the ideal program for you.
The MSD with a concentration in visual communication design is a degree program meant for individuals interested in advanced studies in visual language, history, theory, criticism and methodology, design processes and technology.
Through a specialized research and design skills curriculum, students develops an understanding of contemporary graphic design issues.
At A Glance
Online applications are open September 15 with a priority deadline of January 15 for the following programs: MArch 2-year; MArch 3-year; MIA 2-year; MIA 3+; MID 2-year; MID 3+; MLA 2-year; MLA 3-year; MS.Arch; MSD; MUD; MVCD 2-year; and MVCD 3+.
Fall Admission: MSD programs only admit students for the fall semester. We accept applications until July 1st.
Paying for College
Teaching and Graduate Assistantships
Assistantships are appointed each term to a select number of graduate students who are excelling in The Design School. Learn more about teaching assistantships including eligibility and application details.
Learn more about your financial aid options.
Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)
Students who live outside of Arizona may be eligible for 150% in-state tuition, find out if you qualify.
Students may choose to complete their graduate work by way of a thesis or an applied project.
A master's degree thesis is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the author to do supervised research and intellectual writing.
The applied project is somewhat different. It includes a project and a written document and is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the designer to do supervised research and present substantial evidence of the ability to apply research creatively to a design situation.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in graphic design, industrial design, interior design or a related design discipline from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- letter of intent
- contact information for two references
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.
International students are required to submit proof of English Proficiency through either the TOEFL or the IELTS if their native language is not English. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS. Other information for international applicants can be found at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.
When applying for admission, applicants must declare a concentration. Students should see the department website for an approved list of graduate programs.
The portfolio, letter of intent, resume and contact information of two references must be submitted via Slideroom (https://asudesign.slideroom.com). The Design School requires that these be submitted in addition to the graduate application requirements.
Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred; students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted, otherwise they will need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.
GRE scores are not required.
A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting the department.
Master of Science in Design (MSD)
Applicants to the MSD program must hold a baccalaureate degree in graphic design, industrial design, interior design or a related design discipline.
When applying for admission, applicants must declare one of three concentrations: Industrial Design, Interior Design, Visual Communication Design.
The following are additional requirements for admission into the program:
- A baccalaureate grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is required for application. The last two years of applicant’s undergraduate GPA records will be reviewed.
- There is no GRE score requirement for the MSD program.
- A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-965-3536.
- Applicants to The Design School graduate programs are required to complete a two-step application process. Applicants must submit the Graduate College application as well as The Design School SlideRoom application. For complete information on how to apply, please view the steps to apply on the admissions page.
Professional organizations serve as the public face for their respective professions, providing information to the general public about disciplinary practice and its role in improving the well-being of communities, promoting design excellence through the recognition of notable professional achievements, supporting the exchange of ideas and information about best practices between professional members through the development of conferences and through the support of opportunities for continuing education.
Learn more about professional organizations.
Joining a discipline-specific student organization is a great way to help your long-term career plans and goals. Membership can add to your academic experience by building a portfolio, making important connections, networking and engaging with local and national professional communities.
Learn more about student organizations.