MDes in Graphic Design

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements for the School of Design.

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions; however, individuals who apply must demonstrate an advanced level of competence in graphic design through their portfolio submission.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required None.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL iBT 92, with subscores of  Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21, OR,
    • IELTS Academic 6.5, with 6.0 in each of the four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • The application process includes the submission of the following items through the Office of Graduate Admissions online application portal.
    • Graduate Application
    • Graduate Application Fee $70
    • Unofficial Transcript
    • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (for international students only)
    • Personal Statement Required. This statement of purpose should outline the applicant’s current or previous work as relevant to plans and objectives for advanced study; describe professional goals and how these goals were developed; and state why the applicant would like to study in a research-oriented design program.
    • Portfolio Applicants must submit a portfolio of no more than 20 examples of current work demonstrating proficiency in the area of graphic design. Competence and understanding of design-related computer technology, including proficiency in industry standard page layout, illustration, and photographic manipulation programs. Prerequisites and/or technical experience specific to this field of study may be required prior to entrance.
    • CV/Resume Required.
    • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Deadline Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 64.
  • Coursework 
Required Courses
First Year Courses
Combined Studio (4 hours)
Research Seminar I (4 hours)
Research Seminar II (6 hours)
Advanced Graphic Design I (4 hours)
Advanced Graphic Design II (4 hours)
Documentation Studio (4 hours)
Second Year Courses
Combined Studio (4 hours)
Design Seminar (8 hours)
Research Studio (4 hours)
Master's Research Project + Exhibition (4 hours)
Master's Research Project Advising (2 hours)
Master's Project (0 hours)
At least 16 hours of graduate-level electives are required, at least 8 of which must be from within the college
  • Comprehensive Examination None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Coursework-Only Options Master's Research Project required. No other options are available.
    • Project: All MDes candidates must present for review a public exhibition or showing of their project. The project must be supported by a major paper and digital documentation of the project, both of which must be presented to the school for archival purposes.
  • Other Requirements Continuation in the MDes program beyond the second semester requires an evaluation and recommendation of the Graduate Advisory Committee in the student’s area.