Information for applying to the master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree program in design is listed below.

Application Process


  • The final application deadline has been extended to February 15 for summer admission (regular deadline February 1).
  • To be considered for merit-based awards, please submit your application by February 15.
  • Design currently does not offer fall or spring admission.

Please note: Students will begin their studies in the summer. A background in design is required for admission to this program. Students may also gain basic technical skills and design methodology prior to beginning the program through a series of courses identified with your graduate advisor. All students will attend a summer orientation to gain an understanding of the many opportunities for focused research on our campus. They are also required to take DES 648 Intro to Design Communication along with DES 601 Design Thinking and Strategies in preparation for the fall semester.

Completed applications must include:

  • Online application.
  • Sample of work. Submit either a portfolio of design work or artwork (please include three to five projects with a concept statement for each project and a description of your contribution to the project) or an academic or professional writing sample (please include one to two examples, no longer than 20 pages each, with a briefly written statement to describe each item). Sample of work should be uploaded at The cost to submit by uploading to SlideRoom is $12.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Consult online application for details.
  • Academic transcript. Unofficial transcript uploaded to the online application. If you are admitted, an official, degree-bearing transcript must be mailed to the University. Applicants must complete a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent in another country) before starting a graduate program.
  • Personal statement/essay. Describe in approximately 500 words your main academic interests, why you wish to study for the degree you have chosen, why you wish to study at Syracuse University, how you expect to finance your studies, and your plans for the future after you receive your degree. Upload directly to the online application.
  • Resume. Upload directly to the online application.
  • Application fee. A non-refundable application fee of $75. See online application for details.
  • Test scores. The GRE is not required, but scores will be reviewed if submitted.
  • International students must also meet these requirements.