Graduate / Admissions

Master of Design applicants must select a concentration in Industrial Design, Interaction Design or Visual Communication Design. Annual admission to the graduate program is on a competitive basis. On average, five percent of all applicants are admitted. The University of Washington Graduate School requires a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 grade point average for the last 90 quarter credit hours (or last 60 semester credit hours) earned. The GRE is not required. There is no part-time enrollment option.

International applicants whose native language is other than English and whose undergraduate degree was earned outside the United States must submit a valid, official TOEFL score less than two years old. Other requirements for international applicants to the University of Washington are found in the Graduate School Application Instructions.

The ideal candidate for graduate study in Design is an individual with:

1) an undergraduate BA or BFA degree in Industrial/Product Design, Visual Communication/Graphic Design or Interaction Design, and
2) at least 1–2 years of experience in professional design practice. We believe that graduate study is most beneficial for those who have had an opportunity to study and practice in the field. Generally speaking, these are the candidates have proven to be the best prepared to identify specific areas of interest/focus during the short duration of a master’s program. However, in certain instances the program will consider students who have more recently completed an undergraduate design program. These students must demonstrate substantial intellectual and form-giving capacity, as well as the ability to work and think beyond the basic tenets of an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree program.

The Design faculty may accept candidates with an undergraduate degree in a field allied with or related to Design—for example, Computer Science, Architecture, Engineering, or Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations/Communication. These candidates have typically experienced specific aspects of design in a professional setting, and wish to expand their knowledge of design while still leveraging a previous academic background. Such students are often considered for an extended 3–year program where they must complete a year of preliminary undergraduate studios (and pass a faculty review) before continuing to graduate-level coursework.

The Graduate Application Process

All application materials are submitted online. Application materials sent by mail will not be considered. The online application cycle opens October 1.

Specific online application instructions will be available here beginning September 1st.


The deadline for all applicants (U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or International) to submit both online applications and all required application materials is January 15. Late applications will not be accepted and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Applicants can track whether application materials have been received by logging back in to their UW Graduate School Application. Faculty typically make admissions decisions in late March and early April. You will be notified of our decision via e-mail. All admitted candidates must notify the School of Art of their decision to accept or decline our offer in writing by May 1.