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Master of Design Application Questions

Visit our new website to learn more about the Master of Design (MDes) program.

Online information sessions for 2023 MDes applicants:

  • 4pm on November 3, 2022 – sign up
  • 9am on December 1, 2022 – sign up


General Questions

Can I apply to more than one Design discipline?
No. You need only apply to the Division of Design MDes program. If you are interested in more than one discipline, use your personal statement to explain why.

Can I apply for admission in any quarter?
No. We only admit students for Autumn Quarter.

I have an undergraduate degree, but it’s not a BFA. Am I eligible to apply to the program?
Yes. We consider all applicants with competitive design experience/portfolios.

I do not have a 3.0 GPA. Am I eligible to apply to the program?
No. The UW Graduate School requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission to the UW.

Do I need to submit GRE scores?
No. GRE scores are not required for application to the MDes program.

Can I apply specifically for the three year program?
There is no separate application for the three year program. Faculty review individual applications on a case by case basis. If you wish to be considered for the three year MDes program, please indicate this in your personal statement.

What is the minimum TOEFL score required?
Minimum scores for the TOEFL or other accepted English proficiency tests are available here

Is there a separate Scholarship, Fellowship or Teaching Assistantship application?
No. All MDes applicants are automatically considered for these awards.

I applied last year and was not admitted. Can I use any of last year’s application materials again this year if I decide to reapply?
The School keeps application materials for one calendar year. Students reapplying in a consecutive year may request in writing to reuse transcripts and/or letters of recommendation. However, if your transcripts now contain new information, please submit new transcripts.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the application process?
If you have questions that are not answered in the instructions or on this FAQ page, please contact the School's Graduate Advisor, Ann Langford-Fuchs, at

Application Deadlines

What are the application deadlines for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents?
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents must apply online to the Graduate School AND submit the additional application materials to the School by January 16.

What are the application deadlines for International Students?
International students are encouraged to apply online as early as possible to the UW Graduate School. However, international applications are accepted until the January 16 deadline. The School does not have a separate application deadline for international students. All MDes application materials are due to the School January 16.

Admission to the Master of Design Program

Who determines which applicants are admitted to the MDes program?
Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty members in the discipline to which you apply.

When will I find out if I have been admitted?
Shortlisted candidates are usually contacted by email or phone in mid March. Offers of admission to the MDes program are typically mailed out in early April, due to a lengthier candidate interview schedule.

What happens to my application materials if I am not admitted?
Most application materials become the property of the University of Washington and are kept on file for one calendar year.

Do I have to accept my offer of admission immediately?
All admitted students must notify the School of their decision in writing by May 1. In accordance with the Council of Graduate Schools, students who have been offered scholarships, fellowships and/or teaching assistantships are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15.

Do I have to pay an enrollment confirmation fee?
After the School notifies the Graduate School of your intent to enroll in our MDes program, the Graduate School will send you an admissions letter which will include information about submitting your non-refundable enrollment confirmation fee. It is due to the University of Washington Registrar by June 1. This fee is credited to your tuition account upon registration for classes.

School Programs

What Design graduate degree programs do you offer?
The School awards a Master of Design degree. We currently offer concentrations in Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Visual Communication Design.

Can I take graduate Design classes as a part-time, non-matriculated, or visiting student?
No. The School only accepts full-time, degree-seeking students to the MDes program.