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Art & Design Admissions

MFA Design Application Information


MFA in design applications accepted on a rolling basis through April 30, 2021. 

Rutgers University Application

All applicants must complete and submit the Rutgers University Application. The university application requires the following:

  • $70 Rutgers application fee
  • University questionnaire
  • English proficiency test scores (international applicants)
    • All international applicants to Mason Gross School of the Arts are required to submit an English proficiency exam. Applicants who completed an undergraduate degree in the U.S. or another English-speaking country are exempt from this requirement. Applicants who completed a graduate degree(s) in the U.S. or another English-speaking country are not exempt from this requirement.
  • Request for transcripts (completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university is a required prerequisite)
    • Official transcripts must be sent from the Registrar’s office of the undergraduate institution where the bachelor’s degree was awarded.
      Transcripts can be sent:

      Via Mail:

      Administrative Services Building
      ATTN: Graduate & Professional Admissions
      65 Davidson Road
      Piscataway, New Jersey 08854

      Via Email:

Mason Gross Supplemental Application

Within five business days after submitting the Rutgers University application, applicants will be sent a link to SlideRoom to submit a portfolio and secondary application.


  • $15 SlideRoom fee
  • Art & Design Questionnaire
  • Statement of research interests
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Portfolio
  • Resume/CV

Statement of Research Interests

In 300-500 words, discuss your intentions for research and design exploration in graduate study. Describe how this intention relates to your current creative practice as well as to your personal and professional long-term goals.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Select recommenders who have a full grasp of you and your work.
  • At least one recommendation should come from a contact from an academic institution.
  • Notify those you intend to request recommendations from at the start of your application process to ensure they are on the lookout for the SlideRoom email and that recommendations are received by the appropriate deadline.

Portfolio Requirements

The portfolio should show your experience skills and interests as a form-giver. You may include works created under academic guidance, by commission or through self-driven research. Please provide examples of the full range of your recent practice, whether focused or diverse.

  1. Please submit 20 images that represent the range of your work as a designer. Detail shots can be included. 
Each image/work should be captioned with:
    • Name
    • Image number
    • Title
    • Dimensions
    • Materials
    • Brief description
    • Date
    • Limit each time-based work (if any) to 10 minutes. Links to Vimeo and YouTube files are acceptable. When applicable, please provide passwords for protected links to ensure your files are accessible to reviewers.
  2. Please limit each time-based work (if any) to 10 minutes. Links to Vimeo and YouTube files are acceptable. When applicable, please provide passwords for protected links to ensure your files are accessible to reviewers.
  3. Limit images to 5 MB each and videos to 250 MB each.
  4. Information on acceptable SlideRoom file formats.


Finalists will be contacted directly to schedule video conference interviews.

Financial Assistance

Every MFA in Design student receives a partial scholarship from Mason Gross School of the Arts, for each year of study.

Each student is also offered optional part-time employment in Co-Adjutant positions that support the operation of the undergraduate and graduate design area.

Additionally, there are select opportunities for teaching as a Part-Time Lecturer. These paid positions are not guaranteed, as they depend on enrollment, scheduling, and expertise.

Before assuming a teaching position, most students will shadow a faculty member in an undergraduate design course to learn teaching methods. Shadowing is unpaid, for course credit only. Mentorship and hands-on instructional experiences enhance the MFA student’s skillset for deeper critical engagement and future employment.

As a public institution, we are committed to supporting an economically diverse population. We aim to find the maximum financial assistance possible for MFA in Design graduate students in the most equitable manner possible.

Learn about the MFA Program