Art & Design

MFA Design Application Information


Step 1: Review Deadlines

Application deadlines vary across departments, programs, and applicant type.

Step 2: Submit University Application

Mason Gross School of the Arts applicants must first submit a Rutgers University application.

Step 3: Submit Mason Gross Supplemental Application

All Mason Gross School of the Arts applicants are required to submit a talent assessment. Talent assessment requirements vary across departments and programs. Applications are considered incomplete without the required talent assessment.

Priority Deadlines

Rutgers University Application: January 7
Mason Gross Supplemental Application: January 14

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
  • 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:
  • English proficiency test scores (international applicants)
    • TOEFL/IELTS/DUOLINGO: A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language, Standard or At-Home), an IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or a DUOLINGO test score is required if your undergraduate education was completed in a non-English speaking country.
      • Your scores must be current within 2 years of the semester for which you are applying.
      • Your application will not be reviewed by the graduate admissions committee if your test scores are not submitted.
      • Minimum scores for admission are as follows:
        • TOEFL computer based or home based: 83
        • Duolingo: 110
        • IELTS: bandwidth 7
        • TOEFL paper based: 550
      • EXEMPTIONS: Permanent Residents, Green-Card holders, and US citizens are exempt from the language test requirement. If you have completed an undergraduate degree in the U.S. or any other English-speaking country, you are also exempt from the language test requirement. There are no other exemptions.

Mason Gross Supplemental Application


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

Statement of Research Interests

In 500-1,000 words, discuss as specifically as possible 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.
  • Select at least one recommender from an academic institution.
  • Notify your recommenders 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 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
  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.


The Rutgers MFA in Design is a STEM-designated program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, mathematics. The US grants a STEM OPT extension of 24-months for F-1 students who have completed an eligible STEM degree and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Learn about the MFA Program