Art & Design

MFA Design Application Information

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Innovative programs representing collaborations with schools across the university open possibilities for new career pathways and opportunities for research and study.


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

  • Online application
  • $70 Rutgers application fee
  • One official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Letters of recommendation, as required by the program
  • A personal statement
  • Current test results, as required by the program
  • Supporting materials, as required by the program

Mason Gross Talent Assessment


  • 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 virtual 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