Design - Online and Distance Education


Doctoral Degrees | Design | How to Apply

How to Apply

Application checklist:

  • Undergraduate and graduate degree transcripts (min 3.0 GPA)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • TOEFL or IELTS (exceed min. NCSU Grad School standards)
  • Curriculum vitae (C.V.)
  • Statement of purpose, topic/focus, and description of proposed research questions
  • Digital portfolio of creative work and/or professional practice activities
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (at least one from applicant’s current employer)

The Doctor of Design degree focuses on applied design research relevant to professional practice in design. We seek applicants who are self-directed, focused, and resilient—capable of independent inquiry and critical thinking. Successful applicants will have a track record showing a high level of achievement:

  • Successful applicants hold a master’s degree from an accredited design, fine arts, or equivalent program. Applicants are expected to demonstrate mastery over their respective practices in the submission of a digital portfolio. The portfolio should highlight relevant professional experience and/or current accomplishments in a design firm or studio, public or private museum, or governmental agency involved in design/planning.
  • A short statement of purpose for graduate study (not to exceed 400 words or 1-2 pages overall) will convince the reader that the applicant is motivated and prepared.
  • Successful applicants possess the capacity to articulate a clear topic with specific research questions. Applicants submit an abstract proposal for a clear and compelling research topic (statement not to exceed 750 words or 2-3 typeset pages overall).

Applicants submit transcripts of previous academic work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (undergraduate and graduate studies) along with standardized graduate test scores such as the GRE (Graduate Record Exam); and international students further provide TOEFL or IELTS scores.


Application Deadlines

Entry SemesterApplication Deadlines and Details
FallFeb 15 (for Doctor of Design)
FallJan 15 (for PhD in Design)