Graduate Studies Program Admission Process

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The Department of Design offers two complementary design-led and research-oriented areas of emphasis in Design Research and Development (DRD) or Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM), both leading to the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Admission to either degree program tracks occurs annually for autumn semester attendance. This process is highly-competitive, as the number of applications received far exceeds the number of students admitted. Please see below for details regarding the process, application materials and timeline. 

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Application Process Timeline

20 AUG | Design Online Application System Opens
06 JAN | University Online Application System Closes 
14 JAN | Design Online Application System Closes 
28 FEB | Candidate Interviews Complete 
30 MAR | Notification of Acceptances 
15 APR | Candidates Provide Confirmation of Attendance

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Graduate Studies Information Day occurs on the third Friday in October annually. 

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Please note that there are additional dates to be aware of for those applicants seeking Fellowship consideration. These dates are listed on the Financial Aid for Graduate Students page.

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Step One: Ohio State Graduate and Professional Admissions

Apply to the Ohio State University Graduate School through the Graduate and Professional Admissions online application process.

This process requires completion of an online application form, along with the following items:

  • Transcripts or record of marks for each university-level institution attended.
  • If you are applying as an international student, English proficiency requirements as outlined by Graduate and Professional Admissions
  • GRE test scores, if your undergraduate, cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Specific questions about the Graduate and Professional Admissions application process should be emailed to gradadmissions@osu.edu.

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Step Two: Department of Design Admissions

Approximately two business days after completing the Graduate and Professional Admissions online application form (Step One above), you will receive an email from the Department of Design with the URL and login process to our online application system.  The online forms will require the following information and documents:

  • Statement of Intent (See additional information below)
  • Residency Status
  • Financial Aid Interests
  • Academic Background
  • Full Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • PDF of transcript, unofficial transcript, or Ohio State Advising Report
  • Portfolio and descriptions (See additional information below)
  • Three online references of individuals who will submit a recommendation letter on your behalf
  • Application fee of $10 U.S.

Specific questions about the Department of Design Admissions application process should be emailed to Polly Graham, Graduate Coordinator, at graham.311@osu.edu.

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Additional Information Regarding Department of Design Admission Materials

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The statement of intent should address all of the following: 

Present a clear statement of your creative research focus. Address how this research interest developed and describe how your past and current creative work informs its development. 

Articulate why the Ohio State Graduate Studies Program in Design is critical to your continued research interest and focus area. What possible future directions might your creative research take based on what you know about new developments in your specific discipline and in relevant emerging research trends? Identify three active design professors (not Instructors, Graduate Teaching Associates or Emeritus Faculty) who are well positioned to support your research and creative work. 

Describe any supporting experiences you have had in the areas of community engagement, professional outreach, former or current employment and other activities such as travel and volunteer projects that have impacted your design philosophy, your research, or your approach to creative work. Also, how has any work you have done impacted others?

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Design Research and Development (DRD) Portfolio Submission

Applicants must upload a digital portfolio of design projects, as part of the online application process. Applicants can submit projects in the areas of interior design, product design, visual communication/graphic design, interactive and time-based media, or other related creative fields for review. Design Research and Development applicants should include examples of completed works that demonstrate their preparation for advanced study in design. Applicants may also submit supplemental materials that document methodology and/or demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities (such as proposals or published papers that demonstrate tangible results of creative work and/or their ability to construct and express intellectual arguments in writing). Applicants may submit up to 15 files total for portfolio and supplemental materials as images, videos, or PDFs.
 

Digital Animation and Interactive Media Portfolio Submission 

Applicants must submit video files representative of his or her experience and achievement in animation and/or interactive media. Videos may be the final work, or they may be documentation of process or installations. Compilations or demo reels are accepted, but if submitting complete works, please upload or link each individually if possible. A short text description for each uploaded portfolio document should also be provided. Applicants may also submit supplemental materials that document methodology and/or demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities such as proposals or published papers that demonstrate tangible results of creative work and/or their ability to construct and express intellectual arguments in writing. Applicants may submit up to 15 files total for portfolio and supplemental materials as images, videos, or PDFs.

 
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Department of Design Graduate Studies Information Day

Graduate Studies Information Day occurs annually on the third Friday in October and is for potential applicants to both the Design Research and Development (DRD) MFA program track and Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM) MFA program track.

Potential applicants with specific interests can meet with individual faculty, if an appointment has been previously made. To arrange an individual faculty meeting, please use the email addresses provided in the faculty directory. Pre-arranged faculty meetings are optional, and are not required.

Agenda

9:30-10:00: Welcome, Hayes Hall, Room 122, 108 North Oval Mall

10:00-11:30: Introduction to OSU Design Graduate Studies & Application Process Overview, Hayes Hall, Room 122

11:45-1:15: Lunch with current Graduate Students, ACCAD Conference Room, 332 Sullivant Hall

1:15-2:00: ACCAD Tour

2:00-3:00: Campus Tour or Individual Faculty Meetings