Admission Requirements

composite image of many samples of print designs

Admission requirements for Master of Design (MDes) and Master of Arts in Design Research (MA) programs:

  1. Four-year undergraduate honours degree or equivalent in visual communication design or related field. Persons without a design-related degree but whose experience is in some way related to design as demonstrated in the portfolio, may be considered.
  2. At least a B standing
  3. Design Portfolio that demonstrates your skills in visual communication.
    • The design portfolio should include 8–12 pieces. The portfolio should provide evidence of a visual communication background, including, for example, elements of visual design, typography, layout and composition, information design, website and/or app design, systems analysis, motion design, etc. It should also display experience with design process, iteration, and revision. For each piece submitted, provide a title, a brief description of the project’s content, and its date of completion.
    • For MA applicants without a design-related degree but have some design experience and other related experience, you may submit a portfolio of 3–4 case studies that demonstrate involvement in design projects, e.g. papers, reports or other written and visual material, and clearly identify your role in these projects.
    • All portfolios will be evaluated from multiple viewpoints including visual and/or verbal communication skills, critical/analytical thinking, craftsmanship, and creativity.
  4. Statement of Interest
    • In a statement of up to 750 words, explain your preparation for this field of study including prior research and other relevant experiences, why our program is a good fit for you, your future career goals, and other aspects of your background that might aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
    • Please include a list of Design Faculty members that you would be interested in working with.
  5. Curriculum Vitae
  6. Three letters of recommendation from persons who are familiar with your work. The letters will be submitted online through the Office of Admission’s Application Services.
  7. Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended (excluding York University)
  8. Demonstration of English proficiency for students whose first language is not English.
    • All instruction in the Graduate Program in Design is delivered in English. It is imperative that students be proficient in English and be able to present their ideas both verbally and in writing. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more information and to see which English proficiency tests are recognized. 
  9. Application fee.

Applicants that do not meet the above educational requirements but show exceptional promise through their experience, portfolio, and written statement may be recommended for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Are you interested in hearing what our current students have to say?  "Four Voices" is a collection of interviews with four Graduate Students in the Master of Design Program.