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Master of Design Innovation

The Master of Design Innovation application and all requirements listed below must be submitted online, with the exception of official transcripts, official translation and evaluation of transcripts, letters of recommendation and English proficiency test scores.

The MDes program beings in the Fall term.


  • Application Open!
  • Priority Deadline: January 2*

*We will accept applications on a space available basis, after the Priority Deadline.



$90 Application fee

A one-to-two page statement describing your reasons for applying to MassArt, the Master of Design Innovation program and the planned direction of your future work. Note any recent developments that support your decision to apply

List professional accomplishments including exhibitions and awards, as well as professional or other activities that convey a sense of your commitment to a life in the arts

Submit transcripts of all previous college level academic work. Transcripts must be translated into English for review. Students may submit unofficial copies for the application. Admitted students must submit official transcripts in order to enroll. Non-English transcripts will need to be submitted with an approved translation and evaluation.

MassArt alumni and current students must request transcripts by emailing There is no fee for alums applying to MassArt Grad Programs.

Provide email addresses for two referees on the application form. Referees should be familiar with the work in your portfolio, your academics or your professional work ethic. When possible, at least one reference should be from a teacher with whom you have studied.

All Portfolios should be submitted digitally through the application as a single PDF document of about 15-40 pages.

We encourage applications from many backgrounds, and successful portfolios typically take shape as:

Design & Arts Candidates
Share stories and images of what you’ve made. Describe the brief, your role, and the outcomes. Demonstrate your design/innovation method and highlight key insights or inspirations that shaped your work. 

Design Research Candidates
Share stories about uncovering insights that drive bold work. Describe the research questions posed, the learning methods, and your role in the process. Demonstrate your ability to learn from end users, your collaboration with other disciplines, and the use of storytelling to drive impact.

Business or Engineer Candidates
Share stories about shaping work, organizations, or offerings that leverage the power of design methods. Describe the context, your role, and the space made for creative solutions and/or human insight to move the outcomes in meaningful ways. Demonstrate your familiarity with design methods and disciplines in pursuit of innovative outcomes.

Advice for all candidates 
For some applicants portfolios will be commonplace and for others this may be the first time you create a portfolio. A successful portfolio might center around one larger story or multiple shorter stories. All applicants are encouraged toward visual storytelling and imagery. While the goal of the program is to help you become a master of design innovation, your application portfolio might focus on method and your awareness of opportunities for innovation through design. It is okay if you haven’t dramatically changed the world yet.

*Website links may be submitted as supplementary, but will not be accepted as your portfolio. The Admissions Committee wants to see your ability to synthesize and curate your portfolio.


Students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency  in written and spoken English.

Interviews are an important component of the MassArt Graduate Admissions process. After an initial review of applications, select candidates will be invited to interview with faculty. • T: 617.879.7238