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Graphic Design

Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
School of Design (MC 036)
929 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7038

Campus Location: 106 JH
Program Code: 20FS0148MDES
Telephone: (312) 996-3337
Web Site:
Director, School of Art and Design: Marcia Lausen
Director of Graduate Studies: Dianna Frid
Academic Advisor: Chevonne Totten-Garner

The Master of Design (MDes) in Graphic Design is a two-year degree program focused on an independent masters research project that offers students the opportunity to identify and explore a topic of inquiry with the potential to contribute to broader disciplinary knowledge.

The program is equally concerned with making and thinking. Through project-oriented activities that foster analytical competence in research, writing, design history, and image theory, the curriculum is designed to deepen process-oriented skills as applied to typographic forms/systems, image-/form-making, documentation/publication design, and digital media design. The MDes in Graphic Design is an international program delivered in Chicago or Basel, Switzerland. Chicago-based students participate in the Basel School of Design summer workshops. The program culminates in a public exhibition of the master's research project.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements for the School of Design.

Master of Design

    1. Office of Graduate Admissions online application portal via
      • Graduate Application
      • Graduate Application Fee $60
      • Unofficial Transcript
      • TOEFL/IELTS (for international students only)
    2. School of Design Slideroom via:
      • Personal Statement Required. This statement of purpose should outline the applicant’s current or previous work as relevant to plans and objectives for advanced study; describe professional goals and how these goals were developed; and state why the applicant would like to study in a research-oriented design program.
      • Portfolio Applicants must submit a portfolio of no more than 20 examples of current work demonstrating proficiency in the area of graphic design. Competence and understanding of design-related computer technology, including proficiency in industry standard page layout, illustration, and photographic manipulation programs. Prerequisites and/or technical experience specific to this field of study may be required prior to entrance.
      • CV/Resume Required.
      • Letters of Recommendation Three required.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Design