The MA program is suited to mid-career design or media professionals who wish to deepen their multi-dimensional research practice and enrich their understanding of design, architecture, and urban infrastructure. The program is also aimed at recent graduates, holding BA and BFA degrees, interested in strengthening their writing and critical thinking and developing an area of expertise.
Applicants come to the program with experience in design, architecture, journalism and curation, or from academic backgrounds in art history, English literature, philosophy, social sciences, and critical studies.
Tour the Department
We’d love to show you around the department, introduce you to current students, and talk to you about your plans for graduate study. Please contact us to arrange an appointment to visit the department, meet with the chair, sit in on a class, or attend a lecture. See below for a video of the recent MA Design Research Open House.
Information on tuition and fees can be found here. Substantial scholarship support will be offered to all successful candidates bringing the tuition cost to well below market rate. Please contact us for details.
How to Apply
Admission to the program is by online application, the submission of required documents, and an interview by phone or in person. All applicants will receive an admissions decision in writing. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, as space allows.
- Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must supply official transcripts from each college or university attended. Transcripts from foreign institutions must be officially translated into English and U.S. grading equivalencies.
- One letter of recommendation from an instructor or practicing professional. The letter should be written on school or company letterhead and returned to the applicant in a sealed envelope with the recommender’s signature across the seal.
- A written statement (500 words) of the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in design research.
- A writing sample of published or unpublished writing (1,000–2,000 words). The piece or pieces, should demonstrate the applicant’s research and analytical skills and facility with language. The published samples can be from any context, including contributions to academic or commercial publications, books, catalogs, or exhibition wall texts.
- Résumé, including professional experience as well as related activities such as research, internships, publications, and awards.
- Proof of English proficiency (required of applicants whose primary language is not English).
Upon acceptance to the program, nonimmigrant alien applicants are required to submit documentation of sufficient financial resources to attend SVA.
MA Design Research Scholarships:
- Henry Wolf Scholarship
- Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship
- Maria Popova Scholarship for Homecoming to Purpose
- Monotype Scholarship for Excellence in Design Criticism
- Steven Heller Scholarship for Design Research
- SVA Alumni Scholarship Award
- SVA Matching Outside Scholarship