SVA MA Design Research

SVA MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism1 is a one-year graduate program2
devoted to the study of design, its contexts & consequences.
Our graduates have gone on to pursue research-related careers in publishing, education, museums, institutes, design practice, entrepreneurship, & more.3

  1. Formerly known as D-Crit
  2. About the program
  3. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. All successful candidates awarded a significant scholarship!
SVA MA Design Research

136 W 21st St, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10011





(212) 592-2228

Apply – SVA MA Design Research


We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis, as space allows. Click here to begin the application process.

The MA program in Design Research, Writing & Criticism 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.

Notes on Application Requirements

  1. Statement of Intent, up to 500 words: This personal essay should convey why you’re interested in joining the program as well as where you’re coming from professionally/intellectually and where you hope to go.
  2. Writing samples, totaling up to 2000 words: Our orientation is toward journalistic writing rather than creative writing. Ideally, your writing sample will reflect writing based on some type of research or investigation. Samples may be existing published or unpublished work, including articles, essays, blog posts, papers submitted for an academic class, white papers, or content strategy work, among other types of research-based writing. You may submit multiple short pieces/excerpts up to 2000 words, or one long piece/excerpt of 2000 words.
  3. Current resume or CV.
  4. Letter of recommendation: The recommender should be someone who has worked with you professionally or academically, and can speak to your research and writing skills as well as your intellectual curiosity and drive. For those applying for the January 15 priority deadline: you may submit your application with a recommender’s name, even if the recommender’s letter will not be submitted by January 15.
  5. List schools from which you’ve requested transcripts: A Bachelor’s degree is required to enter this program. Please request transcripts from all institutions from which you have received a degree. These should be sent to SVA directly from the institution. For those applying for the January 15 priority deadline: You may submit your application even if your transcript request is in progress. 
  6. English proficiency: Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to submit proof of language proficiency.
  7. No GRE is required.
  8. Successful applicants will be invited for an informal interview.

Please also note that if you are accepted for 2022-23, you may defer your acceptance for one academic year (to enroll 2023-24) without reapplying.

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.

Upon acceptance to the program, nonimmigrant alien applicants are required to submit documentation of sufficient financial resources to attend SVA.


Information on tuition and fees can be found here. Substantial scholarship support will be offered to all successful candidates. Please contact us for details.

Supplementary MA Design Research Scholarships:

Examples of Outside Scholarships: