Become a force of your own nature

Are you ready to further your education to achieve your professional and personal goals? With an advanced degree, you’ll be able to take part in world-changing research and career-advancing programs while working alongside faculty members who are known around the world.

Iowa State requires a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies. Because holding a degree from a regionally-accredited institution is a fundamental requirement for graduate study at Iowa State University, no appeals to waive this requirement are considered.

When and how to apply

Graduate students must apply for admission to Iowa State University, but application requirements and deadlines may vary by degree program. To see what degrees are available, and when or how to apply, explore our College of Design departments and degree programs below to discover what degree program best fits your goals and learn about its requirements.

Student Drawing - Grad Admission

Assistantships and funding

Graduate education can be costly. The College of Design and Iowa State University offer several opportunities to reduce students’ expenses. These opportunities include assistantships, scholarships, grants, and on-campus employment.


Are you a current undergraduate student interested in continuing on for an advanced degree? In the College of Design, you can pre-apply now for any graduate degree in the college, and if accepted, your pre-admission is good for up to three years. So you can go to work now and come back later to get that advanced degree!

Pre-apply by June 1. It’s free and there’s no obligation. You will need to be on the campus network to access the application.

If you are not on campus, you can access the application on a laptop or desktop computer by visiting, downloading and installing the Cisco AnyConnect app, and running the app using as the address. You can also access by phone using the Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS) to download the Cisco AnyConnect app. Add a new connection using as the address.

Frequently-asked questions

Admission committees do not review applicants until after the priority deadline has passed and will not review incomplete applications. Please allow up to six weeks from your program’s priority deadline, or the date you apply post-deadline, to receive a status update.

The Master of Community Development is the only fully online program in the college. All other College of Design graduate degrees and certificates have in-person delivery only.

Application fee vouchers are not available. A financial contribution at the application phase indicates a seriousness about gaining admission to our program. The expectation is that prospective students will be able to cover the cost of their graduate studies from their own financial resources for the duration of the program. A limited number of highly competitive assistantships are available each academic year that cannot be guaranteed to anyone in advance of reviewing the full application pool. Additionally, it is important to understand that assistantships do not provide 100% tuition and living expenses. It is important that you feel prepared to cover the full cost of your studies.

Assistantships for terminal degrees, such as MArch, MFA, and MID provide resident tuition and 50% tuition scholarship. Professional degrees, such as MS Arch, MAxGD, and MA in ID provide resident tuition and a 25% scholarship. 

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit English proficiency examination scores with their application. You can find accepted exams and necessary scores here.

No. Questions regarding graduate programs or how to apply should be sent to Individual faculty members do not make admission or assistantship decisions. Instead, admission and financial assistance is determined by a committee. You may name faculty or research interests in your statement of purpose when applying.

Getting here is a process. Domestic applicants should expect to receive their official offer of admission up to three weeks after learning their status from their director of graduate education (DOGE). International students will not receive an official offer but will be contacted regarding necessary additional documents two to three weeks after the DOGE processes the admission recommendation. Please wait at least three weeks after submitting your financial statement and passport scan for your I-20 and official offer of admission to be produced. These documents will be sent via email to the address used to apply for admission.

None of the graduate programs offered by the Iowa State College of Design require the GRE. You may view admission requirements for your program of interest here.

The College of Design does not have PhD programs. We do offer terminal degrees in many of our fields.

You will automatically be considered for a departmental assistantship or scholarship upon applying for admission if you apply by your program’s priority deadline. Applying for admission after the deadline has passed reduces the likelihood of receiving funding. Please note that our assistantships and scholarships do not cover tuition in full.

STEM-designated programs are Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP), and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA).

College of Design student working on class project.

A Cyclone in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.