Directory   |   Workday   |   Access+   |   CyBox   |   Privacy Policy

Applying to a Degree Program

Application Process

Follow this process to apply for admission to our enrollment-managed majors after completion of the Core Design Program. Students with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA who have passed DSN S 110/115 are eligible to apply.

Please note: 

  • The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art and Design is a four-year degree program with two options: Art and Culture or Visual Culture Studies. The Art and Culture option requires successful completion of the Core Design Program. The Visual Culture Studies option does not require the Core.
  • The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Community and Regional Planning is also an open-enrollment major and does not require completion of the Core Design Program.

Students in any Iowa State college may enroll directly in the BA in Art and Design (either option) or the BS in Community and Regional Planning as a primary or secondary major at any time.

Information about applying to the other College of Design majors is below.

Application Form

The application process begins with completion of the online application form, which will go live toward the end of spring semester. You will need your Iowa State NetID and password to log into the secure website and access the form.

You may choose to apply to more than one program and may do so all on the same form. Please be prepared to rank the majors you are applying to (first choice, second choice, etc.) on the application form; priority will be given to first choices. In the most recent admission cycle (Spring 2021 application for Fall 2021 admission), 92% of applicants were admitted to their first-choice degree program.

Academic Integrity

By completing the online application form, you are entering into an agreement with the College of Design regarding the integrity of your application materials. Submitting this form verifies that all work included in the application materials is your own.

Iowa State University and the College of Design have zero tolerance for plagiarism and cheating. Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Violators will be disqualified from the admission review and will be reported to the university.

Please refer to the “Academic Dishonesty” section under “Academic Conduct” in the university catalog for a description of what constitutes academic dishonesty and possible university actions against violators.

Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Pre-Majors

Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 pre-majors who earn a 3.20 out of a possible 4.00 GPA in their graded Design Studies (DSN S) Core courses and pass DSN S 110/115 will be admitted to their first choice of major/degree program.

Students who don’t achieve a 3.20 or higher Core GPA are still likely to be admitted to their top choice. Our historical data indicates that students with a 3.20 GPA likely will account for no more than 60% of seats available in our enrollment-managed degree programs. The remaining seats will be filled in descending order of DSN S Core GPA students who have listed the major as their first choice combined with a review of the digitally submitted work. (Remember that a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA is required for admission.)

Select students whose Core work is strong but whose GPA is lower may also be admitted to their first choice. See the “submission of five best works” below.

Submission of Five Best Works

At the end of the Core year, all students — regardless of GPA — will be required to choose their five best works from their Core classes for submission as part of the application process to one or more of our degree programs. This provides an opportunity for every department to review the digital work and potentially make admission offers to their programs based on the quality of these five pieces alone. This will allow us to reward high-quality work that is not reflected in the DSN S Core GPA.

All work submitted must be your own, produced individually or as part of a team project. In team projects, it may be helpful to identify work of the team versus individual work.

Students will submit work digitally through SlideRoom. You should choose what you consider to be the five best works you have completed in DSN S 102: Design Studio I and in DSN S 131: Drawing I for submission. Your five best works should demonstrate the following:

  • Understanding of the creative process
  • A range of skills across multiple types of projects
  • Attention to detail and composition
  • Ability to visualize space and form in both 2D (drawings) and 3D (models)
  • Quality of craft in design and drawing work

You will receive more detailed information about the SlideRoom submission process after spring break.

Submission Deadline

The online application form and SlideRoom submission will be open from 8 a.m. CT Monday, May 9, through 5 p.m. CT Friday, May 13. The deadline to submit your online application and five best works in digital format to SlideRoom is 5 p.m. CT Friday, May 13.

Notification of Admission

After your application materials are matched with your Core GPA, you will be invited to enroll in your first-choice program if you meet the 3.20 GPA requirement for guaranteed admission. For those students who do not achieve a 3.20 GPA in the graded Core courses, you may still be admitted to your first choice based on descending order of GPA and a faculty review of the five works submitted.

NOTE: We try to honor all students’ first choice of major in the application and review process. Please consider carefully how you rank your choices when you apply.

Admission decisions and notification will be completed by mid-June. Notifications will be sent via email. Following receipt of the notification email, you will have two weeks to accept or reject the offer. Key dates are posted below.

Once enrolled in a major, you may not switch majors during Fall 2022 or Spring 2023. If you decide not to continue in a major, you should discuss options with your advisor.

If you would like to move to another enrollment-managed major in the College of Design, you may re-submit your materials during the next enrollment-management cycle (Spring 2023 application for consideration for Fall 2023 admission). Note that if you choose to reapply, you must meet the criteria for the admission cycle you are participating in at that time.

Key Dates

Friday, May 13: Deadline to submit online application and five best works to SlideRoom
Tuesday, June 7: Admission offers emailed to applicants
Friday, June 17: Deadline to accept your admission offer


Please contact your academic advisor.

Prospective Students

Incoming Fall 2022 Pre-Majors

Please see the information about the enrollment-managed application process for students entering the Core Design Program in Fall 2022.