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Applying to a Degree Program

Application Process

Follow our three-step process to complete your application into our enrollment-managed programs after completion of the Design Core Program:

1. Application Form

The applicationĀ process begins with completion of the online application form. This must be completed prior to submitting your portfolio. You may choose to apply to more than one program.

You will need your Iowa State NetID and password to login to the secure website and access the form. Again, you must complete this form prior to submitting your portfolio; only online forms will be accepted.

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.

2. Completing the Essay

Applicants must go to one of the ELO Testing Centers on campus to write the required essay sometime between Monday, April 15, and Friday, April 26, 2019. For details, see the Essay Questions link.

3. Submitting Your Portfolio

The online application form must be filled out before submitting your portfolio. You must submit your portfolio in room 234 Design between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019. If you are in line by 4 p.m. that day, you will be allowed to complete your submission. If you have not submitted your materials or are not in line by 4 p.m., you will miss the opportunity to apply for Fall 2019. For details, see the Portfolio Specifications link.

Picking Up Your Portfolio

The portfolio pick-up date will be posted soon. Please do not call about picking up your portfolio, and we cannot mail your portfolio to you.

If you are unable to pick up your portfolio during the designated time, you may send a friend/relative/classmate to pick up your portfolio. This person must know your student ID and portfolio number and have signed, written consent from you. Your portfolio number is on the postcard you will receive when you submit your portfolio in May. It will also be included in the notification letter you will receive regarding admission in June.

Notification of Admission

After your application materials are reviewed by faculty in each program to which you apply, you will be contacted with an admission decision. In this anonymous process, a match is made between the rankings resulting from the admission review and your preferential ranking of the programs to which you apply. Of the programs that accept you, you will be invited to enroll in the program that ranks highest on your list. If you are not accepted into any of your selected programs, you will also be notified at this time.

Admission decisions and notification are completed in mid-June. Notifications will be sent via email and paper mail. Following receipt of the notification letter, you have two weeks to accept or reject the offer.

Once you enroll in a program, you will enter that program in Fall 2019. You may not switch programs during Fall 2019 or Spring 2020. If you decide not to continue in a program, you should discuss options with your adviser.

If you decide you would like to move to another enrollment-managed program in the College of Design, you may re-submit your materials during the next enrollment-management cycle. In a very few cases, depending upon resources, program criteria and qualifications, special arrangements may be made in consultation with advisers and department faculty.

Key Dates

  • Write and submit essay: April 15 through 6 p.m. April 26, 2019
  • Submit portfolio: Friday, May 10, 2019, in room 234 Design
  • Receive admission decision: Mid-June 2019
  • Accept/reject offer: Within two weeks after admission notification is received
  • Pick up portfolio: TBA


Please contact your academic advisers or one of the Core instructors who teach DSN S 102, DSN S 131, DSN S 183 or DSN S 110/115. All the best!

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