Each spring, students will have the opportunity to apply for admission into their major of choice (students interested in Community and Regional Planning or Art and Design programs can direct-enroll in those majors). You application will consist of:

  • Cumulative GPA from your Core classes (DSN S 102, 110/115, 131, 132, and 183)
  • Placement into first-choice major is guaranteed for students who meet their major’s GPA requirements.

All incoming freshmen – except pre-SIV (Scientific Illustration and Visualization, formerly Biological and Premedical Illustration) and pre-CRP (Community and Regional Planning) majors – and transfer students – except pre-CRP majors – complete the Core Design Program to advance into any of the professional degree programs.

Follow this process to apply for admission to the College of Design’s 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 (formerly Art and Design Art and Culture emphasis) has separated into two tract names. The new major option is either Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History.
  • The BA in Art option requires successful completion of the Core Design Program. The BA in Art History 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 either the BA in Arts or BA in Art History (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.

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.

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 2023 and Spring 2024 pre-majors who earn a 3.20 out of a possible 4.00 GPA or above in their graded Design Studies (DSN S) Core courses will be admitted to their first choice of major/degree program in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Integrated Studio Arts, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture. You must also pass DSN S 110/115.

If you don’t achieve a 3.20 or higher Core GPA, you’re still likely to be admitted into your top choice of these five enrollment-managed degree programs. After students with a 3.20 or higher GPA are admitted, remaining seats in each program will be filled in descending order of DSN S Core GPA students who have selected the major as their first choice. (Remember that a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA is required for admission.)

Applicants to the Architecture program that have a 3.3 GPA (or above) will be automatically admitted into this program. Beginning in the ‘24-25 academic year, this GPA will also include grades from the Math and Physics courses that are required for admittance to the program.

Students with the same Core GPA may be asked to submit visual work from Core courses to assist a department in its decision.

The application period is typically during finals week of spring semester. We will post specific dates here in the spring. Please contact your academic advisor for additional information and upcoming deadlines.

If you apply to the programs in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Integrated Studio Arts, Interior Design and/or Landscape Architecture and meet the 3.20 Core GPA, you will be invited to enroll in the program that ranks highest on your list. If you apply to the program in Architecture, meet the 3.30 Core GPA and rank it as your first choice, you will be invited to enroll in that major.

For those students who do not achieve a 3.20 GPA in the graded Core courses (or a 3.30 Core GPA for Architecture), you may still be admitted to your first choice based on descending order of Core GPA.

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 2024. Notifications will be sent via email. Following receipt of the notification letter, you will have two weeks to accept or reject the offer. Key dates will be posted here closer to the application deadline.

Once you enroll in a major, you may not switch majors during Fall 2024 or Spring 2025. If you decide not to continue in a major, you should discuss options with your advisor.

If you decide 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 2025 application for consideration for Fall 2025 admission). Note that if you choose to reapply, you must meet the criteria for the admission cycle you are participating in at that time.

We recommend students consider a few things before deciding to reapply. Consult your academic advisor for help on any of the items listed below.

  • Do you want to reapply to the same programs you applied to the first time? Would other programs be more appropriate for your career goals?
  • Do you need to retake DSN S 102, DSN S 131, DSN S 183 or DSN S 110/115? Note that you must pass these courses to be eligible to reapply. As long as you passed your courses, you are not required to retake any of them; however, depending on the program(s) you are reapplying to, you may need to retake a course to improve your Core GPA.
  • Do you need to retake any general education courses or do you need to take additional general education courses to improve your overall GPA?

In order to reapply to a professional program, you must follow the same instructions listed for the standard application process.

Students working on class project in the King Pavillion.

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.