The admissions process for the DDes program is extremely competitive and requires that applicants hold a graduate level degree in a design related field such as a professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, planning or urban design. Applicants with a degree in a related discipline such as engineering, geography, computer science, or industrial design also qualify for admission. Applicants are required to present a concise and clearly articulated research proposal as the core element of the application. Other critical elements include documentation of the academic record, a curriculum vitae including professional experience, the portfolio, and letters of recommendation. Recent GRE scores and, for non-native speakers, TOEFL scores, are required as well.
The program seeks applicants who have demonstrated research and analytical skills essential for advanced doctoral study as well as the ability to pursue such work independently. Applicants should submit a proposal describing the research in which they plan to engage during their studies. The proposal will be evaluated on (1) its promise for original contribution to the design professions, (2) the feasibility of its being completed within the time constraints of the program, and (3) its congruence with research interests of at least two GSD faculty members who will eventually serve on the thesis committee.
The portfolio for DDes applicants should consist of scholarly, academic and/or professional work and may or may not include visual material, at the discretion of the applicant and as related to the proposed research topic.
DDes students receive financial support and teaching fellowships from the GSD to cover a major part of their tuition. Additional support may be available through funded research and other resources at the school.
Please visit the admissions section of our website for more information on applying to the GSD.