If you would like to receive a graduate catalog, please visit Applications and Catalogs to download a PDF or request a copy mailed to you.
We offer tours of our department. If you are in New York City, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know dates and times when you would like to visit.
Please contact us with any questions at email@example.com or by calling 212.592.2173.
How To Get In
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: Whereas if you simply try to tell the truth, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” - C.S. Lewis
Applications are a combination of important records and information, and opportunities for you to show us who you are.
There are three places where you can tell us the unique story of you: your portfolio or case history, your statement of purpose, and your interview. Use them to communicate with us beyond facts and artifacts.
We are looking for passionate, committed individuals who are curious about the world’s diverse people and species. We welcome generalists, with breadth of experience, who might find other disciplines too confining for them – people who like to do as much as they like to think, and vice versa – people who want to engage with the world and are filled with creativity.
The essay is important – we want to hear your voice. We’ll be spending a lot of time together, and want to know as much about your hopes and ambitions as we can. Write from your heart as well as your head. Tell us about the whole you. Tell us why you care about getting in, about the life you want to begin here on the first day. If you have hobbies that you are awesome at, let us know. And yes, we’re looking for good communicators.
We are also looking for visual thinkers. You have a choice of sending a portfolio or a case history of something you’ve done.
We don’t expect for you to have solved the world’s challenges already. We’ll get started on that together.
The application deadline is January 15, 2014. After this deadline has passed, applications will be accepted and processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as space remains available. Please note that we only accept students to enter in program in the fall semester.
To apply to MFA Design for Social Innovation, go to Online Application for Graduate Admissions. This online portal is where you will share all of your contact and application information and learn how to submit digital or mailed copies of your portfolio.
All graduate applicants are required to submit the non-refundable $80 application fee using a credit card. Applications are not considered submitted until this fee has been paid.
Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, and mail or electronically submit an official transcript.
This should include your professional experience as well as any research, awards, or exhibitions. Please include whether you have core design skills and mastery of applications, including all programs in Adobe Creative Suite, After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, HTML and Flash.
Please note: Remedial courses for those who do not have mastery of the core design applications can be arranged and should not discourage candidates from applying.
If English is not your primary language, you will need to prove proficiency through TOEFL (minimum scores of 79 internet-based, 213 computer-based, 550 paper-based) or IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.
Your essay should articulate your vision for how you will contribute to the betterment of the world. It should be no more than 500 words and submitted in Word or PDF format.
Applicants are required to submit a portfolio or case history of their work.
Option 1: Portfolio reflecting a wide range of design work from communication design, product design, 3-D and interactive design, data visualization and system design. Portfolios should be submitted on a CD in Apple OS X-readable format, titled with last and first name. Portfolios will contain any combination of the following: 15- 25 still images of print or photography (in jpeg format, no more than 1 MB each) including a one-page digital slide sheet in .pdf format which contains a thumbnail and description of each image, titled with last and first name; up to three video files, in Quicktime format, no larger than 5MB each, and no longer than two minutes each; a Word document with up to 5 urls of websites.
and/or Option 2: Case histories reflecting initiatives that you have led, and that demonstrate social innovation. Up to three case histories of complete campaigns, with written text explaining the problem, solution and results, if available, with thumbnail photos of any visual elements.
Applicants under consideration will be contacted to schedule an interview.
International student? Read our FAQ here.
Difference from SVA Application
Unlike other SVA departments, we do not require the following, and these materials, if submitted, will be considered supplemental:
Statement of Purpose (we require our essay question instead)
How We’ll Decide
We choose applicants based on the criteria listed above–as individuals, and as part of an extraordinary team that will collaborate and help each other grow.