Interior Design MFA admissions/portfolio requirements

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SCAD Admission Department
1600 Peachtree St., NE
Atlanta, GA
30309 USA

Deadline: February 1, 2014


  • You can apply online here

  1. Completed application for admission.

Apply online – US$35 if submitted online

  1. Non-refundable application fee.

Apply online – US$35 if submitted online

  • English proficiency requirements (one of the following):

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum scores (SCAD code 5631):

  1. a. 550 on the paper-based test

  2. b. 85 on the Internet-based test with minimum score of 20 on each section.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) composite score of at least 6.5 with a score of at least 6.5 in both speaking and writing.

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) score of at least “high advanced” on the writing proficiency portion of the test

  • SAT score of at least 500 on the critical reading portion, or 22 on both the reading and writing sections of the ACT.

  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) score of at least 5 in English language.

  • Letters of recommendation from two professors, advisers, supervisors.

  • GRE scores strongly recommended

  • Additionally, if applicable, any other documents or materials required to obtain a student visa

  • Statement of purpose (500-750 word): overview of the applicant’s academic and professional accomplishments and should demonstrate a high level of interest in and a highly developed understanding of the discipline. The applicant should describe knowledge of the discipline, approach to past work, qualifications for graduate study and intended focus, as well as personal and professional goals.

  • Resume: educational credentials as well as professional and other employment such as internships or field experience in the intended area of graduate study, and should list commissioned works, exhibitions, performances, publications, honors, memberships, interests and activities, including volunteer work.

  • Optional personal or telephone interview


The portfolio should be specific to the intended course of study, should represent the applicant’s best work examples and should demonstrate a high level of craft presented as professionally as possible. The portfolio, audition or writing submission is scored according to a rubric relevant to the intended course of study and type of submission.

Portfolio guidelines here

  • For applicants to the M.F.A. program, portfolios should include work from all phases of design: conceptual and process drawings, sketches, perspectives and technical drawings.

  • Work should demonstrate proficiency in the technical requirements of interior design projects, including codes, interior building systems and construction, lighting, interior materials and sustainability as fundamental components of the interior built environment. In addition, portfolio work should show proficiency in graphic communication, hand and digital representation skills and techniques utilized within the advanced study of interior design.

  • Drawings should include floor plans, elevations, sections, and lighting/power plans and perspective renderings.

  • Applicants to the M.A. program must submit a university-level research paper with a minimum of 10 pages. Topics should be contemporary, impacting the future of the interior design profession and demonstrate the applicant’s critical thinking, analytical and writing skills.



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Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)


Admissions Office
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College Street
401 454-6300
800 364-7473

Deadline: January 10, 2014


  • Application form online

  • Application fee $60

  • You must provide official transcripts of all undergraduate and/or graduate study indicating satisfactory completion, or evidence of anticipated completion, of an undergraduate degree program from an accredited college or university. If you are attending a school in a non-English-speaking country, your academic credentials must be translated into English by an approved translator.

  • Statement of Purpose:  Graduate applicants must submit a written statement (500–750 words) outlining their interest and goals in pursuing graduate study. Certain programs suggest more specific ideas or written requirements as outlined below.

  • TOEFL or IELTS: RISD requires a minimum result of 93 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS. Plan to take the TOEFL or IELTS well in advance of the application deadline since it may take six weeks for your scores to be sent to RISD.

  • Three letters of recommendation written by teachers or other professionals who have first knowledge of your art or academic achievements.


  • You must submit your portfolio through SlideRoom, an online portfolio service that charges a $10 fee.

  • Graduate applicants are required to submit 10–20 examples of visual work.



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Pratt Institute


Pratt Institute
Office of Admissions
200 Willoughby Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205


Deadline: January 5, 2014


  • You must apply online

  • There is a non-refundable $50 application fee. (International students must pay a $90 application fee).

  • Transcripts (unofficial transcripts should be uploaded when you complete your online application). Do not submit printouts of scanned electronic transcripts unless there is a school name and your name on the transcript. International students must have all transcripts officially translated into English. Both the unofficial and the English translated version must be submitted.

  • Two letters of recommendation from employers, professors

  • Statement of purpose: Your statement should discuss your long range goals and interest in the chosen discipline and reason for applying to the program. The maximum word limit is 500 words.

  • Resume optional

  • Additional writing samples

  •  TOEFL score, Pearson, or IELTS score for international applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived for applicants who have attended a US college for four years.  Unless otherwise indicated under Departmental Requirements, the minimum required TOEFL score is 600 (paper) 250 (computer) 100 (Internet) and the required IELTS score is 6.5. Please make sure that you register for a TOEFL or IELTS test that will enable you to submit your scores by the application deadline or soon after. It generally takes four to six weeks to receive the scores. Check for information on testing sites.

Submit any print documents you intend to mail in one envelope if possible and mail to:
Pratt Institute Office of Graduate Admissions, Myrtle Hall 2nd floor, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Phone: 718 636-3514 Fax: 718 399-4242



Applicants with an undergraduate degree in interior design, architecture, or other closely related design fields are eligible for the 48 credit two-year graduate program. A portfolio is required for the two year MS (see guidelines for submission below). A two semester Qualifying Program of an additional 20 credits is required for applicants whose undergraduate backgrounds are unrelated to interior or architecture but whose applications indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study. These students complete 68 credits in three years. It should be noted that applicants to the Qualifying Program are not required to submit a portfolio. We do encourage applicants to the Qualifying Program to submit a portfolio of work from other disciplines and interest such as fine arts, fashion, industrial design or communications design.

Portfolios (15–25 images) should be submitted as follows: (1) Upload at—strongly preferred (2) print portfolio sized 8.5″ x 11″ hard copies may be submitted. Students applying to the two year program, portfolio must demonstrate skills from previous education and/or professional experience. Please make sure to notate attributions in group projects and/or professional work. Students applying to the three-year graduate program who do have work to show may submit it according to the formats above. We do not schedule interviews in person but applicants are encouraged to arrange a visit to the department by calling 718 636-3630.



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Cornell University


Caldwell Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853 – 2602

Tel: 1-607-255-5820


Deadline: February 1, 2014


  • Online Application

  • Non-refundable application fee of $95

  • GRE general test

  • English language proficiency requirements:

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Cornell does not currently accept IELTS or PTE scores as an alternative to the TOEFL. For applicants in regions where the TOEFL iBT is not available, Cornell will continue to accept scores for the paper-based test (PBT). Although individual graduate fields may require higher scores, Cornell’s official minimum sub-scores for each element of the TOEFL are:

IBT Version:

Writing: 20

Listening: 15

Reading: 20

Speaking: 22

  • Three letters of recommendation, which must be submitted by faculty members from your college or institution.

  • Personal statement should include your reasons for undertaking graduate work and an explanation of your academic interests, including their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals.

  • Transcripts from each previously attended college or university are required. All transcripts, diplomas or academic records must be official documents issued by the college or university and provided in the original language.


  • Present your 2D and 3D work from a variety of media including design projects, drawing, painting, ceramics, graphics, photography, woodworking, etc. in a portfolio, not exceed one-side or two-side pages.

  • Please include highly-quality scanned copies or printed photographic images, in color or black and white, of original work images. Do not include original work. Compile images in a binder or flat folio with photos and/or images, for example, in clear plastic sleeves.

  • Present your material in a neat, well – organized manner, including a table of contents. We are flexible with the format of the material, however the maximum page size allowed is 8 ½” x 11”.\

  • Label each portfolio item with information on the medium used, the date it was produced, whether the project was done for a class or independently, as well as the original size of work

  • Pre-application portfolio reviews are not conducted.

  • Send Portfolio and Index to:

    • Portfolio Review Committee, Office of Admissions, Student and Career Development, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, 170 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853 – 4401


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Parsons Graduate Programs (PS 300)
Office of Admission 72 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Deadline: January 10, 2014


  • Online Application

  • $50 non-refundable application fee

  • Unofficial Transcripts: You must upload an unofficial transcript or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.  Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation.

  • Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the U.S.) to The New School.

  • All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

  • Foreign Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who would like to transfer academic credits earned at non-U.S. institutions are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), our preferred provider, or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript.

    If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “New School Parsons” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

  • Electronic Transcripts: If your school sends transcripts electronically, The New School’s approved vendors are:

  • Avow Systems, Inc. and Docufide Inc./Rebranded as Parchment, Inc.

  • National Student Clearinghouse

  • Naviance by Hobsons

  • Pearson

  • SCRIP-SAFE International

  • Xap Corporation

  • Electronic transcripts should be sent to

  • Résumé: Submit a brief resume/vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.

  • Statement of Interest and Intentions: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program.

  • Recommendations: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally.

  • GRE: If English is your native language, submit your scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and general tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing).

  • TOEFL: If English is not your native language, submit results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum score required for acceptance to the program is 92 for Internet-based exam. The minimum IELTS score required is a 7.0.


  • Submit Portfolio through Slideroom ($15 Slideroom fee)

  • Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in Slideroom only. The purpose of the portfolio is to show your individual perspective and creative skills. Prepare a sequence of 15-25 images that best communicate your visual thinking. Include work that best demonstrates your skills from previous educational and/or professional experience. Sketches and conceptual work may also be included.

    We welcome students from a wide variety of disciplines. If you are an applicant without previous training in architecture or design related fields, you may demonstrate your aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, graphic design, three-dimensional work, furniture, product design or digital media, amongst others. Time-based works such as film, video, performance, installation or sound are also accepted. Do not combine images in a prepared presentation or slideshow of any type (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote).




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New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University


Graduate Admission

73 Tremont Street, 6th Floor

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: 617-573-8302

Deadline: February 1, 2014


  • Online Application

  • Non-refundable $50 fee

  • Original transcript from each college or university attended

  • International Transcripts: Applicants who have attended an institution of higher education outside of the United States are required to submit an official “Course-by-Course Evaluation” of their academic credentials. Please visit the International Students page for details. Note for U.S. Study Abroad Students: All coursework and grades must be reflected on an official transcript. If your study abroad coursework and grades are not available on a U.S. transcript, an official evaluation will be required.

  • Confirmation of Undergraduate Degree

  • Goal Statement: Please outline your reasons for applying to the program. Include a candid analysis of professional objectives, both long- and short-term, and indicate how the graduate program to which you are applying will help you achieve them. There is no minimum or maximum length for this statement; however, one to two pages is usually sufficient.

  • Resume

  • Submit two letters of recommendation from faculty members with whom you have studied or from people with whom you have worked professionally.

  • Academic Testing: After reviewing this section, please refer to your program of interest for specific testing requirements as some graduate programs do not require standardized testing for admission. Examination scores must be submitted directly by the testing agency to the Office of Graduate Admission to complete the application process. Scores are valid from the date taken for five (5) years. In addition, test scores will be reviewed once and only once. Students may not submit new scores after admission in order to be reconsidered for merit aid.

  • Suffolk University’s code for ETS test scores is 3771. No department code is needed for GRE test-takers.

  • Suffolk University’s code for the GMAT are program-dependent, as follows:

  • MBA full-time: ZWT-BN-92
    MBA part-time: ZWT-BN-83
    Executive MBA: ZWT-BN-29
    Other Master’s: ZWT-BN-55

  • English proficiency: International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency via successful completion of the TOEFL or IELTS. Additional details, including exemption criteria, can be found on the International Students page:

    • Proficiency in English is required of all international applicants. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL examination is given in internet-based (iBT), computer-based, and paper-based formats. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 in the iBT scoring system (with no subscore lower than 17), 213 computer-based, or 550 paper-based is required of applicants whose native language is not English. Suffolk University’s code for TOEFL test scores is 3771.

    • We also accept the International English Language Testing System test (IELTS), and a minimum score of 6.5 is required, with no subscores below 6.0.

    • You must have an official copy of the test result sent directly from the testing service. English-proficiency test scores are also a consideration in the awarding of merit fellowships. Scores are valid for two (2) years from the date the exam is taken.

  • Interview


  • Portfolio required: 12 to 15 pieces of recent, original artwork demonstrating both technical competency and creative ability. Applicants with prior studio background, who are seeking exemption from Foundation or Foundational Design coursework, should submit a significantly more extensive portfolio.

  • Portfolio submitted through online process with Slideroom



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School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Office of Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 800.232.7242 or 312.629.6100
Fax: 312.629.6101

Deadline: January 10, 2014



  • Non-refundable application fee

    • Domestic application fee $80

    • International application fee $100

  • Official College Transcripts from each college you have attended

  • Statement of Purpose: Write a 500- to 700-word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how the Master of Fine Arts in Studio (Interior Architecture) is particularly suited to your professional goals.

  • Two letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential success at SAIC.

  • Interview is not required, applicants are welcomed to contact the Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects department to request an informational interview at 312.629.6650 or

  • Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results with your application. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

    • TOEFL: 85

    • IELTS: 6.5


 Instructions for submitting ePortfolios will be sent either to the email address associated with your SAIC application, or to the email address associated with your ePortfolio account, if you already have one. You will receive the link to your ePortfolio 24 to 48 hours after you save the first page of the online application.

Your portfolio should include samples of your recent work:

  • 15–20 still images OR

  • 20 minutes of interactive or time-based work

Optional support materials may include such items as performance notes and original scores and compositions.

  • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)

  • Videos: .flv, .wv, .mov (up to 60 MB each)

  • Audio: .mp3 (up to 10 MB each)

  • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

Direct all inquiries regarding the ePortfolio to, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100.



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New York School of Interior Design
Office of Admissions
170 East 70th Street
New York, NY  10021
(212) 472-1500 x205

Deadline: February 1, 2014


  • You can apply online

  • Non-refundable application fee

    • $60 for domestic students

    • $100 for international students

  • Essay: Applicants must submit a typed personal statement, roughly one page in length, describing their educational and professional goals. This can be mailed to the Admissions Office or emailed to

  • Resumes: Applicants must submit a typed personal statement, roughly one page in length, describing their educational and professional goals. This can be mailed to the Admissions Office or emailed to

  • Official College / University Transcripts: Applicants must have an undergraduate degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution to be considered for any graduate program at NYSID. An official transcript from the degree-granting institution, as well as any other institutions attended after high school, are required. Applicants who have completed their degree in a foreign country may need to have their transcript(s) evaluated by an outside organization.

  • Two letters of recommendation are required from employers, professors, or others who are qualified to judge the applicant’s aptitude for graduate study.

  • Proof of English proficiency:

All applicants whose primary language is not English are required to show proof of their English proficiency. This proficiency can be shown in several ways:

  • An official score on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum score is 79 on the internet-based test or 213 on the computer- based test. The NYSID TOEFL code is 9185.

  • An official score of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum score is 6.0.

  • Completing an English composition course at an accredited college in a country where English is the primary language can be used to Show proficiency. The final grade in the English course must be a “C” or higher in the American grading scale. Remedial courses or courses taken in English as a second language (ESL) programs cannot be considered.

  • Completing level 112 at an ELS language center and submitting an official certificate-of-completion.

  • International Student Requirements

NYSID is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.

In addition to the regular admissions requirements for undergraduate programs, international students must also submit an evaluation of foreign transcripts by World Educational Service (WES).

The WES evaluation is required of all applicants educated in countries outside the United States. The WES evaluation will translate the student’s academic credentials into English and convert their marks into the United States grading scale.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide all high school (secondary) and/or college (postsecondary) academic records to WES for a course-by-course credential evaluation.  This is necessary to determine admissibility and to assess any possible transfer credits.


Portfolio requirements differ depending on the program.

  • MFA-2, MPS in Interior Lighting Design, MPS in Sustainable Interior Environments: applicants must submit a portfolio of a minimum of 15 pieces of design work. Applicants must demonstrate a professional level of design skill that, in the opinion of the graduate admissions committee, enables the applicant to successfully pursue advanced study.

  • MPS in Healthcare Interior Design: applicants who have an undergraduate degree in interior design or a closely related field are required to submit. A portfolio matching the description cited above. Applicants who have a degree in an area other than a design related field will be considered without a portfolio.

  • MFA-1: applicants have the option of applying with or without a portfolio. If a portfolio is submitted, it should consist of 10-15 pieces of fine art-based work that may include still life compositions, sculptures, landscapes, portraits, figure studies, and/or renderings of interior spaces. Drafting/technical drawings should be submitted if possible. MFA-1 applicants who do not have a portfolio are welcome to apply without one. If the applicant meets all other admission standards, they will be accepted pending completion of a two-week qualifying workshop offered in the summer session. This workshop is not offered prior to going through the application process. The qualifying workshop is not open to those applying to any program other than MFA-1.

Portfolios may be submitted via JPG or PDF images on a CD or USB Flash drive, or in prints or books. Portfolios cannot be returned unless a self-addressed, stamped envelope is provided.



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