group of students from the class of 2024 smiling for the camera




All required application materials are due by January 15, 2025. Applicants will receive an admissions decision in writing by March 15, 2025.


Applicants must have a diploma from a four-year professional school or a BFA, BA or BS degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Design applicants do not necessarily need to have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design/communications art to be eligible.

The applicant’s portfolio must demonstrate proficiency in typography. This usually translates into either three years of undergraduate design education or one to two years of professional design experience. Applicants who do not meet these criteria are advised to take appropriate continuing education classes before applying.


Want to learn more about our students and program? Download our catalog. To learn more about application requirements, visit SVA Graduate admissions.

Applications for our program are done entirely online, Apply to MFA Design now.


Why should I submit a video for your design program?

Increasingly, designers are called upon to use video and motion graphics to communicate. Combining sound, motion, compelling visuals and rich storytelling are the means to connect emotionally with our audience. A video is encouraged but not required.

Can I bring my PC instead of a Mac?

We are a Macintosh-based studio and do not support any other platforms. The program requires all enrolled students to provide their own Apple computer. The current operating system and two previous major versions are supported. The Adobe CC suite of software is provided to all SVA students during their studies.

Can I sit in a class?

Because of the nature of our program, we do not allow visitors to sit in on a class. It’s been found disruptive to faculty or students.

How many applications does the program receive?

We receive more than 300 applications and accept 20 students per year.

What programs should I know?

Our ideal candidate will have experience working in the design industry. The primary tools used there, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are also the ones most useful in your coursework in the program. For our video work we use Premiere Pro and After Effects. The Adobe CC suite of software is provided to all SVA students during their studies.

Is MFA Design a STEM program?

Yes, MFA Design is a STEM program. It became a STEM program in spring 2021. Our CIP code is 11.0801 and our listing in SEVIS is Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design.

Can I schedule a tour?

We offer weekly Q&A sessions on Friday mornings. Join Veronika Golova on Zoom or in person every Friday at 11 am EST by appointment. Please contact to register or if you have any questions.

Can I talk to faculty?

Our faculty members are professionals and have their own businesses. They do not have offices on campus. Due to their busy schedules faculty members cannot meet with applicants.

How well versed should I be with design and design culture?

If you are a designer, you should know about design culture and practice past and present. We urge you to attend lectures and exhibitions. Read books, blogs and magazines on the history and theory of design.

Watch our video on the culture of MFA Design

How important is type?

If you don’t know type, you are not a designer. It is essential! Type is the language of graphic design. While this program emphasizes media and form other than printed, ink on paper, the common denominator for all is typographic fluency. For this you must be type literate – know your typeface names and styles; practice good typography and make certain you’re adept with type and image.


What should I put in my portfolio?

Remember you are applying to a design program. Your portfolio should reflect your ability and talent for design. Typography is crucial. Type doesn’t mean just print work. Motion graphics, type with photography and relevant video should also be included.

How should I submit my portfolio?

Applicants must submit their portfolio (still images and/or videos) through SlideRoom. To access the portal and find out more information, please visit SlideRoom will allow you to create an inventory of works with the following information for each file: title, date, medium, dimensions or running time, and optional notes.

Please submit no more than 20 images for your SlideRoom portfolio. These images should be: .jpg, .gif, or .png format, not to exceed 5mb each in file size 1920 x 1080 pixels at a resolution of 150 dpi or higher. Application portfolios will be reviewed by our committee on a high definition screen. You will be learning and working with video in this program.  Please list any videos as a link in the provided form in your SlideRoom account. 

Multiple page PDFs, CDs, DVDs, slides or prints will not be accepted.

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