How to Apply

To apply to the M.F.A. program in Design, a completed application and $120.00 fee ($140.00 for international applicants) is required. The application fee must be submitted online (checks will not be accepted). All graduate applications are submitted electronically and must be supported by appropriate academic transcripts from each college/university attended and three letters of recommendation. Unofficial transcripts must be submitted online with the graduate application. Official transcripts must be provided only after a candidate has been accepted by the program and formally admitted to the university. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online. Design portfolios should be uploaded to the electronic application; if the portfolio is available online, a link to the specific website should be uploaded.

Please be sure to specify on the online application your "Specific Area of Interest" as either Scene, Costume, Lighting, or Sound Design.

The application deadline for those wishing to interview at the Irvine campus is March 1, but in order to be eligible for scholarships and other financial offers, we encourage you to apply by February 1.

For Design applicants, the GRE exam is not required. After we have received and processed your M.F.A. application, application fee, and portfolio, our design faculty will contact you, if you meet their initial criteria, regarding your interview time and location. If you move after you submit your application, it is important that you notify our office with your new address and phone number. The deadline for submission of letters of recommendations is March 10th. Only persons who have submitted applications, application fees, and portfolios can be assigned an interview.

UCI participates in the U/RTA review process. Applicants to UCI do not have to participate in U/RTA, but if they do, faculty representatives will be interviewing U/RTA applicants on the following dates in 2022:

  • Scene Design
  • Online: TBD
  • Costume Design
  • Online: Wednesday, January 19, 2022
  • Chicago (in-person): Thursday, January 27, Friday, January 28 & Saturday, January 30, 2022
  • Lighting Design
  • Online: Wednesday, January, 19, 2022
  • Chicago (in-person): Thursday, January 27, Friday, Januayr 28 & Saturday, January 30, 2022
  • Sound Design
  • Online: TBD

Design portfolio reviews and interviews for U/RTA applicants may be scheduled via the web at, by email at, or by phone at 212-221-1130.

For those international applicants that are required to take the TOEFL test to measure English language proficiency, a minimum score of 80 is considered passing. To be eligible to receive a teaching assistantship, a minimum score on the speaking portion of 26 is required. For more information, please visit the Graduate Division website.

Find out more:

    :: Apply Electronically
    :: Graduate Division website
    :: Graduate Housing
    :: Financial Aid
    :: English Proficiency Information for International Applicants