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Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate ScHool


After you submit your application, our admissions team will confirm when we have received all required materials. If you have not received confirmation within one to two weeks of submitting your application, please feel free to email us at Admission decisions typically take up to four weeks, at which time we will notify you of the decision.
Our portfolio requirements vary depending on the program to which you are applying. You’ll find details for what should be included in the portfolio section of the application information page.
We do not require a GRE or GMAT score for any application. However, if you have a score you would like to submit we are happy to include that in your application evaluation. We will accept either the GRE or the GMAT.
Any applicant with an undergraduate degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is not English must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. The minimum TOEFL score accepted is 100. The minimum IELTS total score accepted is 7.5. All applicants with lower scores may be admitted with additional English + Design requirements.
We no longer accept Duolingo English Test scores. Please submit IELTS or TOEFL instead.
  • For MDes, two to four years is typical, but not required.
  • For MDM, eight to ten years is typical and a minimum of five years is required.
  • Pro bono, freelance projects, and full-time internships will be considered.
Yes, the Master of Design is considered STEM eligible. The MDM and the PhD programs are not. International students who have earned degrees in STEM fields in the US may apply for a 24 month extension of their post completion OPT employment for a total of 36 months, a significant benefit for international students who wish to stay and work in the US post-graduation. See the US government’s website for more information about STEM programs.
ID believes that diverse perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds are essential to an innovative and vibrant learning environment. We pride ourselves on our historically even gender balance, as well as a globally diverse student body reflecting a wide range of work experiences. Get to know our current students.
Yes, space permitting and depending on the program, you can still apply after the normal deadlines. Please email our staff at to inquire about late applications.
You will need to submit a $500 tuition deposit and complete an intent to enroll form through the application portal to confirm your intent to join our program. We cannot hold a place for you if you do not send a deposit.


Not as a single capstone project. Instead, we use our workshops as opportunities for integration and application of our theories and methods. Students typically accumulate eight to ten workshops (some with outside corporate sponsorships) over the course of four semesters.

All of our classes, seminars, and workshops are active experiences. We use a combination of lectures, discussions, short exercises, and bigger projects to explore the content of a course and learn how to apply its teachings to design work. Depending on the size and nature of a course, some are team based while others focus on individual learning. Most classes have an average size of 15 students; more popular classes can get as big as 25, and some are as small as three.

We encourage students to follow their passion and some students have been able to bring concepts worked on in class to commercialization. However, we believe that our program is best suited to those interested in building a range of professional skills and the deep theoretical knowledge necessary for a successful career in design. Entrepreneurial pursuits are just one aspect of this education.

Financial Assistance

Tuition varies for each program. Please consult program information pages for details. Download this guide for a more detailed breakdown of the Master of Design program estimated costs and links to financial aid resources.

Yes, we offer a limited number of fellowships and scholarships. All admitted students are considered for a fellowship, with early applications considered first. No separate application is needed. You will find more financial aid information on our Fellowships + Financial Aid page. Download this guide for additional links to financial aid resources.

Financial awards are extremely competitive and the total amounts available are directly influenced by the generous donations of our community. Typically 20% of applicants receive a fellowship and/or scholarship to cover a portion of tuition costs.

As a newly-admitted student you are automatically considered based on your admission materials. No separate application is needed.

We will typically notify you of an awarded scholarship or fellowship at time of admission.

At this time, we award all fellowships based on merit. Past, present, and likely future accomplishments are considered.

We only award fellowships and scholarships on the entering semester for newly admitted students to the program.

Specific amounts will vary. In the past, our fellowships have provided from 10% up to 50% of tuition.

To maximize the impact of awards, our fellowship committee decides which fellowships are distributed to whom.

Our awards are available only for newly admitted MDes, MDes + MBA, MDes + MPA and PhD students. We do not offer awards to newly admitted MDM students.

Awards cannot be transferred from semester to semester. If you are unable to attend in the semester in which you were awarded a scholarship or fellowship, you will be considered again for the semester in which you enroll. However, due to the competitive nature of the program, we cannot guarantee an award will be available to you at that time.


Yes, we accept many students without a formal design education. Most often these students take one additional semester of Foundation courses or a customized set of bridge courses. Our faculty makes these decisions based on careful review of application materials.
We carefully review all applications. While we have minimum standards, we are looking for students who we believe will excel in our program, and we understand that important qualities are not captured in a test score.
Every year is different and individual lengths of stay vary, therefore the total number of enrolled students ranges from 80 to 120 each year.
It depends on the year. Each program is competitive and we make sure there is a good fit between the school and the goals of the applicant.


Please see the Illinois Tech Campus Reopening website for more information regarding COVID-19 policies and reopening plans. A few helpful links on this site include:
Yes, all students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted. You will find all guidelines and exceptions in the university COVID-19 Policies and Procedures Handbook. If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can use the Vaccine Finder to set up an appointment.
MDes and PhD classes are primarily held in-person at the Institute of Design. MDM classes are held remotely (online). We do not hold classes in a hybrid (both in-person and online) format.