New Student FAQs

When will I be able to register for classes?
New students will be able to register during orientation week.

Who is my advisor?
Your advisor will be assigned over the summer and will meet with you during orientation week.

When will I receive my I-20?
Up to 10 business days after you’ve paid the tuition deposit and submitted your financial affidavit of support (including supporting documentation and a copy of your passport).

Can my family be added to my student insurance plan?
Yes, please contact our Student Health and Wellness Center for details.

When can I visit the school?
To schedule a visit, please contact Krista Roble at

Do you have a fellowship program? How does it work? How do I apply?
Yes. Please see our Fellowship + Financial Aid page.

May I defer my admission?
Yes, you may defer your admission for up to one year with a paid tuition deposit.

I received a fellowship. Now I need to defer my admission. Does my fellowship carry over to my new start date?
Please refer to our Fellowship + Financial Aid page.

What are the equipment requirements for ID?
There are no specific requirements, but we do have some suggestions. Soon, you will be eligible for student pricing at the Apple Store, among other places. Your student ID is needed to take advantage of student discounts, so you may want to wait on making purchases until your ID is issued during orientation week.

Most students purchase laptops because the mobility gained is well worth the extra cost. Students with laptops often bring them into classes to take notes or do work during class time, and having a laptop allows you to work in breakout groups. The majority of students are Mac users. You should use what type of system you are most comfortable with, though Macs tend to be friendlier to designers. Refurbished computers via online stores are a great option if you aren’t too concerned about lots of personalization and customization.

We recommend waiting until you get here to purchase software. Most software has a 30 day trial period that can get you through the first month of school.The Adobe Creative Suite is a great idea since it is widely used and can be installed on a Mac or PC. In addition, many have purchased the cloud subscription to the Adobe suite, which incurs a monthly fee. Start with the basics and add on as necessary or desired. Software requirements for each class differ by semester. You can get a head start by acquiring and learning some of these programs before school starts:


Those entering  foundation, and sometimes designers, like to have a big second display for desk work. You’ll definitely want little accessories like a wireless mouse, extra charging cords and backup hard drives for those hours spent working on deliverables and forgetting your charger at home. An external hard drive to back up your computer is a good idea. A Solid State Drive (SSD) has been recommended by other students. Invest well in those because they need to be efficient and reliable. Some find the purchase of a laptop, tablet, wireless mouse, one power cord, and a high capacity slim profile passport external drive to be a good place to start.

Digital Camera
Other than the laptop, the other major purchase you’ll likely incur is a digital camera. Introduction to Photography, a required course for all Foundation students, uses point-and-shoots or dSLRs, which usually run $300–$500. Even if you are not in Foundation, a quality digital camera is a good investment for ID because you will use it for courses such as user research, product design, and documentary photography. The current Foundation photography instructor has in the past recommended dSLRs from Nikon, Canon or Sony, though cameras in the Micro 4/3 format are also getting popular.

We reiterate that you may want to wait for student discounts (when you get your student ID card orientation week) and directions from your instructors prior to going out to make big purchases.