ArtCenter College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.


The Industrial Design program is looking for bright, articulate, intellectual, literate and social individuals.

Our student body typically includes a majority of students with Industrial Design undergraduate degrees and various levels of professional experience in that arena.

Importantly, candidates with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and professional experience are also considered. Diversity and breadth of background plays an important role in defining the cross-disciplinary culture of the program.

Applicants to the dual degree MS/MBA program should submit all admissions materials to the Art Center Admissions office. They should be prepared to meet the admissions standards outlined by Art Center for the Industrial Design program, and in addition will submit GRE or GMAT scores. Candidates will receive a joint decision letter.


A completed admission application

A nonrefundable application fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $50 for U.S. citizens and permanent aliens or $70 for non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent alien residents.

Official transcripts from all colleges attended

A completed undergraduate degree must be verified prior to enrollment. Preference is given to students who have completed their prior studies with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Your Portfolio

Submit a portfolio of work demonstrating your design abilities. The following are especially important:

  • Ability to make appropriate and human-centered designs
  • Ability to take a systems approach to design solutions, demonstrating an understanding of the context, business, technological and human-related aspects
  • Ability to write and communicate effectively
  • Ability to display an understanding of and experience with 3D form and design
  • Effective drawing and other visualization abilities
  • Demonstration of a great aesthetic design sensibility and ability—for style, proportion, shape, material, color, etc.
  • Ability to select important projects and identify real needs
  • Ability to research, investigate and analyze design topics
  • Ability to experiment, think laterally and engage in creative idea generation activities
  • Ability to provide solutions for real needs and problems and create value for the human condition; satisfy an aesthetic appetite for the creation of new market-driven style and products such as chairs, desk sets, most cars and housewares. Professional experience resulting in market-tested designs is preferred.
The following formats are acceptable:
  • Slideroom (Web-based). #
    Our preferred method for submission is through Slideroom. Upload your portfolio images at https://artcenter.slideroom.com. A nominal fee will be charged by Slideroom for this service. Full instructions are listed on their site. For general artwork, we recommend scanned images rather than photos for best resolution. Film applicants should provide a DVD; see below for details.
  • Non-Returnable Printed Portfolio. #
    Maximum size limit is 11” x 17”, including the envelope or covering. This can include a presentation format or simply individual samples of the work. This format works well for the design disciplines in which presentation or project formats are appropriate. Copies of sketchbook can be included in this format along with the portfolio. Work will not be returned.
    Mail with your name and address to: Admissions Office, Art Center College of Design, 1700 Lida St., Pasadena, CA 91103

Written essays

A) A letter of intent (1,000 words or less) focused on the applicant’s motivation for pursuing graduate study in Industrial Design at Art Center, that discusses personal goals for post-graduation as well as the applicant’s views regarding any specific areas of interest within the field of design.

B) Project proposal: $10 million and two years. A description of a program or activity that the applicant would (hypothetically) propose to pursue if given an open budget of $10 million and a time frame of two years.

Your resume

A formal resume and bio covering educational and relevant prior experience.

Required English Proficiency Testing

Graduate applicants whose bachelor's degree was achieved in a language other than English must score at least 100 on the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) or 7 on the I.E.L.T.S to be considered for admission.

Visit www.TOEFL.org or www.ielts.org for testing and procedures information. Art Center does not accept institutional scores, and all scores must be sent directly from the testing service. We do not accept electronic download scores from I.E.L.T.S. In addition, the College may require minimum scores on each section of the test.

Letters of recommendation

Submit two to three letters of recommendation from academic and professional references by mail to Art Center’s Admissions Office or by email to admissions@artcenter.edu.
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