The Stanford MS Design Program is project-based and highly immersive. We teach the process, mindsets and skills needed to lead influential design teams. We are looking for exceptional students to join us at Stanford and help us transform the world.
We invite excellent students from all backgrounds, including those from historically underrepresented groups in engineering, to consider Stanford University for their graduate studies. In making admissions decisions, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) will comply with the requirements of the law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, evaluating each applicant based on their “experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race.” We continue to value a diverse student body that benefits the educational experience of our students and our mission of generating knowledge at Stanford University.
The admissions application as well as general information about applying are available at the Stanford Graduate Admissions website.
The Stanford MS Design Admissions Virtual Info Session for the current 2023-24 application cycle was held Friday, October 27, 2023 from 9 to 10:30am Pacific Time. View the latest session recording HERE.
Sign Up below if you would like to receive updates for next admissions cycle’s virtual informational session in the Fall of 2024.
The Stanford MS Design application portal will be open late September 2023, for Autumn 2024 admission. The following documents and an application website are required.
A completed application, including official TOEFL scores (if applicable), unofficial transcripts, and all letters of recommendation, must be received by our program’s application deadline of Friday, December 01, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. There are no exceptions.
Begin by electing Design (MS) as your intended degree program on the online application.
Visit the Stanford Grad Admissions website for more details.
Statement of Purpose
The Statement of Purpose is an essay no more than two pages in length. This is a forward-looking essay addressing your plans for Stanford and beyond. This essay should not dwell on past experiences. The place to show us about your past experiences is your application website. Instead, in the Statement of Purpose, past experiences should be mentioned to bolster your plans for the future.
Three Letters of Recommendation
At least one letter from academia if the applicant has been out of school for a while.
One copy from all postsecondary institutions attended. Upload one digital or scanned version of your unofficial transcript(s) to the online application. Submittal of official or physical copies transcripts are NOT required unless requested directly by the Stanford MS Design Grad Admissions Office.
GRE scores are not required for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.
Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and earn at least the University minimum required TOEFL score to be eligible for admission as detailed here.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that your TOEFL scores are received by Stanford Grad Admissions by December 2022.
A digital application website is required. Provide the full webpage URL (Uniform Resource Locators) when prompted in the online application portal.
We are a masters-level program that teaches design thinking, creativity methodology, a human centered-ethnographic approach to design, strategic innovation, and design leadership. Once a basic mastery of these proficiencies is obtained, they are applied to solve problems that will benefit the world. Therefore, students who enter the program should have already mastered basic skills that they can bring with them as a toolkit for the program. For example, they could bring design skills such as quick idea sketching, product rendering, and prototype building. Or, they could bring skill sets in coding, storytelling, or manufacturing. Your website is intended to help us assess the toolkit you are bringing to the program: your underlying visual and creative abilities. Some of our current students’ websites are available here on our program site and each one is unique.
There are no specific guidelines on the kind of website you submit or how many projects should be part of this website. Think of the website as your vehicle to demonstrate who you are and how you think. Your website is our window into your creativity. It also shows us what kinds of design problems are important to you, so make it personal.
Passwords to projects that must remain confidential can be submitted via the online application portal also. However, we strongly recommend only doing this if the projects are highly confidential.
Applicants will be notified of their application results by the end of March 2023. A large number of applications are processed each year. Please do not contact our program faculty or staff for application status updates.
Questions about submitting the application materials should be directed to email@example.com.