Application Requirements

Get Started

Prepare yourself for a new and exciting career in design with the Masters of Design + Innovation program. Below outlines the application process so you can get ready to roll. Get started by gathering and preparing the required materials.

For questions, contact our enrollment coach Anna Denucci.

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Required Materials

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Creative brief
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Application fee
  • International students

Step One - Start your application

Start the application process by applying online.

Step Two - Add resume

Add your Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the online application.

Step 3

Compile your Creative Brief. The creative brief must include three parts: a) a Statement of Purpose, b) a short Design Prompt, and c) a Portfolio of Past Work. It must be uploaded in the online application within the “Statement” tab as one PDF document and cannot exceed 4 MB.

3A Statement of Purpose

Tell us why you’re interested in our program. It can be what has motivated you to learn more, what career goals you may have, or even what you hope to get of the program.

3B Design Prompt

Imagine you were to redesign anything (think broadly: product, process, service, brand, experience, etc.), what would it be? How would you get started?

3C Portfolio of Work

In no more than 10 pages/slides, please tell the story of 2-3 recent projects of which you are proud. Be as visual as possible, including project images and sketches. 

Step Four - Upload documents

Upload your unofficial transcripts to the online application. All applicants must upload a copy of their transcript from their undergraduate institution and other previous higher education institutions, including other graduate studies.

Step Five - Send letters of recommendation

Include two (2) letters of recommendation. Enter the recommender email contact information into the online application. Recommenders will receive an email with instructions for the survey and recommendation letter upload process.

Step 6 - Pay fee

Pay the application fee

Step 7 - Personal Interview (if necessary)

A personal interview with MDI program staff (in the form of a telephone call or video chat) may be required.

International Student Information

English Proficiency Scores (TOEFL/IELTS) – required for those whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English. See Graduate School Requirements for Admission ( for more information and exemption policies. Scores are accepted if they are within two years of the start of the admissions term for which applicants are applying. TOEFL scores should be electronically sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to institution code 1846 (no department code is needed). IELTS scores should be electronically sent directly from IELTS to UW-Madison, Graduate Studies.

The Master of Science in Design + Innovation program is not a STEM-OPT program, CIP code: 30.9999 Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.

Graduate School Resources for International Students