The Design Research program creates an arena for advanced students to explore and enhance their skills in design research areas such as Technology, Environmental Design, and Health, and Community-Based Design, a component of the latter. Driven by the interdisciplinary nature of design, the program addresses the future in response to the emerging and complex designed environment. Designers operate in a world of increasing intricacy; this degree gives candidates a greater depth of knowledge and experience in topics relevant to present and future challenges in design. The program focuses on providing a forum for students to pursue paths of inquiry and investigation within design, technology, environmental design, and health. This flexible program operates with a core curriculum that is built on, and augmented by, a customized set of electives, and the second year thesis sequence.
Please view our academic calendar for term start dates.
|Fall (Sept)||Winter (Jan)||Spring (March)||Summer (June)|
|U. S. Applicants||Sept. 1||N/A||Feb. 22||N/A|
|International Applicants||June 13||N/A||Feb. 22||N/A|
For details regarding the items below, please review the Admission Application Instructions.
How to Submit Application MaterialsDrexel Admissions is currently processing application documents received through the U.S. Postal Service and courier services (DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.), although there is a slight delay in processing these documents. We strongly recommend that you submit all official transcripts and supporting documentation electronically to email@example.com. If your school is not able to send official transcripts electronically, please request that official documents be sent by mail or courier service. Please allow 3–4 weeks for transcripts and supporting documents sent by mail or courier to be processed. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time at Drexel and around the world. We will process all documents as soon as we receive them, but please expect some delays.
Graduate Admission Application
Applicants may only apply to one program. All documents submitted by you or on your behalf in support of this application for admission to Drexel University become the property of the University, and will under no circumstances be released to you or any other party. Please note, an application fee of $65 U.S. is required.
Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all of the colleges and universities that you have attended. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges and universities that you have attended.
Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency.
Precise, word-for-word English translations of all non-English language documents are required along with official documents in the original language. All translations must be completed by the issuing institution or an ATA-certified translator. Visit the American Translators Association website to search for an ATA-certified translator.
International students: If you have already graduated from your previous institution at the time of your application, please email your graduation certificate(s) attached as PDF or Microsoft Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Any international applicant, regardless of program, may be required to provide a transcript evaluation should the Admissions Committee determine it is needed for the application to be reviewed. If your transcripts are selected for a course-by-course evaluation by an external agency, you will be responsible for supplying all necessary documentation and paying all necessary fees to have your transcripts evaluated.
If you have questions regarding what documents you must submit to fulfill the transcript requirements, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Transcripts must be evaluated by an approved agency for admittance into this program. Drexel University accepts course-by-course transcript evaluations from members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). For a list of member agencies, please visit the NACES website.
Test of English as a Foreign Language
International applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL minimum scores: 90/577/233), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS minimum Overall Band Score: 6.5), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE minimum score: 61) unless they meet the criteria for a waiver.
Please write approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel; your short-term and long-term career plans; and how your background, experience, interest, and/or values, when combined with a Drexel degree, will enable you to pursue these goals successfully.
Submit your essay with your application or through the Discover Drexel portal after you submit your application.
Upload your résumé as part of your admission application or through the Discover Drexel Portal after you submit your application.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required. To electronically request recommendations, you must list your recommenders and their contact information on your application. We advise that you follow up with your recommenders to ensure they received your recommendation request — they may need to check their junk mail folder. Additionally, it is your responsibility to confirm that your recommenders will submit letters by your application deadline and follow up with recommenders who have not completed their recommendations.
Request recommendations with your application or through the Discover Drexel portal after you submit your application.
Alternatively, you may submit your recommendation letters by mail. Letters must include the address, phone number, and signature of the recommender. The recommendation envelope must be submitted unopened to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
You must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. A degree in design or a design-related discipline is preferred. For all applicants, with or without design-related degrees, dossier, work samples, and transcript review by program director will determine the required prerequisites.
The Design Research Graduate Admission Committee will examine your work to understand your point of view, accomplishment level, creative problem solving, and systematic thinking. Portfolios may include traditional media, design or creative projects, creative or research-based writings, alternative creative practices, or any combination of media. The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom.
Applicants should submit a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 pieces of your strongest and most recent work in your area of study and accomplishment to date. The work should demonstrate a balance of technique and concept. Time-based portfolios should be limited to a five-minute maximum. Writers, please submit a minimum of 6 to 12 pages of written work of either a single piece or numerous smaller pieces.
The portfolio may include any combination of professional design work, student design work, drawings, paintings, printmaking, photography, graphic design, architectural design, interior design, ceramics, sculpture, fiber art, fashion design, jewelry and metals, furniture, designed objects, animation, computer-generated images, film, video, performance art, audio recordings, websites, video games, sketchbooks, scripts, storyboards, creative writing or research writing.
In addition to or instead of submitting a traditional portfolio, you may submit alternative creative practices where appropriate. For example, a research-based paper or project; video blogging; online curation; professional design work; speculative design work examining and redesigning an existing space, product, or interior; narrative outline for a short script or interactive design; or an observational essay of curatorial practice in a museum gallery or public space may inform the admissions committee on your interests and intentions.
Please direct inquiries regarding the portfolio to:
D.S. Nicholas, Assistant Professor; RA, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, IDEC
Director, MS Design Research
Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism