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What will I learn?

The Design PhD program focuses on the study of relationships between humans and their designed environments. This focus is based on the assumption that design and analysis of environments contributes to the improvement of the human condition. The program addresses theory, research, and application, using a shared disciplinary base from the arts and social and behavioral sciences. The goal of the program is for students to analyze, evaluate, and integrate theoretical frameworks related to humans and their designed environments. Applications submitted to the design graduate program specify one of the following tracks: Apparel Studies (including dress, history, and culture; product development; and retail and consumer studies); Graphic Design; Interior Design; Architecture

Intake: Fall and Spring

Which department am I in?

College of Design

Study options

Full Time (64 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$27,612.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected January 2023


College of Design

12 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Avenue,



55108, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Anyone who has or will obtain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside the U.S. may apply for graduate admission. The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.40.

For international students

The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.

Eligibility requirements vary by track. Requirements by track are available below

For Architecture track: a professional M.Arch degree is required; Apparel Studies Track: An undergraduate degree in the area of clothing textiles (e.g., retail merchandising; clothing design) is preferred; Graphic Design track: an undergraduate or graduate degree in graphic design or a related field is preferred. Alternatively, applicants must have completed at least 12 semester credits of relevant design coursework or a minimum of 3 years of professional design experience; Interior Design Track: an undergraduate or graduate degree in interior design or architecture is required; experience in interior design practice is preferred.

English Language Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL iBT – Total Score: 79; Writing Subscore: 21; Reading Subscore: 19; IELTS Academic – Total Score: 6.5; Writing Subscore: 6.5; Reading Subscore: 6.5; Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic) – Total Score: 59; Writing Subscrore: 59; Reading Subscore: 59; Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) C1 Advanced – Total Score: 180; Writing Subscore: 180; Reading Subscore: 180.


About University of Minnesota

UMN is one of the United States’ top public research institutions, where students gain a world-class education on a historic campus in a vibrant city.

  • 150+ undergraduate and 200+ graduate programs
  • Beautiful campus with the Mississippi River on site
  • World-class academics and close personal support throughout
  • Opportunities for scholarships and financial awards

Get in touch