MFA in Design

MFA in Design

University of California, Davis

Pictured: Valeria Soto and Ryan Allen. Courtesy of UC Davis.

November 19, 2021
MFA in Design
MFA priority application deadline: January 15
MFA rolling application deadline: May 1
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8528

Virtual open house: December 14, 1–2:30pm, PDT
RSVP here for Zoom link.

The UC Davis Department of Design virtual open house is a great opportunity to learn more about the Design MFA program at UC Davis. We will give an overview of the program and curriculum, answer questions about the admissions process, and touch upon life as an MFA student at UC Davis. There will be a chance to ask your specific questions to a panel of faculty and current MFA candidates. 

The UC Davis Department of Design is the only comprehensive academic design department in the University of California system. Our MFA in Design is a two-year program that encourages an interdisciplinary approach through research and practice that align with social and environmental responsibilities. We offer graduate students a unique opportunity to work with a dedicated and renowned design faculty within one of the nation’s top public research universities. 

Fully-funded MFA with tuition and health insurance paid; Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions; state-of-the-art Makerspace, shops, labs, critique and studio spaces; travel and production stipends and fellowships; interdisciplinary learning across the university; deeply engaged and highly active faculty; Associate Instructor teaching opportunities; Lecture series featuring renowned speakers; collaborative exchange opportunities; yearly exhibition opportunities.

Our two-year program guides students to develop their research and creative practices based on key understandings of design issues in history, theory, and practice. Through a series of carefully designed core courses, students progress alongside their cohort members while simultaneously advancing their individual theses. The MFA program culminates in a written thesis and a thesis project in a widely publicized thesis exhibition. 

UC Davis Design is also pleased to announce a new pilot initiative on international exchange—the Design MFA International Sponsored Exchange Program. Our inaugural international exchange is with the School of Architecture at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, with generous funding support from the Mexican energy agency. 

We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This commitment is reflected in our efforts to recruit more faculty of color and the diverse makeup of the student body, as well as in our varied research interests contributing to conversations in social justice, sustainability, public interest, and public-engaged scholarship.

A focus on innovation and excellence distinguishes UC Davis, which is highly ranked in the nation and the world, according to influential university ranking publications like U.S. News & World Report (national and global), QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and The Princeton Review. The Wall Street Journal recognized UC Davis as the fifth-best public university in the United States in its Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking (2018). Washington Monthly magazine ranked UC Davis second nationally among Affordable Elite Colleges in 2019.

Contact Melany Miners, Graduate Program Coordinator at or T 530 752 8710.

RSVP for MFA in Design
University of California, Davis
November 19, 2021

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