Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate FAQ

Do you consider early applications?

No, the admissions deadlines are December 1 for freshman applicants and March 1 for External Transfers. Submitting your application earlier than the deadline will not affect the department’s admission decision.

Does SDCT only admit students in the top 10% of their class?

In the College of Fine Arts, we have a completely holistic review process. When considering students for our programs, we look at an applicant’s creative submissions (if required), high school transcripts, admissions essays, leadership experiences both in and outside school, and test scores [if required]. For all students, be sure to highlight your experience and interests related to the major you selected throughout your application.

For those applying to Design, be sure to showcase your creative talent, experience with making, problem-solving abilities, and unique style.

For those applying to Arts and Entertainment Technologies, be sure to highlight any creative experiences related to technology in areas such as gaming, programming, building objects with electronics, traditional art transformed through technology, live performance and theatre technologies, and social media/mobile app development.

How many students are in the School of Design & Creative Technologies? What is the acceptance rate?

As of Fall 2022, SDCT has 568 undergraduate students enrolled:

  • Design: 195 undergraduates
  • AET: 373 undergraduates

Admissions to both Design and Arts & Entertainment Technologies are competitive, and the acceptance rates vary year-to-year. We encourage you to take your time and pay attention to each part of your UT application in order to showcase the full range of experiences you may bring to the program. We also recommend prospective students explore our current course listings and examples of student work to see if SDCT is right for you.

When will I know whether or not I’ve been accepted?

Freshman and external transfer students will be notified of their acceptance by the UT Austin Office of Admissions through their MyStatus pages. Freshman notices are typically given by March 1. Transfer notices are typically given by June 15. Current students at UT Austin applying as an internal transfer to SDCT will receive a notification via the UT Austin Internal Transfer Application portal in mid-summer.

Is there a laptop requirement and software recommendations for each program?


Can I apply to two majors at the same time?

No. In the School of Design and Creative Technologies, you can only apply to one major at a time. You can apply to add a simultaneous major in the semester in which you will complete 30 hours in-residence at UT. Please be sure to meet with your academic advisor to get guidance on how this may affect your timeline for graduation.

Can I pursue a minor in addition to my major?

Yes, students are able to obtain a minor in colleges across the university. The University of Texas at Austin offers numerous opportunities for students to enhance their educational experience. We encourage you to explore the Minors & Certificates page to learn about academic opportunities beyond your major. Our students often pursue Bridging Discipline Programs offered through the School of Undergraduate Studies.

Can I transfer between the B.F.A. in Design and B.A. in Design programs?

If you are a current major in the Department of Design who wishes to change between the B.F.A. in Design and B.A. in Design, set an appointment to meet with your undergraduate academic advisor to learn about the process. Set an appointment

Does SDCT offer a degree in video game design?

While UT Austin does not offer a specific degree entitled “Game Design,” The School of Design and Creative Technologies and UT offer many resources for students to focus their coursework in preparation for the gaming industry. Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) students can focus their upper-level coursework in game design classes such as AR/VR for Gaming, Game Scripting, Level Design, UI/UX for Gaming, and more.

Additionally, The University of Texas at Austin has gaming curriculum entitled the University of Texas Game Development and Design Program (GDAD). The program is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET), the Department of Computer Science (CS), and the Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) and is intended for undergraduates with career interests in the gaming industry. Classes specifically on game design are offered by AET, coursework in coding for games and visualization are offered by CS, and courses offered by RTF center on narrative design, cinematic arts, and emergent media. This program culminates in the completion of the Capstone Course. Students interested in pursuing this curriculum should apply as an undergraduate student to the AET major and work with their advisors to plan out their degree plan accordingly.

Does SDCT offer scholarships?

A limited number of Fine Arts scholarships are awarded each year to incoming freshmen and transfer students based on the quality of their application materials. Students do not need to apply for these scholarships; all applicants are automatically considered for these awards. Students should also explore other university scholarships and financial aid options via Texas One Stop.

What if I am not admitted to the School of Design and Creative Technologies?

If you are admitted to UT Austin, but are not admitted to SDCT, we welcome you to join one of our student organizations, register for our non-major or CID courses, or attend one of our events. While we do not offer specific minors in SDCT, many UT students explore adding a Design Strategies or Digital Arts & Media Bridging Disciplines Program certificate into their degree to prepare for SDCT-related careers.

Graduate FAQ

How many students are in the Graduate programs?

  • M.F.A. in Design: We admit 4-8 students each admissions cycle. Our cohorts are intentionally small to maximize faculty resources and individualized support.
  • M.A. in Design focused on Health: We admit 15-25 students each admissions cycle, including Dell Medical School students in their third year of medical school. 

What is a statement of purpose and how long should the statements be?

The Statement of Purpose is a required item to apply to our graduate programs. This is your opportunity to describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study in Design at The University of Texas at Austin. Please share with us your academic and professional interests and how your work in this program will help you achieve your goals.

Visit your desired program's Apply page to view the specific prompt for your Statement of Purpose.

Do I need a portfolio to apply to the M.A. in Design focused in Health?

No. A portfolio is not required for admission, however, portfolios are welcome from applicants with an art or design background. 

What should be in my portfolio for the M.F.A. in Design?

Your best, most current work that displays a point of view and supports your candidacy in the area in which you are applying. Read about Preparing a Portfolio.

Do I have to submit 20 images?

Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple images from 5-8 projects. The number of images shared should not exceed 20.

Do I have to take the GRE?

No. The GRE is not required for admission, however, any professional entrance exams (GRE, MCAT, MBA, etc.) with high scores should be submitted.

Do I have to meet TOEFL/IELTS language requirements?

All International Students who did not attend U.S. or other Anglophone undergraduate institutions must meet language requirements.

Who should my recommenders be?

People familiar with your work who have worked with you as teachers or employers. Recommendations must be submitted by recommenders directly via MyStatus.

How do you evaluate the applicants?

  • M.F.A. in Design: Program faculty give a holistic full-file review of the portfolio, written material, academic history and the interview, if applicable, to make a recommendation for admittance. Successful applicants demonstrate a clear understanding of the program's intentions coupled with a desire to investigate a secondary area of study through intersectional research and exploration. While we don’t require an undergraduate degree in Design, we do expect applicants to have a foundation in design that is exhibited through the portfolio. Read more about applicants.
  • M.A. in Design focused on HealthProgram faculty give a holistic full-file review of all materials submitted.

Do you conduct interviews?

Maybe. We will conduct phone or Zoom interviews as needed.

When will I find out if I am accepted?

  • M.F.A. in Design: All applications are extensively reviewed and acceptance or denial notices are delivered by email mid-March.
  • M.A. in Design focused on HealthWithin 6-8 weeks of the “Round” or deadline to which you apply.

I studied something else for my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?

Yes. However, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year institution by the time you plan to matriculate.

Additionally, for the M.F.A. in Design, you must show some knowledge of design in your application.

I applied before. Can I reapply?

Yes. Previous applicant files are reviewed without prejudice.

If accepted, can I defer?

We highly recommend you attend the semester for which you apply as deferrals require a review by the admissions committee for the next admissions cycle.

Can I get a critique of my submitted materials?

Due to the sheer volume of applicants, we cannot offer critiques of files.

Are the Master's programs STEM certified?

No, the Master's programs are not currently STEM certified.

What facilities do we have access to as Graduate Students?

The Design Department at the School of Design and Creative Technologies is housed in the Anna Hiss Gym (AHG), Art Building (ART) and the Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA). M.F.A. Design students share a private studio space and classroom in AHG. M.A. in Design focused on Health students share a private studio space and classroom in ART.

As a student in The School of Design and Creative Technologies, you will have access to many other departmental and university resources, including The Computer Lab, The Design Lab, The Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab), The Wood Shop, The Visual Arts Center (VAC), The Foundry, Harry Ransom Center, The Materials Lab, and more.