Application Deadline: Dec. 1*

*The ApplyTexas or Coalition application Freshman deadline for Fall 2021 has been extended through December 15 to be considered for the regular deadline. Students may submit all additional application items until December 21.

Looking for information about this program before applying?
Learn about the undergraduate Design program

On this page:

Application Instructions

  1. Complete the admissions application to UT Austin, either the Apply Texas or Coalition Application.
    • Apply Texas: When prompted in the online application, enter your first-choice school as “College of Fine Arts” and select your major as one of the following:
      • B.A. Design (510200)
      • B.F.A. Design (509954)
    • Coalition Application: When prompted in the online application, search “Design” under the Program tab and select your first-choice major as one of the following:
      • Design (B.A.)
      • Design (B.F.A.)
  2. After submitting your UT Austin application, submit your response to the Creative Design Prompt.
  3. Track the status of your application materials. After you submit your university application, you’ll receive an email that includes your UT EID, allowing you to access the MyStatus website.

Creative Design Prompt Submission

In addition to your required UT Austin application materials, all applicants to the Design major for Fall 2021 must submit a response to the prompt below.

In our design program, we value:  

  • Playfulness 
  • Observation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Inventiveness
  • Perseverance 
  • Iteration
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem-solving

...among other qualities. Choose TWO of the qualities above and make a new creative work that demonstrates how you value or embody both as a budding designer. We want to see both a final work and a glimpse into how and why you made it. In other words: show us behind the scenes. 

You may use any format to respond to this prompt: written, visual, audio or otherwise. Think carefully about what you want us to know, and be sure to show that off. Be creative! But be sure to be clear and concise with the information you provide about your creative work. You will be able to upload two files: one with your final work and the other showcasing your behind the scenes process. If submitting video or audio files, they should be no longer than 90 seconds. Files should be less than 5GB (smaller files encouraged for easier upload) in size and are accepted in the following formats: 

  • Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv 
  • Audio: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma 
  • Slide:  .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff 
  • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd
  • Link: If your materials are located on YouTube, Vimeo or another online service, you may include the URL link (be sure to set privacy settings to public). Google Drive links will not be accepted.

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Design Prompt FAQs 

Can I submit an additional portfolio showcasing my work? 

Freshman: We are only requiring freshman applicants to submit the design prompt response in your application. Please do not submit a formal portfolio.  

Transfers: In addition to the design prompt, transfer applicants must submit up to 5 recent examples of your design work from any medium. Reference the approved file format list above when uploading your work. If you have an online portfolio or other website with your work, you can choose to provide a URL in your transfer resume (no Google Drive links please). However, an online portfolio should not be submitted as one of your work samples. Any audio or video files should be no longer than 90 seconds.

All students are encouraged to highlight their other design-related experiences, involvements, and coursework within their UT application materials and essays. Since all of these materials will be taken into consideration during review, be sure to put as much thought and time as possible into each of these requirements.

What do you mean by “show us behind the scenes?” 

In the design program, you’ll learn the design process is as equally important as the final finished product. When creating your work for the design prompt, you must include documentation of the steps you took along the way.  

This could be outlining various stages of your project, early sketches, inspiration/research, video overview of your process, reflections, etc. Be creative! But be sure to be clear and concise with the information you want us to know about your creative work.

You have 2 file uploads to use to submit your response. Your first file will be used to submit your final work and the second file used to showcase your process. If submitting video or audio files, they should be no longer than 90 seconds. Within your submission, be sure to clearly label which TWO attributes from the list your work embodies.  

Can I see an example of a response to the design prompt? 

We want to see each student’s unique perspective and talent as an aspiring designer. Therefore, we cannot provide an example.  

However, we will be offering opportunities this Fall to connect with faculty/ current students to learn more about the program and ask questions about the admissions process. Also, check out other examples of current student projects on our Showcase page!

For work samples required for transfer applicants, what type of work can I submit?

For Transfers only: Include whatever you believe to be your strongest work in any or many media. This could include 2-D or 3-D art or design work, performance art, graphic design projects such as logo-design or yearbook layouts, application development, website design, robotics, coding or other digital concepts you’ve explored. If you have only been able to study a limited number of media, put together a range of work from those for submission. We just want to see what you think represents the work you love to make. Please note that you do not need to have formally studied or practiced design to have a strong application for this program. We are looking for evidence that you like to make things, are a creative thinker, and can solve problems.

Review our design program description and remember that we’re interested in a wide range of ideas and skills. We want to see how you think! Give your works descriptive titles (“poster design,” “prototype for chair,” “wireframe for a productivity app,” etc.) and tell us what materials, techniques, and/or software you used to create it. Feel free to include sketches and process documents as well.

When documenting your work, make sure you are taking photos or scans that have good resolution/clarity to show detail, are well-lit, and are cropped appropriately.

I’m having trouble uploading my work. Who should I contact? 

Reach out to our SDCT admissions coordinator! 

David Rezaei
View Profile 

Who can I go to with questions about the admissions process or to learn more about the design program?

Reach out to our SDCT admissions coordinator! 

David Rezaei
View Profile

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