Application Deadline: December 1*

*For Fall 2022 applicants who submit their University application by Dec. 1st, additional materials, including the Creative Design Prompt submission for B.A./B.F.A. Design majors, will be accepted through the grace period deadline of Dec. 8th.


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 2022 must submit a response to the following prompt:

Design is a broad field that can be practiced in many ways for many purposes. As designers, we might create projects that:

  • Document the past
  • Comment about the present
  • Speculate about the future
  • Dazzle and delight the senses
  • Express a vibe or identity
  • Clarify complex information
  • Guide or give instructions
  • Rethink an object or experience
  • Create a call to action

As a budding designer yourself, we’re asking you to create and share with us a new work using ONE of the above approaches for a creative design submission. You can use any medium/format you wish to create your final work.

Behind-the-Scenes video essay:

In addition to uploading your final work, we invite you to create a short, 60-second “Behind-the-Scenes” video essay that describes your motivations, intentions, and/or the story of how you made your work.

Intentionally open-ended:

We invite you to showcase your interests, lean into your existing skills, and use tools or technology you have available to you for your submission. We’re interested and eager to see your creative approach to such an open-ended prompt.

Some things you might consider:

  • Try to limit the amount of time you spend on your submission to no more than 6 hours.
  • Embrace and work with what you have around you.
  • Use your submission as a way for us to get a sense of who you are, how you think, and what you like making.
  • If you’re unsure of where to begin, consider addressing a tension between the way something is currently, and the way it could, should, or might be.

Creative Design Prompt Checklist:

You will upload two files:

  • One final work of your choice in response to the creative design prompt
  • One 60-second (max) “Behind-the-Scenes” video essay

For your final work, you can submit using any of the file types listed:

  • Document files must be less than 1GB:
    • Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd
  • All other file types should be less than 5GB (smaller files encouraged for easier upload) in size and are accepted in the following formats: 
    • Video*: While our system can accept multiple video file types, we strongly advise students submit their video as a .mp4 file or include a link to Vimeo or YouTube (be sure to set privacy settings to public).
    • Audio*: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma 
    • Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff 
    • 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.

*Any video or audio submission files should be no longer than 60 seconds.

For your Behind-the-Scenes video essay, either:

  • Upload it as a .mp4
  • Submit a public hyperlink to your video (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

Submit Now

Design Prompt FAQs 

 Wait, so I don't need to submit a portfolio?

Freshman: Nope! We are only requiring freshman applicants to submit the design prompt response in your application; please do not submit a formal portfolio. We’re interested in what you have done, but at the moment our interest is in understanding how you create in real-time. The value of your previous accomplishments and your lived experiences can show up in this work, just as it may with anything else you do! Whether you have a formal background in design or do not, we hope this prompt will give every applicant a chance to show us their creativity.

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). Any audio or video examples should be no longer than 60 seconds.

All students are encouraged to highlight their other design-related experiences, creative 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 should I include in my “Behind-the-Scenes” video essay?

In the design program, you’ll learn the design process is as important as the final finished product. That's why, in addition to uploading your final work, we invite you to create a short, 60-second “behind-the-scenes” video essay that describes your motivations, intentions, and/or the story of how you made your work. 

Be creative! But be sure to be clear and concise with the information you want us to know about your creative work. Try to limit the amount of time you spend on your submission to no more than 6 hours. Don’t just show us the “how” but also the “why” behind your design choices and goals.

You do not need to be a skilled video editor for this. Our interest is not in how great you are at making videos, but rather in getting a view into the way you work and think. We can see those things, regardless of your level of experience with video creation. Create your “Behind-the-Scenes” video essay in whatever method is accessible to you, whether that’s using iMovie, TikTok, or just simply using your smartphone camera! Include whatever visuals you think necessary to help support your video presentation. Also, it is your choice whether you want to appear in the video or not.

What if I don't have design or editing software?

No problem! You can create your work for this prompt submission with whatever tools, technology, or materials you have access to. Additionally, feel free to explore various free/low-cost design software alternatives to the Adobe products here.

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, you should know this prompt is purposely open-ended so that you can choose to showcase your creativity in a format/design medium accessible to you. In the past, we’ve had students submit things such as furniture designs, art installations, app designs, and graphic media. Also, we’ve even had very successful out-of-the-box submissions like a marching band performance mockup, a puppet show, and a map of UT made entirely of cookies!

Hoping to learn more about the prompt requirement? Stay tuned for more opportunities this Fall to connect with current staff, students, and faculty to learn more about our program and the admissions process.

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 Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator! 

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

Reach out to our SDCT Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator! 

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

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