VCU Bulletins

Design studies track – VCUQatar Campus

Chomowicz, Peter
Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs, VCUQatar

Admission requirements summary

Design studies track – VCUQatar Campus

of entry:


Apr 15

TOEFL or IELTS for international students

The design studies track, offered on the VCUQatar Campus in Doha, acknowledges that design is a professional discipline that is broadly based and highly collaborative, incorporating the transfer of knowledge across traditional domains to create products and processes of manufacture, environments, forms of communication and the organization of information. The program provides an educational environment where self-directed students with diverse knowledge sets in design and related disciplines collaborate and challenge the definition and development of design problems, processes and solutions. Students expand and deepen their abilities and increase their motivation to contribute directly to innovation, education and leadership in design-thinking and design-making. Graduates approach design on a strategic level to provide a high degree of constructive and sustainable value to the economic, social and cultural contexts of the global community. This track in the M.F.A. is pending VCU approval.

Admissions deadlines

The priority deadline for fall admission is April 15. The program will continue to review applications on a space-available basis until June 30.

Undergraduate preparation
Admission is typically granted to students holding an appropriate bachelors-level degree in design or a related discipline from an internationally accredited university. The required undergraduate grade point average for students entering the track is 3.0.

Language requirements
English language proficiency is required. All applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in the English language prior to admission. The program minimum TOEFL score requirement is 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 88 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5.

The admissions decision is based upon the ability of the student to present a portfolio demonstrating knowledge of design issues and a clear statement of intent. A minimum of 10 recent design projects that exemplify awareness, understanding and competency in design are required. Other pertinent data should be included as necessary.
Portfolios must be presented in electronic form (PDF files preferred on CD-ROM). Under special circumstances, these requirements may be waived. Applicants may be required to complete a provisional course of study prior to full acceptance into the program.

The school strongly recommends that applicants arrange an interview with the director of the graduate program to meet with graduate faculty and tour the facilities. Applicants may contact the school for an interview.

Probationary course work
Probationary course work may be required prior to gaining full admission to the program. The amount and type of undergraduate course work will be determined at the time of application, and no graduate credit will be awarded for this probationary course work. The decision to grant full admission will be based upon successful completion of the required course work.


Typical program pattern

First semester
DESI 511 Studio in Digital Design and Fabrication Technology
DESI 520 Design Research Methodologies
DESI 601 Interdisciplinary Design Seminar
DESI 611 Design Studio One
Second semester
DESI 510 Materials and Methods Studio
DESI 512 Studio in Visual Communications
DESI 612 Design Studio Two
Approved studio elective*
Third semester
DESI 605 Design Strategies and Ethics for Business
DESI 613 Design Studio Three
DESI 620 Design Thesis Research and Formulation
Approved studio elective*
Fourth semester
DESI 621 Design Research Studio: Leadership and Entrepreneurship 3

DESI 630 Teaching Practicum in Design
DESI 631 Design Internship

DESI 690 Thesis Studio
Total credits
* The 6 credits of approved electives can be selected from a variety of 500- to 600-level courses offered at VCUQatar, VCU in Richmond, another Education City university or another internationally accredited university anywhere in the world.



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Last update: 6/24/2011

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