The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Admissions Process

Admission to the Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) program is through an application and portfolio process outlined below. Admissions are conducted at the end of spring and summer semesters. Students must have all pre-requisites complete by the spring semester of application with exception of DES 4011. Students may fill out the application Spring 2018 and complete DES 4011 in the Summer 2018 semester and still qualify. (Space in the summer section of DES 4011 is very limited) The admission process includes an online form and portfolio submission.

University of Utah students interested in the Design program should contact our college advisor, Grant Allen to set up an initial advising session. Students who are actively pursuing pre-requisites with the intent of applying should declare their major as Pre-Design as soon as possible. This allows us to better communicate and notify potential students of portfolio workshops, lectures, etc.

Please note that admissions to the MDD program is solely based on portfolio. Grades in pre-requisite classes are not a guarantee of admission to the program. 


This application process is for students who have completed (or will complete this spring or summer semester) the pre-design courses and all the general education requirements at the University of Utah.  The Admissions Office may be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (801) 585-9206.


Part 1: Application Form

1. The application form is available from April 1 – April 30, 2018. The application form must be completed and submitted before April 30, 2018. Students taking DES 4011 in the Summer 2018 semester who would like to apply for admission to the program in the Fall 2018 should complete the application form before April 30, 2018. 

2. The following questions are included in the application form. Please complete each answer in 250 words or less:

> How do you think the MDD program will benefit your education and career in design?

> In what ways have you engaged the MDD program? Please list any lectures attended, service or other related activities that you have participated in.

> The MDD program seeks to admit motivated and self-directed students who will define their own trajectory in education and the design profession. How do you plan to leverage a degree in design.

> Please list the focus points in our program that interest you.

> Describe a difficult situation that you have faced working in a group. What actions did you take, what was the resolve, and what did you learn?

> Are you planning to apply to graduate school?

> Do you want us to know anything else about you as a candidate?


Part 2: Portfolio

1.  You must submit a portfolio for consideration in the Design Major. It must be received in the MDD office not before 8:00 AM on Monday, May 7, 2018 nor after 4:00 PM on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Instructions for the portfolio, including delivery instructions, may be found on this web page below under Portfolio Requirements.

> Please note, if you are applying for admission to the major in Fall 2018 but are taking DES 4011 in Summer 2018 you must complete Part 1 above, but you will submit your portfolio at the end of the summer semester. 



1.  You will not need to ask for any letters of recommendation.

2.  If not presently attending the University of Utah:

a. You must be a current University of Utah student to apply to the program. If you are interested in transferring from another school, you must first transfer to the U, complete the design pre-requisites and then apply to the MDD program.

b. Students must also apply to the University of Utah:





Admission to the undergraduate major in Multi-Disciplinary Design requires submission of a portfolio. An optional, informal discussion and question period will be held during spring semester for interested students. Please check the home page events listing for date and time.



Your portfolio for application to the Design Program is an important opportunity for you to craft an artifact that communicates your design ability. You should consider the design of the portfolio as yet another design problem. There are some guidelines, but we are interested in the format and materials that you choose to express the narrative of your work.

You should begin the process of designing your portfolio by reviewing the questions on the application form. This will help you identify what it is that you want to communicate with work you select and the design of the portfolio.



1. Title page. The title page, a separate sheet, should include your name, address, phone number, and University of Utah identification number (if you have one).

2. Samples of your Creative/Visual Work. The contents may include anything you feel conveys your abilities:design, graphics, industrial design, paintings, drawings, sketches, photography, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, engineering studies, creative writing, poems, essays, choreography, musical scores, etc.

3. You are encouraged to include the best work from your design courses or other course work, as well as extracurricular creative projects. The portfolio must include work from the required studios, ARCH 2630 or DES 3600, and DES 4011 (or DES 4010 if completed before Spring 2018).

4. If you include work done in a professional office or studio, please identify the professional’s name, your specific contribution to the project and your level of involvement.

5. Please include your process of work. We are very interested in seeing how you move from initial thought to final artifact. Sketches are required.

6. Plagiarized work automatically disqualifies your application.



1. Portfolios should be clearly marked with your name on the exterior.

2. Include a title page with your name, University ID, contact information, and program of interest (Design Major)

3. Please submit reproductions of your work as we cannot guarantee the safety of originals. Use high quality black and white or color print photography, computer images or photo-reproductions. Slides and CDs are not accepted.



Portfolios must be submitted to the MDD office in the North Studio on the third floor of the Architecture Building. If you wish to have the portfolio returned, you may include a self-addressed, adequately stamped container to insure return by mail in the early fall. The MDD program will take prudent care of your portfolio; however, it cannot be responsible for lost or damaged materials.