MFA in Design: Admissions

Graduate Admissions

VCUarts Qatar MFA in Design Concentration: Design Studies

The VCUarts Qatar MFA in Design with a concentration in Design Studies is a full-time, two-year, studio-based interdisciplinary design program. Students complete 60 credits of graduate coursework over four semesters. Instruction takes place on the Qatar campus of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, and the degree is issued by the VCU home campus in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

Admissions Image 1

Slip cast vases
Image by: Raviv Cohen

Application Deadline

MFA priority application deadline: January 15

Please submit your application and all required items online by January 15, for August enrollment. Admission decisions will be sent to applicants by April 1st.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts: a bachelor-level degree in design or a related discipline from an internationally accredited university
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Portfolio, in PDF format, 20 pages maximum
  • Statement of Intent
  • CV/Resume
  • Scan of passport or Qatar Residency Permit
  • English language proficiency test scores for applicants who hold degrees taught in languages other than English
  • Three letters of recommendation

Upload unofficial transcripts, listing all courses completed and grades earned. Upon acceptance, official transcripts will be required prior to enrollment. Transcripts issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English language translation.

A portfolio is a collection of your best and most recent work, documenting and demonstrating your creative experience. The number and type of projects you choose to include is up to you, but the portfolio must be in PDF format, 20 pages maximum. For time-based media, sound, or other projects that are difficult to document in PDF format, you may include a link, providing online access for the admissions committee.

In 1-2 pages, show us how you use language to persuasively express ideas. Discuss your creative practice and refer to the work documented in your portfolio. Relate your past experience and future goals to your interest in our MFA in Design program.

Document your academic and work experience, highlighting aspects that have prepared you for success as a graduate student in the MFA in Design program at VCUarts Qatar.

If you are a citizen or resident of Qatar, upload a scan of the front and back side of your QID. If you are an international applicant who does not yet have Qatar residency, upload a scan of the first two pages of your valid passport.

For all applicants whose undergraduate degree program was taught in a language other than English, upload documentation as follows: TOEFL: 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based), 88 (internet-based), or higher; IELTS: 6.5 overall band score, or higher.

Request letters of recommendation from three former professors, teachers, mentors, or supervisors. You will be asked to provide contact information for each recommender, including an email address. Recommenders must be familiar with your academic and/or professional ability and be able to reflect on your aptitude for graduate study.

Cost of Study

Academic Year 2024-25

  • The amounts listed below apply only to students who started their current degree-program studies at VCUarts Qatar in Fall 2019 or after.
  • Students who started their current degree-program studies at VCUarts Qatar prior to Fall 2019 may verify their respective “Tuition/Fee Block” at the VCUarts Qatar Intranet*.
FULL TIME ENROLLMENT – 9-15 credits per semester*
Per Academic YearPer Academic Term/Semester
TuitionUS$ 30,374.86QAR 109,374.18US$ 15,023.93QAR 54,687.09
Comprehensive FeeUS$ 1,036.36 QAR 3,772.32US$ 518.18QAR 1,886.16

* The “Tuition/Fee Block”-model is not applicable to students who started their current degree-program studies at VCUarts Qatar in Fall 2019 or after. Students who started their current degree-program studies in Fall 2019 or after should anticipate an increase in tuition/fee each academic year. 

PART TIME ENROLLMENT – 1-8 credits per semester*
Tuition – PER CREDIT US$ 1,652.91QAR 6,016.59
Comprehensive Fee – PER CREDITUS$ 87.05QAR 316.86 

Financial Support

Students admitted to the MFA in Design program at VCUarts Qatar are eligible for both merit and need-based graduate fellowship assistance. A separate financial aid process for the MFA in Design program will be available only after offers of admission are sent to applicants. Once an applicant has been offered a place in the program, we endeavor to make it possible for that student to attend, regardless of financial status. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of creative scholars.


For questions related to your application or the admissions process, contact the VCUarts Qatar Office of Admissions and Recruitment at [email protected]

For questions about the MFA in Design program and its compatibility with your goals, contact the Director of Graduate Studies at VCUarts Qatar, Rab McClure, at [email protected]