Opportunities for graduate studies

Graduate students come to the University of North Texas to be part of an exceptional design community where scholarship, research and creativity flourish. The Department of Design in our College of Visual Arts and Design is filled with exceptional artists, faculty and visiting scholars who will support you in developing the conceptual, technical and analytical skills needed to achieve success as an active, innovative and involved designer. Our students are consistently competing, showing their work and winning awards.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks our Master of Fine Arts degree program among the best in the nation. We offer a M.F.A. degree in Design with concentrations in:

  • fashion design
  • innovation studies
  • interior design

A Master of Arts degree in Design with a concentration in innovation studies is also available. Our design program offers you the opportunity to:

  • collaborate with other dynamic artists and designers
  • discover your creative potential to innovate and re-invent design solutions
  • learn from award-winning faculty members with real world experience

The fashion design and interior design curriculums focus on the development of creative scholarship. The M.F.A. in interior design, which is the terminal degree in this field, also includes a pedagogy sequence. This degree qualifies students for an academic career. The M.F.A. in innovation studies is for students who possess professional experience in communication design or a related discipline. It is designed to immerse you in collaborative experiences and learning situations where you can invent methods that fuel the development of new processes, products and systems.

The M.A. in innovation studies provides students who have not studied or practiced design with learning experiences that will help them apply and build real-world knowledge regarding design theories, methodologies and practices.

The College of Visual Arts and Design is one of the nation's most comprehensive visual arts schools, and it is considered one of the best in the Southwest. Our state-of-the-art facilities include:

  • a powerful computer network, known as a render farm, for creating visual design projects
  • 150,000 square feet of specialized classrooms, studios and galleries
  • a 90,000 square-foot dedicated Art Building
  • the UNT Art Gallery, which offers 2,500 square feet of exhibition space

Other educational assets include the North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, the Visual Resources Center, the Print Research Institute of North Texas, an extensive art and library collection, and the Texas Fashion Collection.

In addition to exceptional studio, exhibition and campus resources, you can also participate in the wide variety of cultural and career options available throughout Dallas and Fort Worth. An active visiting artists/scholars program will expose you to artists from around the globe.We also offer opportunities to study and travel in foreign countries.


Admission requirements

You must meet the admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School as well as the department's specific requirements. We expect your bachelor's degree to be in the same or a closely related field as outlined below:

  • Fashion design – fashion, clothing and textiles, apparel manufacturing, etc.
  • Innovative studies (M.F.A.) – communication design, graphic design, advertising art, etc.
  • Innovative studies (M.A.) – marketing, engineering, computer science, anthropology, sociology, education, information science, etc.
  • Interior design – interior design, architecture, etc.

The program admission requirements are:

  • acceptable GRE scores
  • a 500- to 750-word statement of purpose indicating your reasons for attending graduate school
  • a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA (only applies to students seeking admission to the innovation studies program)
  • a portfolio of work relevant to your subject area (If you’re applying to the M.A. program, you will need to submit a portfolio of writing samples.)
  • three letters of recommendation

You can be accepted on a conditional basis if you do not have the recommended background for the option you intend to pursue.

For graduate school requirements and possible exceptions, visit More information about the college’s admission requirements, including those for international students, is available at


Degree requirements

M.F.A. degree

Fashion Design or Interior Design concentration

  • 30 credit hours of studio time
  • 12 credit hours of art history
  • 9 to 15 credit hours in a minor
  • 3 credit hours of research methods
  • 6 credit hours in Problem in Lieu of Thesis

Innovation Studies concentration

  • 18 credit hours in design
  • 12 credit hours in art history
  • 12 credit hours in interdisciplinary courses
  • 12 credit hours in design pedagogy
  • 6 credit hours in practicum


M.A. degree

Innovation Studies

  • 21 credit hours of required major studies
  • 9 credit hours of interdisciplinary course electives
  • 6 credit hours of supervised practicum (interdisciplinary, teambased, independent study)


Financial assistance

Our college offers financial assistance to graduate students on a competitive basis with teaching assistantships and fellowships and area assistantships. Levels of appointment and positions vary from semester to semester. Students awarded half-time appointments (work 24 hours per week) are eligible to receive state-paid health insurance for themselves, a reduced rate on insurance for spouses and children, and out-of-state tuition waivers.

We have approximately 60 teaching assistantships and fellowships and 20 area assistantships available each long semester to graduate students who are pursuing art degrees. New M.F.A. students may be eligible to receive $1,000 Academic Achievement Scholarships for their first year of study. This award qualifies a student for in-state tuition rates and is renewable for a second year if the student makes satisfactory progress in his/her program during the first year.