Future Online Students

Apply to Herron’s Design Thinking for Collaborative Innovation online program

Herron welcomes applicants from many backgrounds beyond design, such as business, communication, public health, environmental affairs, engineering, technology, and biomedical sciences. Successful applicants to the online program value academic rigor, professionalism, collaboration, and interdisciplinary exploration. They take creative risks and are interested in insight-driven innovation into their evolving practice.


In order to apply to Herron, you must:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree, but there are no disciplinary requirements and diverse backgrounds are expected
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Submit a personal statement explaining why you want to enroll in the certificate program and how your interests complement your studies

If you have prior experience in design work or collaborative problem solving, you are invited to provide evidence in any suitable format, such as a portfolio.

Application components

  • Complete the online application

    Visit IUPUI's online graduate applicationPlease note: SAFARI and CHROME users must enable pop-ups and third-party cookies in order for the application to function properly.

    On the "Application Information" tab within the IU online graduate application, select "Graduate Certificate" when asked "What type of degree do you intend to pursue?" Then select Herron in the "Academic Program" section.

  • Personal statement and resume

    Upload a personal statement explaining why you want to pursue the certificate, and how it will benefit you professionally and academically. The statement must be 500-750 words in length.

    Also upload a resume outlining professional experiences into the "Additional Uploads" section of the application.

  • Transcripts

    Mail or email official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended, as well as from any graduate programs you have attended, if applicable. Official transcripts are not required from IUPUI or another IU campus.

    Transcripts must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as well as 18 or more credit hours of studio art. These prerequisite credits do not have to be completed before applying to the program, but they must be completed before the start of the first semester of the visual communication design master’s program. If the original transcripts are not in English, the documents must be in the native language and must be accompanied by verified English translations.

    If you are in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable. If admitted to Herron, you must submit a final, official transcript to the Office of Admissions and Student Services, verifying the completion and award of your degree prior to your matriculation.

    Mail or Email transcripts to:

    Herron School of Art and Design

    Office of Admissions and Student Services
c/o Graduate Admissions
735 W. New York Street HR 126

    Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5222

  • Portfolio

    The nature of your portfolio depends on the nature of your experiences.

    If you are a recent graduate from an undergraduate program in design, your portfolio will most likely represent the best of your undergraduate studio experiences. If you have worked professionally in a field of design, your portfolio will most likely represent client work. In either case, focus on as much communication as possible, showing your design processes.

    Do not create a portfolio that contains only designed products. Your portfolio should demonstrate how you solve problems. Include "briefs" that define the problem or opportunity statements and communication objectives, as well as the audience and context for each project so that your work can be evaluated meaningfully.

    Submit up to 5 portfolio pieces online at herron.slideroom.com. The cost to use the site is $10. It is possible to submit time-based work using Slideroom.

  • Proof of English proficiency for international applicants

    Proof of English proficiency is required for international students unless the applicant’s undergraduate degree is from a university that is located in a country where English is the official language.

    Most commonly, students submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. TOEFL scores must total 79 or higher on the iBT (550 or higher on the paper-based test). IELTS scores must total 6.5 or higher.

    Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to IUPUI by the testing agency. The IUPUI reporting code for TOEFL is 1325. Other tests or ELS coursework may be accepted in order to verify English proficiency.

    For a list of all options and minimum scores required, please see the IUPUI Office of International Affairs English Requirements.

  • Further documentation for international applicants

    For a full list of required documents, please visit the IUPUI Office of International Affairs.

Application fees

  • IU online graduate application fee: $60 for U.S. citizens, $65 for international applicants
  • Herron portfolio submission fee: $10 (non-refundable; cannot be waived)

Application deadlines

  • Fall admission: August 1
  • Spring admission: October 1


Ask an admissions advisor, or contact Herron’s Office of Admissions and Student Services directly at 317-278-9400 or herron4u@iupui.edu.