Visual Communication Design

Apply to Herron’s M.F.A. in Visual Communication Design 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 program value academic rigor, professionalism, collaboration, and interdisciplinary exploration. They take creative risks and are interested in how design can improve people’s lives. They incorporate thinking, making, experimentation, and research into their evolving practice.

Application components

To begin the application process, visit IUPUI's online graduate application.

Apple Safari and Google Chrome users must enable pop-ups and third-party cookies in order for the application to function properly.

You will be required to provide contact information (i.e. names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) of three recommenders – faculty members or professional references – who will submit letters of recommendation via the online application system.

Recommenders will only receive an electronic request after you've submitted your online application. Through the online system, they will be asked to rate your abilities on a given scale and to submit their recommendation letters electronically.

Be prepared to submit a 2-3 page (approximately 500 words) personal statement describing your intentions for applying to this program, including a concise description of your past experiences that qualify you for this program as well as your future career goals.

Additionally, upload your résumé in the "Additional Uploads" section of the application outlining your professional experiences and other relevent pursuits.

Official transcripts from each institution you attended must be sent to Herron's Office of Admissions and Student Services. Official transcripts must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and completion of a bachelor's degree.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your academic record through your current term of study is acceptable. If admitted to Herron, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion and award of your degree.

For international students, if the original documents are not in English, a verified translation must be sent with your official transcripts.

Submitting electronic transcripts

If your institution(s) can submit official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to

If your school is sending limited-time login credentials that allow us to access their transcript system, be sure to make your request during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST).

Emailed unofficial PDFs of transcripts will not be accepted.

Submitting mailed hard copies

If there is an extenuating circumstance preventing the submission of official electronic transcripts, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Services at with an explanation and a representative will provide detailed mailing instructions.

Submit up to 10 portfolio pieces online at, including time-based media.

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.

Proof of English proficiency is required for international students unless the applicant&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 internet-based test (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.

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

Application fees

  • IUPUI online graduate application fee: $70 for all applicants
  • Herron SlideRoom portfolio fee: $10 (non-refundable; cannot be waived)

Herron will waive the IUPUI online application fee for U.S. citizens who talk with a Herron representative at the Graduate Portfolio Day event in Chicago. The online application fee cannot be waived for international students who participate in the Graduate Portfolio Day event.

Application deadlines

February 1: Deadline to submit your completed online application

February 15: Deadline to submit all supplemental materials


Ask an admissions advisor, or contact Herron's Office of Admissions and Student Services directly at 317-278-9400 or