Application Information

Our application process for 2015-2016 is closed.


Austin Center for Design accepts applications through May 1st. We will announce acceptance/rejection by May 15.


Our one year program costs $12,000. Program cost will be raised to $14,000 for the academic year of 2016-2017.

Eligibility for Admissions

Austin Center for Design seeks students who have an existing interest and proven track record in art, design, business, social work, or technology. The rigorous program in Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship brings together these students in a creative environment to produce working, multi-platform design systems. Students do not need to have an existing undergraduate or graduate degree in art, design, business, social work, or technology in order to apply. Previous professional working experience is not required, but is highly recommended.

Portfolio Requirements

A portfolio of work is required for admissions, in order to illustrate a professional "body of work". Note that this body of work need not be visual, and it is expected that students from various disciplines will submit a wide variety of work artifacts. Submit work related to your core discipline and background:

  • Design work should be presented visually, showing the process and final design solution in a clear and concise manner.
  • Other creative and visual work, such as advertising or fine art, should show the final artifact or solution, and should describe the particular project goals.
  • Design research work (and other forms of applied ethnography or anthropology) should be presented in a manner that illustrates the topic being studied, the rationalization for the group observed, and key findings.
  • Business and marketing work should be presented through analytical reports, presentations, or other artifacts; be sure to describe the needs supported by the artifacts, and the result of the various reports, pitches, diagrams, or analytics.
  • Software and code (both front and back-end development) should be presented in a way that articulates the problem being solved, the constraints (such as time and resources), and the outcome (is the work live, and being used?)

In all cases, the portfolio should showcase an applicant's best work, presented as professionally as possible. It should demonstrate the applicant's interests in and aptitudes for advanced study and, specifically, potential for success at Austin Center for Design. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best work. It is not necessary to add extra work if it is not consistently strong (less is more - show only a few high quality pieces). All materials should be submitted electronically.

Images should be saved as high-quality JPEG or PNG files (with a file suffix of .jpg or .jpeg, or .png), PDF files, or digital portfolios created in PowerPoint, Director, Flash or HTML. Online portfolios should be checked to assure that links work properly and all necessary files are included. Applicants should indicate whether special instructions are necessary for the viewing of online portfolios. In the case of documented, professional or group projects, applicants should indicate personal responsibilities.

Resume Requirements

A resume or CV is required for admission. The resume should list a history of the applicant's previous work, education, awards, and other accomplishments. The resume should be submitted as a PDF file.

Statement Of Purpose Requirements

A statement of purpose is required for admission. The statement of purpose should describe, in no more than 3000 words, the applicant's intent for attending Austin Center for Design. The statement of purpose should be submitted as a PDF file.

Additional Details

Students may apply any time throughout the year, but all students begin their course of study during the first Fall Quarter (in August). The school reserves the right to verify all documents submitted in application for admission. Any falsification of admission documents or portfolio materials constitutes grounds for termination of application procedures or dismissal from the school. Only complete applications will be considered. The application fee of $50 is nonrefundable.

Visa Support

AC4D is unable to offer any formal sponsorship of international visas; however, we will certainly write letters of support for students who are able to obtain a legal visa to remain in the United States on their own behalf.