Published on Apr 28, 2021

Two Applications

There are two applications you must complete before the deadline to be admitted to the program in the Fall Semester.

International applicants are requested to apply before the international deadline to allow for Visa Processing.

  • We only admit students in the Fall Semester
  • We only accept applications from October 1 - May 15
  • University Application Due Dates
  • International students launched by May 1
  • Resident students launched by May 15
  • Transcripts for the university application June 1
  • Department Application Due Dates
  • International students completed by May 1
  • Resident students completed by May 1

1. University Application

  1. Complete the university application online at CAL State Apply .
  2. Pay the nonrefundable application fee at the time of application.
  3. Submit officially sealed transcripts from every college and university you have attended since high school (whether or not a degree was granted) to:

    Office of Admissions,
    California State University, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Hayward, CA 94542-3035

For international application, assistance:
Review this PDF: International student application guide PDF,
or email CAL State Apply,
or email CSUEB International Admissions Office

2. Department Application

Please submit via email the form or

  • Admission Statement. Please respond to the following two prompts. Limit your responses to 300 words for each prompt. We are evaluating your writing as part of the application. Please write entirely in your own words (do not quote or paraphrase others' writing). Organize your ideas into sentences and paragraphs, edit for clarity, and proofread for spelling and grammatical correctness (you may wish to seek feedback from a peer or advisor).
    1. Why do you wish to pursue a Master's Degree in Interaction Design and Interactive Art?What skills do you bring to the program? What challenges do you anticipate, and how might you address them? In your response, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize any relevant experience that may not be apparent elsewhere in your application. If you lack prerequisites, please indicate how you plan to fulfill them.
    2. Describe a specific example of interaction design or interactive art that you have experienced or learned about.How did users or participants interact with it? What features of its design were particularly notable or engaging? Please describe clearly and with enough detail that someone unfamiliar with the example can understand how it works.
  • Current resume(this document may be sent as an email attachment, preferably in a Word.doc or .pdf format).
  • Unofficial transcriptsfrom every college or university you have attended since high school (whether or not a degree was granted).
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation and portfolio may be mailed or emailed to the department separately from the application as long as all materials arrive by June 1, 2020. See Guidelines
  • Letters of Recommendation

    Letters of Recommendation can be the make-or-break difference in whether or not you gain admission to a particular graduate program. Here are some suggestions for obtaining the best possible letters:

    1. Make your request early, so the faculty member has plenty of time to meet whatever deadlines you have (tell them what your deadline is). Provide a self-addressed, stamped postcard that they can drop in the mail to you at the time of submission.
    2. Make your request in person or at least over the telephone and follow up with a formal letter of request or even a formal email. Follow up with a thank-you note. Some faculty need to match your name with your face before they remember you.
    3. Request letters only from faculty members who have worked with you recently or who know your work or will have good reason to remember you (sending them a copy of an old paper with their comments on it is useful).
    4. Send faculty a copy of your résumé, a copy of your statement of purpose or personal statement, and tell them in a couple of well-written paragraphs why you are applying to that school and program and why you are asking them for a letter. (If you are applying to more than one school or program, write a couple of different paragraphs about each one.) Sending these documents on a disk or as an email attachment allows the faculty member the ability to cut and- paste if they want to—saving them time and using your carefully chosen words.
    5. Remind the faculty of your past work and how what you did applies to the graduate program(s) to which you are applying.
    6. Give the faculty enough information to write a personal letter about you not just some vague, generic note. Faculty will often be completing a form which asks them to discuss such things as your leadership abilities, your written and oral communication skills, your analytic abilities, your creativity, how long and in what capacity they have known you, your interpersonal skills, your maturity, your experience in working with diverse groups of people and their assessment of your capability for doing graduate work.
    7. In all of your correspondence with the faculty, do NOT make any spelling or grammar errors, and D.O. take the time to make your request, your résumé, and any other materials look like serious, professional documents.
  • An online portfolio of relevant work 5 to 10 relevant works. All work must be original in fabrication and concept. Applicants are required to indicate their role if the submission is a result of a group project.

    Any works submitted that were influenced by another artist, such as master copies or pop-culture references, must be accompanied by proper citation See Guidelines

    Portfolio Guidelines

    General Guidelines

    Portfolios should be submitted in an online electronic format and should include the following:

    1. Applicant’s name and contact information
    2. Table of contents
    3. A description of the applicant’s individual contribution to any group or professional design projects
    4. Academic, personal, and/or professional projects. Each project should include:
      1. Project title and date
      2. Whether the work was done for academic, professional, or personal purposes (if academic, provide the course title and number)

    Portfolios should demonstrate creative skills and quality craftsmanship in a selection of traditional and/or contemporary media and techniques.

    1. Students should submit a portfolio of current design and/or related work that displays a candidate’s visual and content-related interests and abilities. The faculty especially likes to see self-directed/generated works or projects.
    2. Portfolios should consist of scholarly, academic, and/or professional work, and at your discretion, may or may not include visual material as related to your proposed research.
    3. Portfolios should specifically reference methods, media, and models (physical and intellectual, digital and analog, historic and contemporary, built and proposed) that demonstrate design fluency and intellectual depth in contemporary research questions and critical areas of inquiry.

    * In addition to the portfolio review, the admissions committee may contact you for a phone, in-person or Skype interview.

    OPTION 1 - Application for Majors

    This option is for students with academic backgrounds in experience design-related fields.

    1. Students are expected to submit 5–10 projects (not pages) with a table of contents
    2. Demonstration of fundamental abilities to design and communicate using the standard skills of the profession (digital, hand drawing, drafting, and modeling) as they relate to a variety of representational methods (e.g., plans, sections,elevations, perspectives, and models
    3. Use of a strong design project to show strengths in design work, the process behind the design, tools used, and the resolution of technical issues
    4. Use of creativity to demonstrate their design outlook and skill level

    OPTION 2 - Application for Non-Majors

    This option is for students with no formal academic background or experience in design-related fields. These students are using the portfolio to demonstrate their potential in design. The faculty who assess the portfolio will be examining how the student tells a story rather than the student’s already established design or technological skills.

    1. The submission of design project work is NOT expected
    2. The submission of examples of creative and/or scholarly items is expected. This may include expressions and activities, such as art or craft projects or installations, freehand sketches, photography, poetry, creative or scholarly writing, or compositions.
    3. The compilation of work will demonstrate a high level of critical thinking and the ability to think creatively
    4. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate how they apply a design lens to their varied academic backgrounds
    5. The portfolio is intended to show interest and potential aptitude for design
    6. The portfolio should include technical or professional achievements
  • Pathways for Non-majors

    For students who have compelling backgrounds in other disciplines, we also offer pathways to an M.A. in Multimedia with a concentration in Interaction Design that includes additional coursework.

    Based on review and consultation with the admission committee, we can offer a 3-year program starting in the preceding fall to students who have the passion but lack prior experience in the production and design of interactive experiences. A three-year option means that you will start in the fall semester and complete a year of preliminary courses before joining the regular cohort in the following year.

    Program Application for Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art

    To start your DEPARTMENT APPLICATION please complete this form.

    A first name is required.
    A last name is required.
    A last name is required.
    You must select a start term.

    You must attach a document.

    You must attach a document.

    Request two letters of recommendation mailed directly to from your referees business email.