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Photo: Manuel RotenbergPhoto: Manuel Rotenberg.

Application Information for the MFA Program in Sound Design

We thank you for your interest in the MFA Sound Design Program!

To All Potential MFA Design Applicants: The UC San Diego MFA Design program will not be accepting any incoming MFA Designers in Fall 2023. We will resume accepting applicants in Fall 2024.

When we begin recruitment for a new MFA Design cohort, please see below for detailed application instructions. 

Please upload the following materials through the UC San Diego application portal:

  • Official transcripts or official copies of academic records from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. For the online letter of recommendation process, you must provide the email address of each recommender.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Portfolio (more information below).


Design applicants must upload a small representative portfolio of audio files with your application.

Your design portfolio is the most important part of your application to the Design program. It is a measure of your ability to communicate design ideas through visual and aural material, to work with space, color, sound, and form, and the use of research materials. It should document the growth of your work over time, and should include your own work from the last few years. Please do not include examples of work you assisted on, UNLESS the work shown is actually your own.

We would like to see research, work-in-progress, and finished work. This helps us assess your design process. Sound design system configurations, either hand drawn or computer generated, should include equipment list, sound plots, and clearly marked cue sheets. Sound and music samples should be submitted as stereo audio files. Uncompressed, large, or multi-channel files must be hosted by the applicant and can be linked to in their application. 

These materials should be uploaded via the UC San Diego application portal.


All design students are encouraged to apply early. Once your application materials have been received and reviewed, you will be contacted by email or phone to set up an interview appointment with the appropriate member of the design faculty.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Theatre & Dance at 858-534-1046 or