The School of Design wants students to experience the world. By offering both a foreign exchange program (in which design students from around the world join us here in Pittsburgh) and a study-abroad program (that allows our undergraduates to live and study fully immersed in different cultures) we seek to broaden the range of our students’ experiences.
We encourage School of Design undergraduates to study abroad in their junior year. We have formal exchange agreements with many institutions (listed below), and we know that the courses they offer complement ours.
Carnegie Mellon University maintains an extensive range of contacts with overseas institutions. Please visit Office of International Education’s Study Abroad for more information. The university was recently awarded the U.S. Senator Paul Simon Award for excellence in international initiatives, reflecting our position as one of the world’s top-tier global universities, and recognizing the university’s accomplishments in preparing students to address society's most pressing challenges.
The first step is to meet with Melissa Cicozi, Assistant Head of the School of Design, to review your current course units and establish basic eligibility for study abroad. You can then proceed with applications. Please note that to be considered for study abroad, you must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate proficiency in design, and be readily adaptable to living abroad.
Most of your study abroad application will be negotiated with your host institution, but you must submit the following materials to the School of Design:
- A statement of intent outlining your motivation for studying abroad, a description of your intended host institution, and your planned dates of study. Please indicate whether you have already been accepted by the host institution (or whether your application is still pending) and when you anticipate receiving notification.
- Detailed contact information and URLs for the host institution and program
- A list of courses you propose to take at the host institution, with a parallel list of School of Design courses that these courses would replace
All applications should be submitted to Melissa Cicozi.
A committee of faculty members will review applications and email you about the approval of your proposal.
For study abroad in your:
Fall junior semester: application materials are due April 1 of your sophomore year
Spring junior semester: application materials are due November 1 of your junior year
Please note that these are deadlines for the School of Design only. Your host institution may have different deadlines or timeframes. Meeting these is your responsibility.
Once your application is approved, you must meet with Melissa Cicozi to ensure your courses abroad will credit to your degree requirements without any change to your program completion date. You must also attend an OIE pre-departure orientation and submit a Study Abroad Transfer Credit Form before departure. (OIE will issue this form and several others at your orientation.) When you return from study abroad, you will be required to summarize your experience in two formats:
- A written summary of approximately 2,000 words, with images, for faculty review and archiving
- A 10-minute visual and verbal presentation open to School of Design faculty and staff
Participating Exchange Partners
23 Lambton Quay
9/11 Rue de la Petite-Pierre
75011 Paris, France
+33 (0)1 45 89 31 32
Contact: Paul Vickers
Contact at Carnegie Mellon: Stephen Stadelmeier
Other Study Abroad Options
Design students always have the option to find a compatible program in which they would like to study. With this option, students apply directly to the outside school; all tuition and host university fees are the responsibility of the student. Design programs that have hosted our students in the past are:
- Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts (Krakow, Poland)
- Parsons Paris (Paris, France)
- University of New South Wales (Syndey, Australia)
- University of the Arts (London, England)
- Central St. Martins College of Art and Design (London, England)
- Danish Institute for Study Abroad (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Design Academy (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
- Domus Academy (Milan, Italy)
- Accademia Italiana (Florence, Italy)
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong, China)
- L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique (Nantes, France)
- London Institute (London, England)
- Nagoya Zokei University (Nagoya, Japan)
- Strate College (Paris, France)
- Studio Art Centers International, Florence (Florence, Italy)
- Surrey Institute of Art and Design (Farnham and Epsom, England)
- University of Art and Design (Helsinki, Finland)
- Schule für Gestaltung St. Gallen (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
If you identify a potential host institution other than one of our three exchange partners, it's important that you notify the School of Design several months in advance so that we can determine whether the curriculum complements ours. Not every academic institution is a good fit, and we discourage students from making choices based on geography alone. Your School of Design academic advisor or faculty members are available to counsel you in making the right choice for your course of study.
Visiting Students from Our Exchange Partner Schools
Students from our established exchange schools, listed below, are welcome to study with us for a semester in the School of Design. We accept a very limited number of applicants each year, reviewing them on a competitive basis. Typically, students have completed at least two years of study in their home program.
If you're interested in applying to study with us for a semester, please supply:
- A completed application form
- A statement of intent, including a description of your home program, your level of study, your motivation for studying abroad — particularly in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University — and your proposed semester of study
- Official academic transcripts from your home university
- Proof of English proficiency with TOEFL or IELTS scores (scores from other English proficiency exams are not accepted)
- TOEFL minimum acceptable score is 100, with no individual score less than 25
- IELTS minimum acceptable score is 7 for speaking, with no score lower than 6.5
- Your portfolio, preferably as a web link.
You may send your application by mail or email.
Send all materials to:
Study Abroad Coordinator
Carnegie Mellon University
School of Design, MMCH 110
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-3890
United States of America
Tel: (412) 268-2828, Fax: (412) 268-3088
For study with us in our:
Fall semester: application materials are due March 1
Spring semester: application materials are due September 15
A small committee of faculty members reviews foreign exchange applications. We will notify you by email about your proposal's approval.
Once we grant you permission to study in the School of Design, our study abroad coordinator will give you further information, including contacts for arranging course registration, housing, visas, forms and documentation required by the CMU Office of International Education.
Please note that we are only able to accept applications from students studying at our exchange partner institutions.
Students can also make arrangements to study abroad during the summer months, for example, at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Summer study-abroad programs are an excellent way to explore a wide range of courses and cultures over a shorter period of time. Design students are not required to obtain permission for summer programs unless they are requesting transfer credit. Students who request transfer credit must submit a proposal to the faculty head for their major and attend a pre-departure orientation sponsored by the university’s Office of International Education.