Dan Boyarski pointing to a screen to a studio full of students

The School of Design welcomes researchers, advanced doctoral students, and teachers to apply to join us as visiting scholars. Each engagement with a visiting scholar is unique and carefully negotiated. Over the past several years we have welcomed a wide range of visiting scholars: full-time researchers from industry, teachers doing research on design history, advanced doctoral students working on their dissertations, and instructors sitting in on classes to observe how we teach.

The start date and length of a visit can vary and may include remote components. We typically accommodate visiting scholars only during the school year which runs from late August to early May. You are encouraged to begin the proposal process for visiting as far in advance as possible, especially if you are a non-US citizen as visa processing times may be a factor.

Most successful visiting scholar arrangements result from an existing alignment with one of our faculty members. Once there is potential for collaboration or hosting, the faculty member(s) in the School of Design can advocate for your visit and be an integral part of the planning and visit process, in consultation with the Head of School and program directors as appropriate.

Once you have established a connection with a faculty member(s) you will be asked to provide a proposal that outlines:

  • Your faculty host in the School of Design
  • Why you want to visit the School of Design
  • What you intend to accomplish here
  • Why your work is relevant to our mission
  • The length and proposed timeframe of your visit
  • Whether you plan to observe specific courses within the school, and what they might be
  • Design faculty with whom you plan to work closely, in addition to your host
  • Your ability to pay for your visit, including travel, lodging, and food
  • Your current CV
  • A web-based portfolio if applicable
  • Examples of your scholarly works or publications
  • Links to relevant information about your work
  • Lists of courses you have taught, if applicable
  • Three academic or professional references


The faculty member serving as your host or advocate will be asked to provide a letter of endorsement for your visit.

If you submit a proposal to join us as a visiting scholar without prior connections to School of Design faculty, your application may still be reviewed and considered. However, acceptance of these proposals will be based on the school finding an appropriate faculty host, and academic fees may be assessed for your visit.

Please note that if your application to join us as a visiting scholar proceeds beyond initial positive review, additional steps and documentation may be required as set by Carnegie Mellon University policy and state and federal law, for example:



If your proposal includes teaching, you will be required to provide proof of English proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS test scores).

We look forward to hearing about what you could bring to our school and community! If you have any questions, please reach out to us at visiting-scholars@design.cmu.edu.