students and visiting designers posing in a group photo in a studio


a group of xd students and faculty playing softball

xd'ers and faculty got out for an afternoon of softball on campus at Miami.

Experience design is a growing design area that needs people from all walks of life. The human experience is diverse and as a transdisciplinary program, the xdMFA champions diversity—bringing together people who already research, lead, and create design outcomes but want to expand their abilities as Experience Designers. If you're ready to take the next step, learn how to apply for the Experience Design xdMFA, below.

Application Materials

The following content should be included in application materials for the MFA in Experience Design:

  • Transcripts
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal Statement
  • URL for a Portfolio of Work Website
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

We provide a few suggestions below to help clarify what should be included in these materials.


The Miami University Graduate School uses an online application for graduate admissions. All materials listed above must be submitted using the online application. Some application items are a little different than traditional graduate school applications because of the xdMFA's emphasis on research and practice.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Include relevant work and academic experience and if applicable, prior exhibitions, research, teaching, awards, client projects, presentations, and professional or volunteer organization memberships or leadership positions. This document should also include a link to the applicant's personal website that showcases a portfolio of work (more details about this website below).

Personal Statement

Provide a personal statement of purpose outlining your academic interests, professional goals, and reasons for selecting the MFA in Experience Design at Miami University. We encourage applicants to write this statement so their personality, interests, and goals show through.

URL for a Portfolio of Work Website

Provide a URL address "link" to a personal portfolio of work website. The website does not have to be expertly designed and can be created using tools and sites like Cargo,, GitHub, Medium, Squarespace, Bēhance, or other online services.

Considering the MFA in Experience Design is intended for people with a wide range of design-related expertise, portfolio application materials may differ widely for each applicant. Some examples of portfolio content that would be accepted for review include:

  • Motion design and video design work
  • Graphic design, industrial design, architecture, or other design work
  • A plan or proposal that coordinates how design outcomes were coordinated for a marketing campaign
  • Papers that address design issues and social impact
  • Papers on consumer behavior and how it relates to design
  • Smartphone apps and other programmed media
  • Designed games (physical or screen-based)
  • Research reports or case studies that address design-related topics
  • Research reports or case studies on issues of human behavior or communication and relationships to designed outcomes

Notice how each of these examples are designs or are about design in some way. "Design" is a broad and complicated concept. For portfolio review purposes, anything that is human-made and intended to be used for a clear purpose is a design outcome. This portfolio will serve as evidence of applicants’ existing congruence with experience design—as a practitioner or as someone who researches, applies, or directs designed outcomes. This portfolio must demonstrate proficiency in a design-related area.

Email a URL for this website to the xdMFA Graduate Director, Dennis Cheatham, when you apply:

Due Dates

Applications for admission into Experience Design are currently accepted for only fall semesters.

  • The priority deadline to apply is February 1; however, applications will be accepted up to May 1.

Apply Now »

Tuition, Fees, and Costs

The MFA in Experience Design was designed to be cost-effective for students. Per-credit-hour costs are the same for all students, regardless of where they live and fees are low compared to those that are typical of coursework in higher education. Tuition and fees details:

  • Tuition: $964 per credit hour for all resident and non-resident students.
  • Travel Costs: Travel costs including lodging, transportation, and most meals are each students' responsibility. This allows students to select the accommodations they prefer.

The table below represents a recommended schedule to complete the degree and associated costs.

Cost Breakdown by Semester

Year 1
Semester Credit Hours Total
Fall 9 $8,676
Spring 9 $8,676
Summer 3 $2,892
Year 2
Semester Credit Hours Total
Fall 9 $8,676
Spring 9 $8,676
Summer 4 $3,856
Year 3
Semester Credit Hours Total
Fall 9 $8,676
Spring 9 $8,676
Cost Breakdown: Full Degree
Credit Hours Total
61 $58,804

NOTE: Fees are estimates and are subject to change. Does not include travel costs that are each student's responsibility. Does not include fees or other costs for optional ART 536 Applied Experience Design: Walt Disney World. Does not include fees or other costs for optional Interactive Media Studies Digital Innovation Center semesters in San Francisco or Cincinnati.

International Students and Financial Aid

Miami University cannot support international applicants who require an F-1/J-1 visa due to the nature of this program.

The xdMFA is a hybrid program where learning is delivered mostly online, so Miami University cannot provide the I-20 needed to obtain a student visa for international students. If a student is physically in the United States on a visa supported by someone else or if they can attend on-site locations otherwise (possibly with a visitors visa) then they can complete the MFA in Experience Design. Because most of this program is online, Miami University's International Student and Scholar Services office (ISSS) will not provide the I-20 needed by international students to get a student visa that is necessary to enter the United States.