Please note that the following description is an abbreviated version, and valid only for the Master of Arts is explained here. The application process for the Bachelor of Arts programs differs and
Application process for Master of Arts programs in Design
Visit us at the School of Design in Pforzheim on open house days (the ‚Werkschau‘, for example), scheduled informative meetings, portfolio consultations, and talk to our professors and students. For individual advisory meetings with our faculty staff please contact the respective Research Assistants (you can find their contact data with the respective program).
Read as much as you can! For example, there is our FAQ section on the website with content about the application and registration process, and much more.
2.) Prepare your application documents
(Please use translated and legally attested copies, never hand in original certificates!)
- The respective Master Program Application form (download see below)
- Description of motivation (max. 2 pages)
- Legally certified copies of last completed Bachelor degree and, if available, additional completed degrees (including german or english translation, more information below)
- Letter of recommendation
- Proof of language proficiency according to program specifications (further information below)
- Portfolio (according to §3 i): printed, maximum size 30 x 43 cm, no original works; bound as a book / portfolio. There is no regulation regarding the quantity of the pages. The portfolio should give an overview about the skills, the creativity and the projects already acquired and accomplished. The layout and the arrangement or which sketches/projects/information are presented in this portfolio is part of the application (further program specific information below)
- a signed letter of consent which allows the university to discard your application documents including the portfolio of artwork if they are not being picked up in the set timeframe after the application process
Proof of Language Proficiency in German if German is NOT your first language (according to §3f): Pforzheim University requires for the MACD German language skills on the level of DSH Prüfung (DSH 2), TestDaF (> 16), telc German C1 Hochschule or Goethe Certificate C2. Submit one of the mentioned tests.
The first degree (Bachelor / Diploma) has to be a degree in design / arts with at least 180 ECTS.
English language skills are strongly recommended.
Please note: All international applicants for a Master's degree program have to send in their complete application one month earlier than the regular application deadline (April 30th/Oct 30th), so the deadline for international MACD applications is March 30th / September 30th.
Enrollment for MACD is in October (winter semester) only.
The MADFM also accepts portfolios with digital elements. If you intend to submit digital projects please attach an original and signed written statement about the authenticity of the works.
Proof of Language Proficiency in German if German is NOT your first language (according to §3f): Pforzheim University requires for the MACD German language skills on the level of DSH Prüfung (DSH 2), TestDaF (> 16), telc German C1 Hochschule or Goethe Certificate C2. Submit one of the mentioned tests. English language skills are strongly recommended.
A proposal for a possible research project. We are interested in what you would like to accomplish with the MA Design & Future Making
Letter of motivation (2 pages max.) which should, among others, address the following questions:
- Which experiences will you personally contribute to the MA Design & Future Making?
- What inspires you about the MA Design & Future Making?
- What do you understand under „Future Making“?
- Tell us something about a relevant piece of work, innovation or research that you currently find super exciting and enriching.
- Describe something that you believe will have an impact on the future of design and society.
Please note: All international applicants for a Master's degree program have to send in their complete application one month earlier than the regular application deadline (April 30th/Oct 30th), so the deadline for international MADFM applications is March 30th / September 30th.
Enrollment for MADFM is in October (winter semester) only.
Proof of Language Proficiency in English if English is NOT your mother tongue: Pforzheim University requires for the MATD English language skills on the level of TOEFL (IBT Minimum 87 Points, Computer-based Minimum 230 Points, Paper-based Minimum 570 Points; ITP Minimum 560 Points), IELTS (ab 6,5), oder TOEIC (ab 785 Pte.) oder equivalent (European Reference CEFR Level B2).
More information for international students.
The Bachelor's Degree or University Diploma has to be in Industrial Design or Transportation Design with a minimum 180 ECTS credits. Your final degree should be a better mark than 2,5 average.
Records of employment, if applicable
Basic german language skills are recommended!
Please note: All international applicants for a Master's degree program have to send in their complete application one month earlier than the regular application deadline (April 30th/Oct 30th), so the deadline for international MATD applications is March 30th / September 30th.
Enrollment for the MATD is possible in both summer and winter semester.
Due to internal processes we ask all international applicants to hand in their complete application by March 30th (for enrollment as student in following October) or September 30th (for enrollment as student in following March). Don't be confused: the regular deadline for german applicants is four weeks later (April 30th / October 30th) – but we need some time to check all foreign documents.
E-mail-applications or late applications won’t be considered – please make sure your complete, printed application has arrived here before the above mentioned date. Also, incomplete applications (applications missing an approved test of language proficiency / approved university degree / portfolio) will NOT be accepted, and you will NOT be notified that something is missing.
Please also make sure that the custom documents are declared in a proper way and that all customs duty and forwarding expenses regarding the application documents and portfolio are fully payed. Pforzheim University will not pay any additional costs/freight charges. In that case your application documents and portfolio will be sent back.
Send your application to the following address:
Fakultät für Gestaltung
Please note the application deadlines differ according to your chosen field of study (see above).
Enrollment is as follows:
MADFM: program starts in October (winter term)
MACD: program starts in October (winter term)
MATD: program starts in March and October (summer and winter term)
3.) Test of artistic aptitude (pre-selection, admission test and admission interview)
- The admissions committee will make a pre-selection of applicants, based on the submitted portfolios and application documents. Typically, the applicants will be informed about 2 weeks after the application deadline if they are invited to an admissions exam and / or admissions interview a the School of Design (these parts of the application process usually take place approximately 5-6 weeks after the application deadline).
- The admission test will show us if you are able to solve a typical design task on the fly. The participants are informed of the given task on test day and have four hours at most to solve it. Whether applicants have to do the test or not depends on the Master Program they apply for and / or on the number of ECTS they achieved in their first degree.
- Admission interview: We would like to get to know you in person! Interview topics can include your work as shown in your submitted portfolio, your research proposal, areas of design you find interesting, your background as well as potential work experience.
Please plan for a full day for the test and interview at our facilities.
2 - 3 weeks after the admission test and interview you will be notified whether you will be accepted as a student in your desired master program.
We are looking forward to your application! Good luck!
Enrollment, Fees, Insurance
If you got accepted as a student and have all the necessary documents ready (visa, proof of health insurance etc.) you can submit a request for enrollment as a student ('Antrag auf Zulassung zum Studium'). You will be notified in advance when and how to submit the request.
There is no tuition, but around 160 Euro of semester fees for enrolled students of the Hochschule every semester (administration fees, contribution for the 'Studentenwerk', and the 'Verfasste Studierendenschaft'). You will be notified when to pay and to which bank account, if you are accepted as a student. More information on fees
Additionally, the State of Baden-Württemberg introduced tuition fees for international students from the winter semester 2017/2018 onwards. The law stipulates that international students are required to pay 1,500 euros per semester. For more information on that topic please check this page.
Please also be aware that upon enrollment as a student you will also have to present proof you have health insurance, and you also might have to take care of a visa for Germany in advance. Classes usually start around March 15th / October 1st.