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Design for Social Innovation

School of Visual Arts


August 16, 2013

School Location

New York, New York

136 West 21st Street, 5th floor
New York, New York 10011

About the Award

The DSI Peace Corps Service Award will be granted to outstanding Peace Corps Volunteers who demonstrate passion and curiosity about the world’s diverse people and species, and who want a career that makes a difference. We welcome generalists, visual thinkers with a breadth of experience – people who want the tools and skills to work in a variety of industries and roles, and are willing to become the next leaders in design for social innovation. The scholarship will cover a portion of the tuition for the two-year Masters program.


We are looking for visual thinkers. You have a choice of sending a portfolio or a case history of something you’ve done. We don’t expect for you to have solved the world’s challenges already. We’ll get started on that together.

Applicants to the MFA Design for Social Innovation Program must have an undergraduate four-year degree from an accredited college or university. Core design skills and mastery of applications are required, including all programs in Adobe Creative Suite, After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, HTML and Flash. Remedial courses for those who do not have mastery of the core design applications can be arranged and should not discourage candidates from applying. After applying through the SVA portal all materials should be sent digitally in an email to the Director of Operations, Raolat Abiola at rabiola@sva.edu.

Application Instructions

Official Transcript

As mentioned, all students must be able to prove that they have received a bachelors degree from an accredited institution. SVA now offers electronic submission of transcripts, please contact our Director of Operations, Raolat Abiola at rabiola@sva.edu if you have questions.


This should include your professional experience as well as any research, awards, or exhibitions
English Proficiency

If English is not your primary language you will need to prove proficiency through TOEFL (minimum scores of 79 internet-based, 213 computer-based, 550 paper-based) or IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.


Essay articulating the individual’s vision for how he or she will contribute to the betterment of the world, of up to 500 words in length and submitted in Word or PDF format.


Option 1: Portfolio reflecting a wide range of design work from communication design, product design, 3-D and interactive design, data visualization and system design. Portfolios should be submitted on a CD in Apple OS X-readable format, titled with last and first name. This folder will contain any combination of the following: 15- 25 still images of print or photography, in jpeg format, no more than 1 MB each, and including a one-page digital slide sheet in .pdf format, titled with last and first name which contains a thumbnail and description of each image. Up to 3 video files, in Quicktime format, no larger than 5MB each, and no longer than 2 minutes. A word document with up to 5 urls of websites. and/or Option 2: Case Histories reflecting initiatives that the applicant has led, and that demonstrate social innovation. Up to 3 case histories of complete campaigns, with written text explaining the problem, solution and results if available, with thumbnails of visual elements.

Personal Interview

Applicants under consideration will be contacted to schedule an interview.

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