Domus Academy
Pre-Master’s Semester 2018/19

Created for graduates, the Pre-Master’s Semester program provides students the foundational understanding of design that is required for admission to Domus Academy and NABA Master’s Degree programs. It also provides valuable opportunities to construct a professional portfolio under the guidance of mentors who are experts in the field. This four-month intensive postgraduate course prepares students to enter a Master’s Degree program at either DA or NABA or any design programs abroad.


Program Length
4 Months; Fall and Spring intakes available

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement
Curriculum vitae/Resume
Official Undergraduate Degree transcript
Copy of Undergraduate Degree
Passport scan (photo page)
Digital photo (passport style)
Italian privacy consent form

Application Deadline
Fall: June 15, 2018
Spring: January 15, 2019
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits

Program Dates
Fall: Late August 2018 – Late December 2018
Spring: Early April 2019 – Late July 2019


Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic: Completed Bachelor’s degree

*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Undergraduate GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

English Language:* Non-native English language speakers must submit IELTS: 6.0+ or equivalent.



This program is not for credit but rather is a preparatory program for enrollment into a full Master’s Degree program. Students who complete the Domus Pre-Master’s Semester are guaranteed placement in a Domus or NABA Master’s Degree program.

Program Aims & Objectives
In the Pre-Master’s Program, you’ll develop:

  • Your knowledge of broad design domains and your practical skills within each of these domains.
  • A clear understanding of the range of themes and processes relevant to a specialized area of study.
  • A professional portfolio in your area of interest, following the guidelines for entrance to the Domus Academy and NABA master’s-level programs.
  • The technical skills and organizational abilities you need for master’s-level learning, acquired through labs and project activities.
  • A variety of techniques and tools to better communicate and present your design ideas.

Program Structure
Faculty members teach according to Domus Academy’s renowned “learning by designing” approach. Thematic lectures are supported by laboratory sessions, project activities, and visits to design studios. You will have the flexibility to focus on your own areas of interest while meeting overall course objectives.

PART 1: Fundamentals [2 weeks/40 hrs] The Pre-Master’s Program begins with a comprehensive introduction to critical themes of contemporary design, including sustainability, innovation, and social design. Students examine the cultural, political, sociological, economic, and technological impacts of key design trends. Lectures encompass case histories of design challenges and solutions, supported by in-class discussions that examine and extend the issues raised. Students will have the chance to attend presentations by designers, artists, critics, and academics.

PART 2A: Principles [9 weeks/108 hrs] This part provides students with a comprehensive introduction to contemporary design processes, explored within cultural and historical frameworks as well as a global context. Each of these modules includes key lectures and project assignments that give students a working knowledge of the core subjects. Students may complete assignments according to their specific area of interest.

Module 1 – Critical Design [3 weeks/36 hrs]: The Critical Design module focuses on the impact (and the possible consequences) of new technologies and social trends. It also defines new objectives and areas of interest for designers. The process of critical design does not immediately lead to useful objects, but rather to insights that can support successful project development.

Module 2 – Branding by Design [3 weeks/36 hrs]: Design is, by definition, a branding tool. Global companies invest huge resources in this tool to lead the market with products of intrinsic, differentiating value. In this sense, products are often considered to be a natural extension of the brand and its values.

Module 3 – Thinkering/Open Source [3 weeks/36 hrs]: “Thinkering” is open-source thinking: engaging in a free and constructive collaboration with colleagues and other specialists within the design community. Thinkering is productively trying new iterations of a model, adapting them based on input, and sharing the pleasure of these activities in consonance with other minds.

PART 2B: Technical Skills/Labs [9 weeks, 72 hrs] Students choose laboratories in which they practice basic techniques of visualizing, illustrating, modeling, and presenting a project. The labs include key lectures and assignments that give students a working knowledge of the core subjects.

Lab A – Design of Visualization [3 weeks/24 hrs]: This lab explores various techniques and approaches for communicating project ideas on a human scale, that is, in words and images that others can easily understand.

Lab B – 3D + 3D Printing [3 weeks/24 hrs]: New technologies are making it possible to more rapidly and cost-effectively produce prototypes. This lab demonstrates how technology, creativity, and imagination combine to push the boundaries of 3D printing today, expanding possibilities for designers and creating new markets for direct-to-consumer sales.

Lab C – Draping and Patterning [3 weeks/24 hrs]: Students will learn tools and techniques of draping and fitting. They will also explore pattern cutting as the way to translate drawings into flat paper shapes, then into three-dimensional shapes.

Lab D – Digital Illustration [3 weeks/24 hrs]: Digital Illustration expands students’ digital knowledge so they can create stunning illustrations and informative infographics, including faux 3D effects, line work, shading, perspective, vintage effects, and more. Students develop techniques of digital drawing, narrative design, image composition, cuts and shots, image analysis, and treatment.

PART 3A: Portfolio Coaching [5 weeks, 48 hrs] A professional portfolio highlights your achievements and abilities and, most of all, is a tool for launching a successful career in design. Portfolio Coaching supports students to develop a consistent portfolio of excellent work, as required for advancement to the master’s level. Faculty members mentor students one-on-one, offering a deep and balanced evaluation of their concepts and skills.

PART 3B: Project Activity [5 weeks, 112/132 hrs] The Project Activity is an important milestone in the program. Students have the chance to select and integrate the knowledge gained during the course and apply it to a larger project within their area of interest. They are expected to critically reflect on their own practices as well as that of their classmates, by locating their own work within the context of the field.


Pre-Departure Calendar
June 15 2018
Application Deadline
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposit Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
May 1 2018
50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
July 1 2018
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-Site Calendar
Coming soon
Program Check-in & SAI Orientation
Students arrive in Milan independently prior to this date and must check in with on-site staff by this day. Check-in is followed by a brief program orientation.
Coming soon
DA Academic Orientation
DA orientation includes academic policies and information, as well as opportunities for students to get to know each other and meet professors.
Coming soon
Classes Begin
Coming soon
Fall Break (no class)
Coming soon
Classes End
Coming soon
Program End

Pre-Departure Calendar
January 15 2019
Application Deadline
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposit Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
December 15 2018
50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
February 15 2019
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-Site Calendar
Coming soon
Program Check-in & SAI Orientation
Students arrive in Milan independently prior to this date and must check in with on-site staff by this day. Check-in is followed by a brief program orientation.
Coming soon
DA Academic Orientation
DA orientation includes academic policies and information, as well as opportunities for students to get to know each other and meet professors.
Coming soon
Classes Begin
Coming soon
Break (no class)
Coming soon
Classes End
Coming soon
Program End
SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $100
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
$300
Program Fee
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
$10,250
Optional / Additional Fees:
International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$85

*prices are subject to change

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Milan
$900 $1,500
Visa
Visa and Permit to Stay fees.
$300 $300
Books, Supplies & Course Fees $200 / course $200 /  course
Housing
SAI can provide recommendations.
$800 / month $1,500 / month
Meals
Combination of cooking at home and eating out.
$600 / month $1,000 / month
Personal Expenses $250 / month $350 / month
Transportation within Milan area
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$100 / month $250 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is an SAI Select Services Program; it includes the important on-site services!

  • Program tuition
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • SAI orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance throughout your study abroad experience
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Assistance with student visa application
  • Assistance with financial aid and loan processing
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI alumni network

Housing is not included in SAI Select Services Programs. However, your SAI Admissions Counselor will be happy to provide you with information and recommendations for local housing agencies, as well as school-provided apartments. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible.

Passports
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 90 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.

About SAI

SAI Programs is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.