Student Merit Awards

 

Each year, IDSA recognizes exceptional student design talent through our Student Merit Awards program. The competition highlights the very best creativity, problem solving and design brilliance in each of IDSA's five North American Districts. A jury panel of design leaders and educators representing a cross-section of professional practice and design academia is assembled annually to review and select winners. This ensures the highest level of quality and rigor is achieved throughout all stages of the process. Two winners are selected from each District for this prestigious distinction, one at the Undergraduate (SMA) level and one at the Graduate (GSMA) level. 

Student Merit Award winners (and the schools they represent) benefit from massive media exposure through IDSA's extensive reach and high-level industry recognition. These individuals receive an online profile, a print feature in INNOVATION magazine, a trophy and special distinction at the annual International Design Conference. IDSA is proud to witness the incredible acceleration that winning an SMA provides in the professional success of those who participate. 

 


 

2022 Program Overview

 

Both the SMA and GSMA run in parallel and consist of two separate rounds. Round 1 (February 7 - April 8) is conducted independently at each participating school and determines the School Finalist(s) for that school. One Undergraduate and one Graduate School Finalist may be identified for each participating school at the conclusion of Round 1. During Round 2 (April 14 - May 9), School Finalists upload their work for review by a panel of industry and academic judges. Round 2 is conducted entirely online by IDSA and determines the District SMA and GSMA Winners. Winners will be announced in June 2022. There is no fee to enter; however, participants must be a current IDSA student member. Join IDSA here.

Complete 2022 Undergraduate SMA Details

Image: 2020 SMA Winner, Ellen Posch
 

Complete 2022 Graduate SMA Details

Image: 2021 GSMA Winner, Tati Ferrucio
 


 

2022

Graduate SMA Winners

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
NC State University
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Illinois at Chicago

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Cincinnati
University of Houston
Rhode Island School of Design
Western Washington University

2021

Graduate SMA Winners

Rochester Institute of Technology
San Francisco State University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Syracuse University
University of Cincinnati
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
University of Oregon
Auburn University

2020

Graduate SMA Winners

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Oregon
North Carolina State University
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Cincinnati
Purdue University

2019

Graduate SMA Winners

University of Houston
University of Pennsylvania - School of Design
University of Notre Dame
Academy of Art University

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Washington
University of Houston
Purdue University
Kean University
University of Cincinnati

2018

Graduate SMA Winners

ArtCenter College of Design
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Illinois at Chicago​
Pratt Institute

Undergraduate SMA Winners

ArtCenter College of Design
Drexel University
University of Houston
Purdue University
The Ohio State University

2017

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Parsons School of Design
California College of the Arts
Savannah College of Art & Design
University of Notre Dame

2016

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Wentworth Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech College of Design
University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)
Kendall College of Art and Design
Arizona State University

2015

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA)
Auburn University
Western Washington University
University of Illinois-Chicago
Syracuse University

2014

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Arizona State University
Pratt Institute
The Ohio State University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Savannah College of Art & Design

2013

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Notre Dame
California College of the Arts
University of Cincinnati
Massachusetts College of Art
Virginia Tech

2012

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Virginia Tech
California College of the Arts
University of Notre Dame
Pratt Institute
University of Cincinnati

2011

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Houston
University of Notre Dame
The Ohio State University
Wentworth University
Brigham Young University

2010

Undergraduate SMA Winners

College for Creative Studies
Massachusetts College of Art
Brigham Young University
University of Illinois at UC
University of Houston

2009

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Cleveland Institute of Arts
University of Notre Dame
Arizona State University
University of the Arts
North Carolina State University

2008

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Virginia Tech
University of Notre Dame
Massachusetts College of Art
California College of the Arts
Columbus College of Art & Design

2007

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Academy of Art University
University of Notre Dame
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Rochester Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech

2006

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Purdue University
Rochester Institute of Technology
San Jose State University
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Georgia Tech

2005

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Georgia Tech
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Virginia Tech
Art Center College of Design
University of Illinois at UC

If you have questions on either program, please contact Rachel Winter, IDSA's Program Manager.