PAVE Student Design Competition

The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) Student Design Competition, now in its 29th year, is open for entries for 2024.

This annual competition promotes “real-world” design experience for current undergraduate and graduate-level students who are interested in pursuing careers designing consumer environments and experiences.

Ulta Beauty invites students to think about the store environment holistically, including both Store Design and Visual Merchandising. You may focus on your primary design area and/or collaborate with people who focus on other design areas. Individual student entries will be accepted as well as entries from teams of two students. If a team of two is chosen as a winner, both students will be recognized.

As an example, a student who considers Store Design their strength can partner with a student who specializes in Visual Merchandising. Collaborating or adapting your strengths and areas of design study can lead to improved work when looking at a situation from a fresh perspective.

The challenge- Evolve the in-store customer experience to exceed Gen-Z expectations of what it means to discover at Ulta Beauty.

We look forward to seeing your reimagined and reinvented visions of Ulta Beauty as you merge store, experience, and visual design.

The possibilities are beautiful.

This annual international competition is open exclusively to current undergraduate and graduate-level college students involved in retail planning, visual merchandising, interior design/architecture, branding, graphic design, UX/UI design, industrial design, and similar programs. If you are unsure if your area of study qualifies, please reach out to PAVE at

Students who register to participate early will receive periodic tips for success, inspiration, deadline reminders, and other helpful messages throughout the competition period.



  • $5,000 USD will be awarded to each of the 3 top concepts*
  • $1,000 USD will be awarded to each of the winning students’ schools
  • Students will receive an invitation to attend the PAVE Gala in New York City (travel expenses paid**) where the students will be recognized for their achievements.
  • $750 USD travel stipend to be awarded to the students’ Educator for travel to attend the PAVE Gala with the student(s)
  • Students may even have the opportunity to work alongside one of the industry’s leading design and manufacturing teams to bring their concepts to life!

All projects must be submitted through by

Monday, October 21, 2024, before 11:59 PM Eastern (8:59 PM Pacific)

Mark Your Calendar

As a reminder, you must pre-register to participate in this competition to access the Project Submission Form.

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