Design plays a central and formative role in shaping communities, technology and business. Never have designers been expected to cultivate such a diverse set of skills and knowledge. Our M.F.A. program prepares individuals to pursue design with passion and cultural relevance. Our distinctive program emphasizes design as a means for communicating meaningful messages, organizing information, creating compelling experiences, and affecting social change.
We believe the most intriguing and successful designers are cultural innovators who use media to inform, persuade, and entertain. Our graduates develop a voice as authors and entrepreneurs engaged in identifying and solving design problems within cross-disciplinary environments. We approach design as an agent of change—a strategy for transforming behaviors of individuals in desirable and sustainable ways.
The program provides a framework for both professional practice and academic careers, while emphasizing full-time studio practice in graphic design—communications, identities, objects, environments, and systems. Graduates enter the professional world with a confident design voice and an outstanding body of work prepared to become innovative leaders in communications design areas—i.e. print media, identity systems and branding, package design, design strategy, social media and interaction design, motion design, environmental design, data visualization and information design, and advertising design.
Applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in graphic design, visual communications, or the equivalent, and/or have professional graphic design experience, are typically able to complete the degree requirements within two years if attending full-time. Up to 12 credits of qualifying courses may be required for applicants who do not meet all entrance standards but whose applications indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study. This includes those who studied in fields such as industrial and interior design, architecture, fine arts, media arts, communications and journalism, liberal arts, business, and the sciences. Students required to take qualifying courses can expect to complete the degree requirements within three years if attending full-time. A portfolio review is required for admission. Classes are offered both day and evening, and part-time attendance is optional.
The M.F.A. in Communications Design will strive to prepare individuals to be confident and mature independent designers who will contribute to the expansion of the field; are skilled in the effective and appropriate use of technology; become leaders in the communications design profession; and are innovators in design pedagogy, research, and publication.