Graphic Design, M.F.A.

The Design M.F.A. program is for focused, motivated, experienced designers who want to introduce a multidisciplinary perspective to their work by collaborating with graphic designers, interior designers, fine artists, art historians and those from other related disciplines. Based on these experiences, graduate students in design will push their work into compelling and groundbreaking conceptual and visual directions in communication. Graduate students will take pedagogy coursework, shadow other instructors and are expected to teach entry-level design courses or work in a professional capacity for the university.

Applicants for the M.F.A. degree must submit the following items:

  1. Three letters of recommendation: No form is required.
  2. Statement of purpose: A one-to-two-pages describing academic interests, proposed area of specialization and long-range career goals. The statement should also explain how the graduate program would serve those interests and goals. Please also submit a one-page artist statement that describes your current body of artwork and your studio practice. The Statement of Purpose should be a Word or PDF document.
  3. Portfolio: A successful application portfolio demonstrates creativity and commitment in a cohesive body of work. Portfolios should be submitted via the online application and can include still images; video files; audio files; or any combination. A numbered “List of Works” should be uploaded to the art portfolio submission page. Please use the following format for your list: 1. Title, medium, dimensions in height x width x depth (if applicable) and time (if applicable), date of completion. Include a digital portfolio of 20 high-resolution jpeg images of recent work, including details if necessary, at 2MB per file. Video or audio files may be included as part of the 20 work examples. (Note: URL’s may not be uploaded but may be included on the “List of Works” for time-based works.) Applicants may show work in diverse media as long as all of the work demonstrates the pursuit of cohesive ideas. Please format to 150 dpi, 1500 pixels on the greatest dimension. Please limit each video or audio link to no more than 5 minutes. If the video or audio link requires a password, be sure to list it.
  4. Unofficial transcript from all other schools that you have attended for your application. If accepted, you will be required to submit one official transcript from each school.
  5. A curriculum vitae (CV).
  6. The online portion of the application (physical applications are not accepted).

Example: https://vimeo.com/1234567, password: MyApplication2018

In general, the requirements for an M.F.A. are as follows:

Category of Work Units Required Description
Professional Development 12 Pedagogy, Teaching Practicum, Professional Practices and Thesis Writing.
Studio-Specific Courses 30 Graduate Studio/Design Seminars and Graduate Studio/Design Practice
Electives 6 Variable – must be outside area of specialization, can be outside School of Art & Design
Art History 12 Graduate-level courses in Art History
Thesis 12 Intensive work with a thesis committee to prepare your written thesis and exit show, lecture, presentation or screening
Total 72
  • Accepted students receive full tuition waivers and monthly stipends as part of teaching assistantships.
  • They are eligible for competitive premium Welch fellowships.

Goals and outcomes upon completion of a M.F.A. program include:

  • Ensuring comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various faculty approaches to media, content, imagery and teaching styles.
  • Exploreing the continuing traditions of art making in pursuit of new forms and with contemporary issues.
  • Encouraging multidisciplinary approaches with other studio areas.
  • Developing pedagogical skills and strategies with teaching assistantships for undergraduate-level courses.
  • Preparing students for a professional arts career through development workshops that range from exhibition and art fair training, marketing and art handling, critique and artistic discourse, etc.