The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Program launched in 1998 as an alternative to traditional masters programs that emphasize form over content. Our students are encouraged to create their own content using new media and develop a thesis aimed directly for a marketplace of goods and ideas.
Entrepreneurship has become more significant throughout the contemporary design scene. MFA Design students work individually and collaboratively during two intensive years to develop objects of value through electronic and handcrafted means. They network with visiting and full-time faculty, who are all professionals, to insure that their intellectual properties are aesthetically sound and conceptually viable.
As alumni become productive members of the larger media world, the community of creative and business people comprising the MFA Design program grows more influential each year. MFA Design provides the education, inspiration, and experience to insure students transcend the common definition of designers as service providers into individual and collaborative authors.
We require that students be fluent in the languages of graphic design and typography. In addition we welcome those who have backgrounds (and interest) in motion, sound, writing, and editing. Students must be able to convey ideas verbally and visually. We do not teach a student how to design but rather how to marshal their abilities to rise to the next creative level.
We believe it is important for the designer of the future to be thoroughly integrated into numerous communication platforms. Our students are, therefore, encouraged to draw inspiration from other visual and communications artists who share authorial aspirations. And in this way, the program is not restricted to a conventional curriculum. Instead we embrace a broad set of visual languages as the foundation for all creative activity.
Students are afforded a beautiful, professional environment in which to work. Our Studio is accessible 24 hours a day, and is designed to simulate a real media firm, with spacious individual workstations. In addition to our classrooms, students have unlimited access to our high-end editing rooms, conference room, library, and exhibition gallery. Through this space, we offer an opportunity to stay connected to the professional world, while partaking in an academic one.
The program is designed for students from graphic design, product design, environmental design, film, photography, and computer backgrounds as well as professionals who are interested in moving on to an advanced level.