Entrepreneurship is playing a more important role in contemporary design, hence the rigorous emphasis on venture-based conception, design and sustainability.

The School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer As Author + Entrepreneur 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 various media and develop a thesis venture for public consumption in a wide marketplace of goods, services and ideas.

MFA Design students work individually and collaboratively during two intensive years to develop  products of value through digital 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-driven world, the community of creative and business people comprising the MFA Design community 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 creators.

Students are required to be fluent in the languages of analog and digital graphic design and typography. In addition we welcome those who have backgrounds (and interest) in all kinds of user experience, 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 creative and technological abilities to rise to a higher level of conception and production.

It is important for the designer of the present and future to be thoroughly adept on multiple communication platforms. Our students are, therefore, encouraged to draw inspiration from a broad range of creators who share entrepreneurial aspirations. In this way, the program is not restricted to a conventional curriculum. Instead we embrace a broad set of visual languages, (analog and digital) as the foundation for all creative activity.

Students are afforded a comfortable professional environment in which to work. Our Studio is accessible 24 hours a day, and is designed to simulate a real media firm, with individual workstations. In addition to classrooms, students have unlimited access to editing rooms, conference room, library, and video exhibition gallery. Students also have access to manual and high-end digital workshops on campus. Students are also provided an opportunity to stay connected to the professional world during their academic studies.

The program is designed for students from graphic design, product design, environmental design, film, photography, interaction, user experience and data visualization backgrounds as well as professionals who are interested in experiencing an advanced level design and entrepreneurship.