MA in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design


Program Description

Obtaining the MA degree of the Visual Art and Visual Communication Design graduate program involves a 4 semester long period of rigorous study which combines studio work in art, design or theoretical study related to these fields, and which form the three main tracks of the program. The degree requirement is a fully articulated studio project or a written theoretical dissertation which revolves around a cohesive query, concept or topic that can be applied to at least one of the three areas of investigation of the program, and which as a finalized product is expected to be presented to a jury at the end of studies.

While students may choose to remain solely within any of the three main tracks indicated above, due to the increased nature of hybridization in the overall field of art, design and related theory we also make provisions for hybrid projects/written theses which spread themselves out over two or more of these fields, or combine the expertise and methodologies of them into novel outcomes which reside at their intersections.

Our faculty is comprised of a small but strongly committed group of individuals, whose output and recognition well extends into the international arena of art, design, and theory; and a significant number of whom can profess hybrid expertise and interest areas that lie at the convergence points of several related, but nonetheless distinct, fields.

Program objectives

VACD Master's Program is designed on the basic philosophy of both Sabancı University and VACD Master's Program that is to make out both fields of design in combination with theoretical research. In this regard, the program is strictly based on multidisciplinary bases with students encouraged from different interest areas. Students are conveyed to work in three major fields ending up with either a theoretical thesis, an exhibition or computer-based design project.

Program outcomes

  1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning.
  2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life.
  3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs.
  4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments.
  5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English.
  6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop an appreciation of the need for continuous learning and updating.
  7. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis.
  8. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level.
  9. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses.
  10. Show a practical and technical command of materials and methods in one or more media of the visual arts.
  11. Demonstrate knowledge of representational processes using visual as well as audial material as mediums of representation.
  12. Show a working knowledge of the process of transforming abstract/textual concepts into concrete, audio/visual forms.
  13. Read visual texts with a deep knowledge of art history and theory and the ability to situate the content and form of the visual representation both in a historical and thematic context.


Applications for graduate programs are evaluated by the Admissions Committee of the relevant program. Admission is finalized by the approval of the related Graduate School Board upon the recommendation of the Admissions Committee and announced to the applicant.

Applicants may be invited for written exams and/or interviews. All written exams and interviews are held in English. For Turkish and international applicants who are abroad and unable to attend written exams and/or interviews, will be interviewed through Skype.

Applications by international applicants studying abroad are valid only after the approval and recognition of the last graduated higher education institution and the course of study by the Turkish Higher Education Council. Verification will be done by the University.

Turkish candidates graduated from a higher institution abroad should submit a certificate of equivalence by the Turkish Higher Education Council.

Application Documents and Requirements:

  1. Online Application Form: Candidates can apply to more than one program via the online system. A separate application form should be filled out for each program to which a candidate wishes to apply.
  2. Official Transcript: A sealed official transcript issued by the Student Affairs unit of the applicant's previous university should be submitted. This document should indicate the courses are taken and grades received by the applicant.
  3. Two Letters of Recommendation: These should be either submitted online or posted in a sealed envelope. Sample letter.
  4. One Photograph: One photo is needed. If a photo has already been attached to the online application, this is not necessary.
  5. Portfolio: There is no artistic examination for Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design programs. Applicants to this program are expected to submit portfolios in pdf, CD/DVD, printed material, slide or online format. Applications without a portfolio will not be taken into consideration.
  6. Result for Graduate Program Entrance Exam: The applicant must submit one of the following exam’s result during application. Applications without a valid exam result will not be taken into consideration. Photocopies of the scores are accepted for application, but original copies should be submitted upon admission and enrollment. Turkish and international candidates should submit one of these exams’ results during application: ALES / e-ALES: 55 - Equal weight; GRE: 149 - Quantitative.
  7. English Proficiency Exam Result Certificate: As the language of instruction at Sabancı University is English, the applicant is required to submit the score of one of the English proficiency assessment exams. Recognized exams and the minimum score required: TOEFL IBT - 87; KPDS/ ÜDS/ e-YDS / YDS -73; PTE Academik -73; CAE - B; CPE - C. Photocopies of the documents are accepted for application; however originals will be requested upon registration in the case of admission. After the test date, TOEFL IBT scores are valid for 2 years; PTE Academic scores are valid for two years; CAE and CPE scores are valid for 3 years; e-YDS, YDS, KPDS and ÜDS scores are valid for 5 years.
Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

With science, technology, and social structures advancing day by day, the world needs more qualified individuals who possess the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career anywhere in the world. ... Read More

With science, technology, and social structures advancing day by day, the world needs more qualified individuals who possess the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career anywhere in the world. Aware of this pressing issue, in 1994 the Sabancı Group decided to establish a "world university" led by the Sabancı Foundation. The seeds of Sabancı University, the Sabancı Group's most comprehensive social responsibility project in the field of education, were sown in the summer of 1995, at a search conference. Right now, Sabancı University is the highest ranked Turkish university in THE World University rankings and only one of the two Turkish universities that rank in the top 500. Sabancı Holding is a strategic portfolio company that focuses on creating value add with the Group’s ecosystem and prioritizes a high-performance culture. Sabancı Group companies currently operate in 12 countries. Sabancı Group has 70 companies and 60.000 employees. These enterprises collectively have also contributed significantly to the development of Turkey’s economy. Sabancı Holding’s own shares, as well as the shares of its 11 subsidiaries, are listed on Borsa Istanbul (BIST) and constitute 8.1% of total market capitalization of Turkish equity market. Read less