With its focused thesis development process, the School of Graphic Design’s MFA program emphasizes the advanced study of the field and encourages students to extend their design skills into content creation, authorship, entrepreneurialism, and social innovation.
GLA 615: History of Graphic Design
GR 616: Making Ideas Visible
GR 617: Type Forms
GLA 603: Anthropology: Experiencing Culture
GR 618: Visual Literacy
GR 619: Type Composition
GLA 612: Writing & Research for the Master's Student
GR 601: Type Systems
GR 620: Visual Thinking
GR 600: Visual Communications Lab
GR 605: Digital Design Studio 1
GR 613: Type Experiments
GR 612: Integrated Communications - Message Synthesis
GR 800: Directed Study
GR 810: Thesis
GR 604: The Nature of Identity
GR 830: Thesis 2 - Exploration
GR 900: Internship
GLA 676: Professional Practices for Designers & Advertisers
GR 850: Thesis 3 - Refinement
GR 875: Design Seminar/Portfolio
Graduate Liberal Arts
MFA Graphic Design Degree Requirements
Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
A minimum grade of C in all required 63 units
Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and the following Academic Study requirements:
1 Art Historical Awareness & Aesthetic course
1 Cross-Cultural Understanding course
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:
Critical & Creative Thinking
Conduct appropriate research to identify problems and potential solutions
Initiate appropriate level of audience involvement and participation
Demonstrate the resourcefulness and flexibility necessary to conceive and execute design solutions
Create compelling and engaging visual communications that convey appropriate messages and ideas
Address problems through a design process
Develop design solutions that function effectively within a defined context (social, cultural, technological, economic, etc.)
Create visual communications demonstrating competent formal design skills which include: hierarchy, typography, aesthetics, composition, and construction of meaningful images
Demonstrate competence in media, materials, tools, technology, and techniques
Demonstrate sound organization and design project management skills
Effectively present and communicate ideas
Demonstrate the skills necessary for chosen career path through the presentation of a competent body of work
MFA Thesis Project
Produce a comprehensive graduate thesis project that successfully utilizes design to solve an identified problem
Propose a graduate thesis project that identifies a problem, and has the potential for successful development using design
Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:
Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.