Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Coursework |  School of Visual Communication Design | Kent State University

VCD offers a personalized design education, allowing students to use theory and research to tackle unframed problems, shape future designers in and out of the classroom, and pursue individual investigation opportunities.

Catalog: Download degree requirements from the Graduate Catalog.
Viewbook: Download the brochure to learn more about the VCD Graduate Program

 

Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design


Applicants must successfully submit all application materials by March 1. Review of applications begins after March 1.

  • VCD 60009 Candidacy Review/Graphic Design and & Illustration (1 credit)

  • VCD 60020 Graduate Studio in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • VCD 60091 Graduate Seminar in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • VCD 60094 College Teaching in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • Personal Focus (16 credits)

  • Choose from a Thesis or Non-thesis option

  • Thesis Option – VCD 68199 M.A. Thesis (6 credits)

OR

  • Non-thesis Option - (6 credits total) VCD 60099 Master of Arts Project in Graphic Design and Illustration (4 credits); Additional Coursework (2 credits)

Total credits: 32

 

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design


Applicants must successfully submit all application materials by March 1. Review of applications begins after March 1.

  • VCD 60009 Candidacy Review/Graphic Design and & Illustration (1 credit)

  • VCD 60020 Graduate Studio in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • VCD 60091 Graduate Seminar in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • VCD 60094 College Teaching in Visual Communication Design (3 credits)

  • Personal Focus (44 credits)

  • VCD 69199 M.A. Thesis (6 credits)

Total credits: 60

Students in the M.A. and M.F.A. programs in the School of Visual Communication Design conduct research, collaborate in the graduate studio, observe and practice teaching, and dive into individualized study through their thesis.
 

Research
Design research is agile and responsive. It’s about knowing an end-user so well that you understand his uniqueness, his challenges and most importantly, his opportunities. VCD graduate students take a proactive, in-depth approach to learning research methods and tackling unframed design problems with ethnographic research and interviews, bringing the world to the classroom and vice versa. The hands-on Graduate Seminar course gives students a dry run at applying each research framework, strengthening creative development and rapid prototype testing. The course combines lectures, readings and group discussion with team engagement in research fieldwork, practicing the strategic design research process in real-time. Students become adept at mixing and matching methods for each project, client and question – and eventually their thesis.


Studio

In the Studio courses, professors and students embrace the often muddied, unpredictable, complicated – and deeply personal creative process. Each year, the Graduate Studio course implements a Design for Good project, using primary and secondary research to identify how a visual message can shape an outcome for a social problem. Whether designing icons to promote proper sanitation and malaria prevention in Kenya or resolving communication breakdowns between local healthcare providers and the Hispanic community in the west side of Cleveland, Graduate Studio 1 & 2 make research and problem solving a reality through design.  


Teaching
In VCD, you won’t find a generic “how to” course on teaching. Teaching style is personal and subjective, so a course aimed at developing a teaching pedagogy must be as well.

As design educators we lead undergraduate students from idea, through process, to an eventual understanding and ability to create a visual message. Imagine the best teacher you ever had. She didn’t just know the course content, she knew you. In VCD teaching, students and faculty collaborate on best practices, sharing real teaching experiences and problem solving together.


Thesis

Thesis projects have taken everyday, practical issues people face globally and applied elements of design and visual communication to find a concrete solution. In this school, we believe it all starts with tremendous and careful research, a full understanding of the problem and the population, and developing both process and product to better serve the end-user, and in turn, the student himself or herself.

Student research extends beyond the walls of our studios to publication and presentation, adding to scholarly knowledge of the industry, while often making a contribution to society.

Connect With Us