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Visual Communication Design - M.A.

From print design and illustration to web design, 3-D design, motion graphics, interactive design, corporate identity, information architecture, interaction design and information graphics, the M.A. in Visual Communication Design offers individualized plans of study to help you enter the evolving design industry and become influential in social media, branding, digital media and other professional capacities.

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Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Master of Arts degree in Visual Communication Design is recommended for students who already hold an undergraduate degree and are looking to enter the design industry or related fields and wish to advance their studio skills in print design, illustration, web design, 3-D design, motion graphics, interactive design, corporate identity, information architecture, interaction design or information graphics. The program offers individualized plans of study, experiential learning, design history and research. Interdisciplinary study is encouraged.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Undergraduate degree in design or closely related program
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate major GPA on a 4.000 point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Résumé
  • Goal statement
  • Autobiographical statement (250 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 587 TOEFL PBT score
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL IBT score
    • Minimum 82 MELAB score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 Duolingo English score

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: March 1

Applications submitted after this deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Develop a body of creative work at a level appropriate for a graduate designer, illustrator and/or photographer.
  2. Develop aesthetic, technical and professional skills necessary for success in design industry.
  3. Develop skills for collaborative engagement with strategic partners, team members and peers.
  4. Develop deeper awareness of issues related to the cultural, technological and economic contexts of design.
  5. Develop enhanced comprehension of design thinking and design process
  6. Develop understanding of design’s use as both a tactical and strategic tool for business and social applications.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
UX 60501INTRODUCTION TO USER EXPERIENCE 3
VCD 60011TYPOGRAPHIC STRUCTURES AND SYSTEMS 3
VCD 60012CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION 3
VCD 60091GRADUATE SEMINAR IN VISUAL COMMUNICATION DESIGN 3
VCD 61099GRADUATE PORTFOLIO/GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION 11
Major Electives, choose from the following: 215
Illustration
VCD 52002
EDITORIAL ILLUSTRATION
VCD 52003
ADVERTISING ILLUSTRATION
VCD 52005
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN: THE HUMAN FIGURE
VCD 52006
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN: ANIMALS AND ENVIRONMENTS
VCD 52007
GRAPHIC NARRATIVE
Motion and Interaction Design
VCD 53007
INFORMATION DESIGN
VCD 53101
INTERACTION DESIGN II
VCD 54006
MOTION DESIGN I
VCD 56002
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Typography, Identity and Environmental Graphic Design
VCD 53002
TYPOGRAPHY II
VCD 53003
IDENTITY SYSTEMS
VCD 53005
INTEGRATED BRAND DESIGN
VCD 53006
BRAND EXPERIENCES
VCD 53060
TYPEFACE DESIGN
VCD 56003
EXPERIMENTAL TYPOGRAPHY
Other Topics
VCD 50053
GLYPHIX RESEARCH LABORATORY
VCD 53051
TYPE HIGH PRESS
Other courses with advisor approval
Culminating Requirement
VCD 60099MASTER OF ARTS PROJECT GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION 33
Minimum Total Credit Hours:31
1

Successful completion of VCD 61099 is a requirement in every School of Visual Communication Design graduate program for both M.A. and M.F.A. degrees after either the first semester or 12 credit hours of course completion.

2

Major electives are shown grouped according to general interest areas; however, students are not limited to one interest area. Students may take electives from other programs in consultation with their academic advisor. Students may also register for independent investigations with graduate faculty, as appropriate.

3

VCD 60099 is a visual project exhibition and formal presentation. The project topic should be one that will further the student’s knowledge and ability by demonstrating skill as a professional designer/illustrator. At this stage, students work in close consultation with their project advisor.

Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Graphic designers

-3.8%

decline

281,500

number of jobs

$53,380

potential earnings

Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators

1.0%

slower than the average

28,300

number of jobs

$52,340

potential earnings

Additional Careers
  • Digital Designer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Product Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Visual Designer
Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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