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Visual Communication Design - M.A. and M.F.A.

COLLEGE: College of Communication and Information

DEPARTMENT: School of Visual Communication Design
231 Art Building
Tel: 330-672-7856
E-mail: vcd@kent.edu
Web: http://vcd.kent.edu 

DESCRIPTION: The Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design is recommended for students with undergraduate degrees in design or related fields wishing 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.

A terminal degree, the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design is recommended for students with undergraduate degrees in design or related fields wishing to enter a career in higher education instruction as well as advance their studio skills in one or more of the following: print design, illustration, web design, 3-D design, motion graphics, interactive design, corporate identity, information architecture, interaction design or information graphics. The program offers graduate teaching and research assistantships, individual plans of study, experiential learning, design history and research. Interdisciplinary study is encouraged.

ADMISSION
REQUIREMENTS:
Official transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, TOEFL for international students, goal statement, resume, autobiographical statement and portfolio. Applications must meet the following expectations:
  • Portfolios must be presented online.
  • A portfolio should consist of 15-20 samples of personal or professional work.
  • Each sample must be clearly identified with appropriate background information.
  • Portfolio URL must be included in a 250-work autobiographical statement.
  • VCD reviews applicants only once a year for fall admission only. Applications must be received by March 1.
GRADUATION
REQUIREMENTS:

The Master of Arts degree program requires the successful completion of 32 semester hours of graduate credit including a thesis. Students may choose the option of 25 studio hours and an M.A. project instead of the thesis.

The Master of Fine Arts program requires the successful completion of 60 semester hours of graduate credit and requires a thesis.

The final examination is at the completion of the studio or research thesis. The final examination is the presentation and defense of the thesis and is also an examination of the graduate student’s general comprehension of visual communication design. Graduate students are expected to follow the university schedule of deadlines for taking the final examination and presenting thesis materials.

CANDIDACY: Successful completion of the Candidacy Review Examination VCD 60009 is a requirement in every School of Visual Communication Design graduate program for both M.A. and M.F.A. students after the first semester or 12 hours of course completion.

Successful completion of the examination designates the student as a candidate for the degree.
THESIS/
DISSERTATION:
The thesis is mandatory for M.F.A. candidates. M.A. candidates may choose to complete either a 6-credit-hour M.A. thesis or a 4-credit-hour M.A. project with an additional 2 credit hours of coursework in the major.

The thesis is a significant project or body of work done independently of other coursework. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to conduct research or produce an original project in a discriminating and disciplined manner. The thesis topic should be one that will further the student’s knowledge and ability in the specialty by demonstrating skill as a researcher or professional designer/illustrator. The outcome should be an effort that serves as a foundation for the pursuit of independent work when the graduate program is completed. At this stage, students are expected to work in close consultation with their thesis advisor.

FINAL EXAMINATION:
The final examination is at the completion of the studio or research thesis. The final examination is the presentation and defense of the thesis and is also an examination of the graduate student’s general comprehension of visual communication design. Graduate students are expected to follow the university schedule of deadlines for taking the final examination and presenting thesis materials.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS: Each year, the School of Visual Communication Design conducts special summer programs that are available for graduate credit. The VCD Summer program is designed specifically for working professionals and/or students at the graduate level. The variable length, variable credit workshops provide studio experiences, lectures and seminars on the Kent State University campus during summers, and off campus at sites throughout the United States during other times of the year. Accredited and taught by Kent State University faculty, in concert with nationally and internationally noted experts as guest faculty, the credits may be applied toward the M.A. or the M.F.A. degree programs if accepted into the graduate program in the Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design. Previous guest faculty includes: Kenneth Hiebert, Rudolph de Harak, Michael Bierut, McRay Magleby, Bruno Monguzzi, Michael Patrick Cronan, Mervyn Kurlansky, Clement Mok, Alan Cober, Michael Manwaring, Michael Vanderbyl, Gary Kelley, Woody Pirtle, Christopher Pullman, April Greiman, Ken Carbone, Lance Hidy, Craig Frazier and Rudi Ruegg. Interested persons should write or call the School of Visual Communication Design or visit the web site.

PROGRAM FEE:
None
ACCREDITATION: Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, NASAD
STUDENT
ORGANIZATIONS:
AIGA
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