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Visual Communication Design MFA

Program overview

The changing landscape of people’s everyday interactions has blurred the lines between respected design fields giving designers new responsibilities to shape experiences. Designers must increase their knowledge in all areas of design, including print media, human-computer interaction design, motion graphics, and 3D digital graphics.

The MFA in visual communication design provides a learning environment for advancement in innovative research, user-centered design, and professional practice focusing on the creative potentials of visual communication through a full spectrum of media. Students may advance their design knowledge and technical skills by choosing one of three options: communication design, interaction design, or motion and 3D digital design. 

The cross-disciplinary nature of the program offers a greater potential to foster innovation and creativity in visual communication design. The program reflects the current views and changes occurring in the professional design field. The skill sets required of graphic, interactive, and digital design have now crossed over and are interrelated.

Curriculum

Visual communication design (communication design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
VCDE-701 Design History Seminar 3
VCDE-706 3D Modeling and Motion 3
VCDE-707 Web and UI Design 3
VCDE-708 Typography 3
VCDE-709 Digital Design in Motion 3
VCDE-711 Design Theory and Methods Seminar 3
VCDE-717 Design Systems 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-723 Interaction Design 3
  Open Elective 3
Second Year
VCDE-732 Branding and Identity Design 3
VCDE-741 Environmental Graphic Design 3
VCDE-742 Information Design 3
VCDE-746 Professional Practices 3
VCDE-790 Thesis Research and Planning 3
VCDE-890 Thesis Implementation and Evaluation 6
  Open Elective 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

Visual communication design (interaction design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
VCDE-701 Design History Seminar 3
VCDE-706 3D Modeling and Motion 3
VCDE-707 Web and UI Design 3
VCDE-708 Typography 3
VCDE-709 Digital Design in Motion 3
VCDE-711 Design Theory and Methods Seminar 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-723 Interaction Design 3
IGME-601 Programming for Designers 3
  Open Elective 3
Second Year
VCDE-733 Digital Media Integration 3
VCDE-741 Environmental Graphic Design 3
VCDE-742 Information Design 3
VCDE-746 Professional Practices 3
VCDE-790 Thesis Research and Planning 3
VCDE-890 Thesis Implementation and Evaluation 6
  Open Elective 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

Visual communication design (motion and 3D digital design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
VCDE-701 Design History Seminar 3
VCDE-706 3D Modeling and Motion 3
VCDE-707 Web and UI Design 3
VCDE-708 Typography 3
VCDE-709 Digital Design in Motion 3
VCDE-711 Design Theory and Methods Seminar 3
VCDE-716 3D Particles and Dynamics 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-728 Motion Graphics 3
  Open Elective 3
Second Year
VCDE-731 3D Visual Design 3
VCDE-733 Digital Media Integration 3
VCDE-741 Environmental Graphic Design 3
VCDE-746 Professional Practices 3
VCDE-790 Thesis Research and Planning 3
VCDE-890 Thesis Implementation and Evaluation 6
  Open Elective 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MFA program in visual communication design, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university,
  • Present a portfolio of work that demonstrates strong design skills, visual sophistication, and aesthetic awareness,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit three letters of recommendation,
  • Submit a personal statement of purpose detailing the attributes a candidate brings to graduate study, including expectations and professional goals they wish to achieve,
  • Complete a graduate application.

Portfolio

A portfolio, along with written records of achievements and recommendations, serves to inform the faculty of the applicant’s readiness for advanced graduate study. It provides a visual statement of the applicant’s performance to date of a candidate's design skills, aesthetic development, and maturity.

The portfolio must demonstrate a strong understanding of design principles and visual computer skills using Adobe products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. A portfolio of 10-15 examples representing a cohesive body or bodies of recent work should be uploaded to rit.slideroom.com, the college's portfolio website, or via a personal website.

Examples must demonstrate a good sense of design, typography, and digital illustration in addition to the applicant's interests in and aptitudes for advanced study and, specifically, potential for success at RIT. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best original work. Applicants should not submit work copies from film, television, photographs, magazine/book illustrations, or other sources.

Application deadline

The application deadline is February 15th. Admission selection for the fall semester is made in the spring from among all portfolios and completed applications submitted. Acceptance after February 15th is based upon available space and accepted applicants may be placed on a waiting list.


Additional Program Information

Click here for a PDF brochure that contains detailed information on this program.

Portfolio Requirements
As part of the entrance requirements, applicants must demonstrate a solid understanding of design principles and visual computer skills using Adobe products. A portfolio of 10-15 examples must demonstrate proficiency in of design, typography, layout, and illustration in addition to the applicant's interests in and aptitudes for advanced study and, specifically, potential for success at RIT. Applicants are encouraged to submit only their best original work. Applicants should not submit work copied from film, television, photographs, magazine/book illustrations or other sources. Portfolios can be uploaded online to rit.slideroom.com, or submitted on CD, DVD or USB flash drive. Files should be saved as JPEG, PDF, QuickTime, or as a digital portfolio created in PowerPoint or HTML (JPEG images are preferred). Please note that digital portfolios will not be returned to students once submitted. Applicants may also submit a URL web address for online portfolios.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Creative Director, Design Director, Graphic Designer, UI/UX Designer, Communication Designer, Visual Designer, Art Production Manager, Brand Identity Developer, Broadcast Designer, 3D Production Designer, 3D Production Artist, Motion Designer, Motion Graphics Designer, Multimedia Developer, Layout Artist, Interface Designer, Web Designer

Functions

Practicing designers, entrepreneurs and contributors who impact interactions among people, products, and environments using design implementation and integration through multiple forms of media.

Recent Employers

Google, Adobe Systems, Fisher Price, ESPN, Leo Burnett, Partners + Napier, Xerox, Firstborn, Yahoo, odopod, Razorfish, R/GA, Xerox


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