Visual Communication Design MFA


Graduate Admissions Counselor

David Wivell
585-475-5475, djwges@rit.edu


Department Contact

Adam Smith
585-475-4552, adam.smith@rit.edu


Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline January 4 Early Decision with priority consideration for scholarship, decision by Jan. 28; Rolling thereafter
Admit Term Fall Term Only
Entrance Exam None
Other Portfolio
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 90
IELTS 7.0
PTE Academic 58

 

Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MFA in visual communication design focuses on all areas of design, including graphic design, user experience/interaction design, motion graphics, and 3D digital design. The changing landscape of people’s everyday interactions has blurred the lines between respected design fields, giving designers new responsibilities to shape experiences. The MFA program embraces this new technology through its curriculum, which addresses these merging skill sets.

Plan of study

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

Course Sem. 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
IDDE-711 Design Research and Proposals 3
VCDE-717 Design Systems 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-723 Interaction Design 3
  Free 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
  Free Electives 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

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

Course Sem. 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
IDDE-711 Design Research and Proposals 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-723 Interaction Design 3
IGME-609 Programming for Designers 3
  Free Elective 3
Second Year
VCDE-733 Digital Media Integration 3
VCDE-741 Experiential Graphic Design 3
VCDE-736 UX Design Strategies 3
VCDE-746 Professional Practices 3
VCDE-790 Thesis Research and Planning 3
VCDE-890 Thesis Implementation and Evaluation 6
  Free Electives 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

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

Course Sem. 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
IDDE-711 Design Research and Proposals 3
VCDE-628 3D Particles and Dynamics 3
VCDE-718 Project Design and Implementation 3
VCDE-728 Motion Graphics 3
VCDE-731 3D Visual Design 3
Second Year
VCDE-636 3D Motion Design 3
VCDE-746 Professional Practices 3
VCDE-790 Thesis Research and Planning 3
VCDE-890 Thesis Implementation and Evaluation 6
  Professional Elective* 3
  Free Electives 12
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

* Professional Elective may be any VCDE studio elective course.

Admission requirements

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

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a portfolio of work demonstrating string design skills, visual sophistication, and aesthetic awareness. (Refer to Portfolio Requirements for more information.)
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives that details attributes the candidate brings to graduate study, including expectations and professional goals they wish to achieve.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

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 to 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.


Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.


Related Links


Program(s) You Might Also Consider