Site-wide links

Visual Communication Design MFA

Semester Requirements

Chris Jackson, Graduate Program Director
(585) 475-5823, cbjpgd@rit.edu

http://cias.rit.edu/schools/design/graduate-visual-communication-design

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. The program offers three options--communication design, interaction design, or motion and 3D digital design--for student to advance their design knowledge and technical skills. 

The cross-disciplinary nature of this 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
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

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
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 Interaction 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

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
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 Interaction 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

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

This internationally recognized program offers concentrations in interactive design for Web, DVD, and mobile devices; three-dimensional digital graphics; motion graphics; game art and design; and information visualization. The curriculum combines knowledge of design theory, methodology, and aesthetics with skills in two- and three-dimensional computer graphics, interactive techniques, and interface design. Students utilize cutting-edge technology to produce a vast array of dynamic work for the screen (computer, broadcast, mobile).

The program focuses on practical and experimental approaches to the expression of unique visions. Students create interactive websites, applications for mobile devices (tangible interfaces and iPhone), opening title credits for movies and television broadcast, interactive graphic novels, immersive three-dimensional environments, and computer games realized from their imaginations. Resources in the Digital Studio are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include three-dimensional digitizers, physical computer interfaces, motion capture systems, three-dimensional printers, monitor tablets, and a wide variety of software applications.

As part of the entrance requirements, applicants must demonstrate an understanding of basic design principles and visual computer skills. Software skills must include Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. A portfolio of the applicant’s best work is submitted in the form of a CD-ROM or DVD (in Macintosh or Windows platforms). A portfolio of 15-20 examples must demonstrate a good sense of design, typography, and illustration in a stand-alone format, and/or video, or a combination of these. Images saved in PDF format are preferred. Use the QuickTime movie format (.mov) for videos. Flash SWF files and HTML websites are accepted and encouraged.

Curriculum

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

New program
Effective fall 2013, the MFA programs in computer graphics design and graphic design will merge to form one program in visual communication design. This change will not affect currently matriculated students.

Computer graphics design, MFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2014-701 Survey of Computer Graphics 2
2010-713 Design History Seminar 3
4085-715 Programming for Designers 4
2014-798 Production Pipeline 4
  Major Studio Courses 24
  Elective 3
  Liberal Arts 6-8
Second Year
2014-831 Thesis Planning 2
2014-890 Research and Thesis 12
  Major Studio Courses 12
  Electives 9-12
Total Quarter Credit Hours 90

Visual communication design (communication design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

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

Visual communication design (interaction design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

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

Visual communication design (motion and 3D digital design option), MFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

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