VCD/KSU Graduate Program

About the Graduate Program

The mission of the graduate program in the School of Visual Communication Design is to foster research, innovation and excellence in professional practice and teaching. Our unique position in the College of Communication and Information encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and customized study in the pursuit of advanced degrees for careers in both business and higher education.

Whether motivated by the desire to pursue a career as a practicing designer, illustrator, educator, entrepreneur or creative director, it is our mission to inspire and prepare a new generation of scholars and professionals. Our expectation in the School of Visual Communication Design is that through persistence and drive, successful MA and MFA graduates will develop innovative future practices, broaden scholarly research in visual design, and make a meaningful contribution to society.

The Students of 105

The Fall 2012 class consists of 21 graduate students, all of whom have undergraduate degrees in design from accredited colleges and universities. Most of them also have at least 2 years of professional field experience working as visual designers. They range in age from early 20’s to 40’s and possess various design skills such as print design, web design, motion graphics, experience design, 3-D design such as way finding and signage, as well as motion graphics, video, interactive design and corporate identity

Deadline for Application –
Fall 2013
March 1, 2013

MFA and MA Graduate Curriculum

YEAR 1 / Summer
IRB, CITI Test – All incoming graduate students must complete CITI test prior to taking Fall courses. CITI Test


(3) VCD Teaching* (3) Graduate Studio* (3) Seminar* (Theory/Research + Thesis Proposal) (3) Personal Focus (option)


(3) Advanced Research* (Final Thesis Proposal + Oral Thesis Committee) (3) Graduate Studio 2* (1) Candidacy Review* (2) Assistant Teaching (option) (3-6) Personal Focus (option)

YEAR 2 / Fall

(3-9) Personal Focus (option) (3-6) Internship (option) Spring (6) MFA Thesis* or (4) MA Project or Thesis* (3-6) Personal Focus (option)

Personal Focus Courses

Personal focus courses may be selected from various areas including Studio, Independent Study, Letterpress, Illustration, IAKM, Communication Studies, Journalism, Business, Marketing, Art History, Research and Writing. Students, with the assistance of the Graduate Studies Coordinator or Faculty Advisor, may customize all non-required courses.

Personalized Curricula
Graduate students in the School of Visual Communication Design, together with support from their faculty advisors, create distinct and individualized courses of study to achieve their educational goals and career objectives. Whether choosing the MA or the MFA, graduate students are encouraged to develop their individual abilities and personal aesthetic while pursuing an advanced degree. The curriculum provides a flexible program integrating advanced studio-based learning, design theory, method, and practice, as well as unique opportunities for individual investigations.