December 6, 2021

MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

MA candidates in the department's writing studio. Courtesy Meredith Jenks

Start your application by January 15, 2022 to receive priority for scholarship funding.

Class of 2021 thesis titles
–"Black Queer Narratives: From 19th Century Print to Contemporary Magazines" by Jon Key
–"Misinterpretations: Myth and Marketing in Mid-Century Modern" by Casey Romaine
–"How Accessible Design De-centers Disability" by Aaron Chu
–"Culture of Self: Contemporary Symbols and Identities" of Self-Care by Anwulika Oputa
–"The Future of Citizenship: Four Transformations" by Youyou Zhou
–"Ritual, design and desire in the world of the scratch-off lottery ticket" by Pune Dracker
–"Painting SoHo: A Study on the Appropriation of Urban Space" by Michelle Duncan
–"The ( / ) Slash: A Radical Mark for Contemporary Life" by Peter Ahlberg

What better way to understand what we do here than through the incredible diversity and depth of the thesis work our graduates pursue during our two-semester MA program. Over the course of the year, each student develops a written thesis on a design topic of their choice that synthesizes investigative research with critical analysis, supported by faculty advisors and group workshops.

Coursework fuels the thesis project, allowing the MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism (a.k.a. DCrit) to provide intensive instruction in techniques for researching, analyzing, and writing about design and its cultural and environmental implications. The curriculum combines humanities-based critical thinking with journalistic skills to foster editorial content intended to inform and engage broad audiences.

By providing the tools for constructing compelling, in-depth narratives about design, the program prepares students for strategic leadership positions in research-driven design practices, journalism, and publishing, or for PhD research in a design-related subject. However, the research, writing, and critical thinking mastery that students gain through the program can apply to a variety of career paths and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Register for our online info session & alumni panel (December 14, 12pm EST) to learn more about our program. Attendees will receive an application fee waiver, so we encourage you to join if you’re considering applying.

Our priority deadline to start an application is January 15 for those wishing to be considered for first-round scholarship funding. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis thereafter, as space allows. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information or to schedule a virtual visit. Start your application here.

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