March 10, 2022

MFA in Communication Design

School of Art and Design at Texas State University

Courtesy of TXST MFA/CD. Photo: Madelynn Mesa.

The Master of Fine Arts in Communication Design is a pioneering low-residency program that emphasizes conceptual thinking, experimentation, and investigation. Students engage in a broad spectrum of visual communication practices, including typography, digital experience, socially engaged design, and design pedagogy, and emerge ready to contribute to the field of communication design as professional practitioners and educators.

Positioned within the School of Art and Design, the MFA in Communication Design offers the advantages of a public research institution, including a diverse and active faculty, opportunities for interdisciplinary study, and affordability. A robust design lecture series promotes the exchange of ideas and perspectives across a wide range of specialties.

Our unique low-residency model arises from a longtime investment in remote learning. Courses are largely online and conducted by faculty experienced in building community and engagement from a distance. Each semester, students and instructors come together on campus for a conference-style residency with critiques, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. This structure provides flexibility for working professionals and remote students as part of our commitment to inclusivity and equity.

Over 60 credits, students cultivate curiosity, critical thinking, and making through a well-rounded, forward-looking curriculum. The MFA in Communication Design brings together interdisciplinary approaches to the discipline across national and global perspectives to form a graduate-level education befitting a terminal degree.

Online availability
The majority of this program is offered online with a multi-day, on-campus residency each semester. The residency is packed with in-person workshops, critiques, and visiting designer lectures. Out-of-state applicants who do not plan to relocate to Texas are encouraged to contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. International applicants should consult International Student and Scholar Services regarding additional considerations in taking online courses.

Graduate assistantships
The MFA/CD program offers a limited number of assistantships to graduate students to help fund their graduate education. Most of the assistantships in the School of Art & Design allow selected students to gain experience teaching in the undergraduate communication design program. They are provided mentorship and ultimately are teachers of record for BFA courses. Graduate assistants are paid a stipend for 20 hours per week of work. In addition, students who would normally be charged out-of-state tuition rates pay in-state tuition.

Core faculty
Michael Niblett, Jeffrey Davis, MiHyun Kim, Grayson Lawrence, Alice J. Lee, Molly Sherman, Omari Souza, Dimitry Tetin, M. Wright.

Recent visiting designers
AK/OK, Manuel Miranda, Thick Press, Klehwetua Rodney Sayers & Emily Luce, Cavan Huang, Kimberly Sutherland, Lizzie Garrett & Minjeong Kim, MGMT, Cyrus Highsmith, Marc Fischer, Tré Seals, Elaine Lopez, Kiel Mutschelknaus.

Application guidelines.

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