MFA in Graphic Design

The Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design provides a sequenced studio approach to advanced design thinking and problem-solving for visual communication, preparing students to thrive in a dynamic professional environment.

A solution-based practice framed by key principles defines the core graphic design studios. During the first year of study, students are challenged to articulate a design perspective and method through studio projects emphasizing form and communication, authorship, audience, and medium. Students are invited to think creatively and strategically—developing content, defining an audience, and determining an optimum communication platform. This body of work culminates in the second year of study with the thesis investigation, a personally driven body of work that presents the individual student’s visual/critical method and examines relevant and valued topics in contemporary practice.

Faculty members work closely with students to strengthen a student’s technical and conceptual abilities through both carefully defined and open-ended projects. Faculty members also serve as an entry point into professional practice through their own studio practices and professional networks. Furthermore, students are expected and invited to actively participate in the Boston-based design community to cultivate their own professional network.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the MFA in Graphic Design will be expected to:

  • Create a graphic design process and master key principles of design through programmatic studio work and discourse.
  • Articulate a unique voice and methodology, by studying and engaging in the graphic design discourse and external/cultural influences on the practice.
  • Develop and demonstrate graphic design agility across multiple mediums through the study and practice of design problem-solving.
  • Understand a holistic design context related to past/present/future models by studying historical and contemporary models and engaging in graphic design theory discourse.
  • Professionally develop and improve skills through multiple mediums of craft, reading, writing, and presentation.

Graphic Design Curriculum

This program requires completion of 60 credits in continuous, sequential semesters, and generally takes two years to complete.

CFA AR 881, 882, 883, 884 Graduate Graphic Design 32 cr
CFA AR 601 Graduate Typography 4 cr
CFA AR 594 Graphic Design Theory I 2 cr
CFA AR 596 Graphic Design Theory II 2 cr
CFA AR 580 History of Graphic Design or, if already completed, CFA AR electives as determined through consultation with advisor 4 cr
Graphic Design or studio electives, 500 level or above 12 cr
University elective, 500 level or above 4 cr
Total credits 60 cr