Jun 12, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 [Archived Catalog]

Graphic Design - MFA

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Degree Title: Master of Fine Arts

Program Name and Number: Graphic Design - MF5176

Department/Unit: School of Art + Design

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall

Program Mission: Learning How to Learn’ is the underlying methodology that gives Ohio University’s graduate study in graphic design its unique strength. We focus on design research within a multi-cultural world addressing social awareness and contextual messaging as content. We emphasize and assist our candidates’ research in professional forums through papers and lectures, and publishing in established professional journals.

Program Learning Objectives: Students will

  • Demonstrate mastery in skills, techniques and material germane to the student’s research focus, evidenced through a mature body of creative work
  • Identify key figures, works and sources, both historical and contemporary, as evidence to support a clearly stated thesis contextualizing the student’s work
  • Generate documents appropriate to professional practice in the student’s area of focus, and be prepared for participation in the professional world of Design
  • Execute a public exhibit/presentation of the student’s creative work

Program Overview:  Understanding the role of graphic design within a pluralistic society and a cross-cultural context are essential components of a graduate design education. The power of design thinking identifies challenges, frames opportunities, manages complex situations, generates approaches, creates deeper understanding, and shapes meaningful experiences. We rebuild fundamental skills of perception, interpretation, and invention as well as understanding the nature and meaning of visual form in context. Our graduating designers aim to secure positions within top design firms and educational institutions nationally and internationally. They design within a broad spectrum of applications from solving complex problems to planning and executing solutions. Our graduates’ ultimate strengths are visually translating ideas into form. Throughout the history of Ohio University’s graphic design program, we have been primarily identified as typographers using traditional and contemporary practices.

The Master of Fine Art in Graphic Design is an intensive three-year program. The first and second years are primarily devoted to studio, seminar, research, art history, and elective coursework. During the third year, the emphasis is an intensive commitment to studio time in preparation for the thesis exhibition. As part of this 3-year studio experience, the student will have individual and group meetings with faculty, interaction with peers in and outside of the area, and will participate in graduate critiques. A normal full-time academic load is 15 credit-hours per semester, and progress toward the degree is guided by the student’s graduate review committee members to the successful completion of 90 credit hours.

Opportunities for Graduates: Graphic Design graduates find positions in many areas, including academic institutions, museums and galleries, and corporate and private business firms.

Link to Program: http://www.ohio.edu/finearts/art/academics/programs/graphic_design_mfa.cfm

Link to Program Handbook: artgrad@ohio.edu

Graduation Requirements:

  1. Credit-Hour Requirements Summary: 90 minimum credit hours
    • 40 studio (28 in graphic design and 12 in studio elective hours)
    • 12 art history/academic studies
    • 6 seminars
    • 25 thesis credits
  2. Thesis review and other requirements:
    • Students will have a series of formal reviews throughout the 3 years for the program with the members of their thesis committee.
    • The First-Year Progress Review Occurs toward the end of fall semester and constitutes a progress assessment of the student’s work by his/her committee members.
    • The First-Year M.F.A. Candidacy Review occurs toward the end of spring semester and admits the student to full candidacy for the degree by the student’s committee members.
    • The MFA Candidacy Review officially admits the student to full-candidacy for the degree by the student’s committee members. During this review the student is required to identify with the assistance of the chair of their committee a professional experience for their ART 6510, Graphic Design Research Fellowship. This is basically a graphic design professional interaction. Possibilities can include but are not limited to local or regional not-for-profit design projects, internships off or on campus or a study abroad experience for completion of this requirement.
    • The Thesis Proposal Review occurs during spring semester of the second year and establishes the goals and guidelines of the student’s thesis exhibition.
    • The Oral defense occurs before the public presentation of the Thesis work at the end of the 3rd year of study.
  3. A thesis exhibition and oral thesis defense is required at the conclusion of the program. A written thesis is not required.
  4. Expected time to degree if studying full time is 3 years.

Culminating Experience: Thesis Exhibition and Oral Thesis Defense. 
An oral thesis defense and a thesis exhibition are required at the conclusion of the program.  The exhibition is a public presentation of thesis work, typically held in one of the School’s formal exhibition spaces.

Admission Requirements: Admission to the MFA program requires a bachelors degree or equivalent, and the submission of a portfolio of 20 images through slideroom, a CV, artist statement, letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation (through the online request service). You must also submit an application to Ohio University online.

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