The MFA in Graphic Design at the University of Illinois is a 64 credit hour terminal degree rooted in self-initiated critical design practice and advanced creative research. The program seeks candidates that have both a distinguished background in design (or a related area) and an emerging research agenda or line of inquiry at the time of application.
Curriculum The program values intellectual diversity in its graduate students and balances a structured curriculum (topical and thesis study) with opportunities for individually-driven coursework (focus area and electives). Candidates in the program ultimately develop a thesis topic and formulate a research agenda that results in new contributions to design research and/or practice.
Focus area To strengthen thesis research and expand individual expertise, each candidate is required to declare a focus area that can be served by university courses outside of design. The focus area makes use of the richness and diversity of a research university and allows candidates to extend their expertise beyond that of the Graphic Design faculty.
Individuals interested in the MFA in Graphic Design at the University of Illinois must complete the university's online application (which requests transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume/CV, and a statement of intent) and submit a portfolio consisting of 12–20 pieces of work. International applicants must also submit English proficiency test results. More information is available at the A+D MFA Admissions site.
Applicants should use the statement of intent as an opportunity to identify a specific design research interest. The most successful applicants will be able to articulate a question or issue that they wish to engage with, as well as their reasons for doing so. While not required, potential applicants are encouraged to contact one or more faculty members with whom they share research interests prior to submitting an application.
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Recipient: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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