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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Visual Communications

Majors Overview March 2, 2016

This article talks about graduate degree programs in visual communications and their education requirements, coursework, and career options.

Graduate Programs in Visual Communications

Schools offer graduate programs in visual communication as Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) programs; enrollees can expect to become adept in conceptual design through classroom-based practice and theory. Graphic design, photography, visual management, and interactive media are in the major areas of study. Creative experimentation and expression are available to students with scholarly research and creative projects. They also learn about the integrity and ethics involved in creative development. Graduates get abreast with current technology and tools used in contemporary visual communication; design leadership is used by them within collaborative teams in creating visual media.

A master’s project typically marks the end of a program where students are required to design a professional portfolio in their area of interest. An internship is necessary for some programs. Students may have to complete about 30 credit hours of coursework usually spanning two semesters of study.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in visual communication or a related art media. Requirements also include submitting a creative portfolio that demonstrates ability, apart from a resume and a letter of intent.

Coursework

Program coursework covers advanced courses in numerous areas including design principles, leadership, design methodology, image editing, and typography. Ethics and sustainability found in visual communication and design are also in the coursework. Core coursework typically covers topic areas such as:

•Publication design
•Mass media and society
•Message hierarchy
•Elements of image making
•Creative theory
•Visual narratives
•History of visual communication
•Design Studio

Career Options

Program graduates can leverage the advanced skills gained in problem-solving and creative design to pursue numerous leadership and professional positions in consultant firms, design agencies, government institutions, non-profit organizations and postsecondary schools. They can choose from possible job positions such as:

•Web designer
•Professor
•Graphic designer
•Illustrator
•Animator

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