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Master’s Degree Programs in Art & Design Overview

Majors Overview February 10, 2016

Students with an interest in art and design should look into master’s degree programs with concentrations in animation or interior design, media and digital imaging, fiber and surface design, among others. Graduates will be able to enter various career fields, such as digital, visual, and interior design.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Art & Design

Students enrolled in master’s degree programs in art and design are given an opportunity of exploring their interests in art via focus in areas such as animation, fiber and surface design, or interior design. The focus of some programs is on studio work, where students are allowed to use digital and traditional techniques in creating their projects. The focus of interior design programs is often on research, whereby students get the opportunity of looking at the history of design and analyzing current trends and incorporating both into their work. The presentation of an exhibition or final project is a requirement in most programs; examinations or a thesis may also be a requirement.

Master of Art and Design Programs

Enrollees study emerging technologies and traditional art forms in a master of art and design program, whereby they gain a rounded art and design education. Design equipment and materials are available to students in state-of-the-art studios. The focus of a fiber and surface design concentration is on hand, and digital techniques used to produce textiles, sculptures, fabric design, and prints. Graphics with traditional drawn animation techniques and digital imaging technologies for 3-D animation are both in an animation, media, and digital imaging concentration.

Students enrolled in most programs are required to produce a final project for graduation, while a written and oral examination may be required to be taken to showcase their mastery of art and design. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, preferably in design or art, in addition to a portfolio showcasing the student’s work.

Coursework

Program coursework can vary by school and area of concentration. Coursework typically covers courses providing a technical background in their area of art and design and advances towards techniques that are more complex in character. They are also permitted to experiment in the studio and pursue individual projects. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Digital imaging and animation seminar
•Techniques in digital hand weaving
•Problems in contemporary art and design
•Introduction to painting
•Advanced design studio
•Color and lighting workshop

Career Choices

Graduates may seek careers as designers of accessories, costumes, or interior objects, such as home products or furniture; alternatively, they may opt to become independent artists. Digital imaging students might design computer graphics or interactive games. They may choose from popular career choices such as:

•Motion graphics designer
•Illustrator
•Fashion designer
•Textile designer
•Special effects artist

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may pursue Ph.D. degree programs in numerous concentrations. They may choose from possible art and design Ph.D. concentrations such as culture and art history, decorative arts and design, and design. A Ph.D. in Art Education may suit the requirements of those seeking college-level teaching jobs.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Arts and Design with an Interior Design Concentration

Enrollees in this research-intensive program explore current innovations in interior design and the history of the field. Students learn about how interior design can influence society and people and how design materials can impact the environment. Both design studio and traditional classroom components are in the program. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school in a related area of design.

Apart from exploring eco-design, sustainable design, and building technologies, enrollees explore interior design and architectural concepts such as drawing, planning, color, and light. Research is available to students who learn about design theories used in fashion, film, and marketing materials. A thesis project is completed by enrollees, and an internship may be available to them.

Coursework

Program coursework is a combination of hands-on training in a design studio and academic study. Core coursework may cover:

•Environmental design analysis
•Interior design studio
•Architectural systems
•Interior design methods
•Advanced design research methods

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, over 58,900 individuals in the United States were employed as interior designers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, interior designers can expect to see a four percent job growth (BLS). In 2012, interior designers brought in an average annual wage of $48,400.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may pursue doctoral studies in art and design. Armed with a Ph.D. in Interior Design or Interior Design Education, graduates can seek teaching careers in higher education institutions, including universities and community colleges.

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