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Master’s Degree Programs in Visual Communications Overview

Majors Overview March 2, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in visual communications and their education prerequisites, coursework, career options, and continuing education options.

Master’s Programs in Visual Communications

The art of presenting information and ideas in a visual form is called visual communication. Enrollees in visual communications master’s degree programs are allowed to acquire the skills and knowledge they would need for research, management, and educator positions. The focus of intensive courses is on collaboration, creative problem solving, and advanced level design.

Education Prerequisites

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field and submit letters of recommendation, a portfolio of work, a statement of intent, and essay question responses. Applicants to some programs are required to have three to five years of professional work experience before they can enter the program.


Program coursework is devised to impart education in photography, publication design, interactive and visual media, graphic design, and illustration. Full-time students typically take two years to complete master’s degree programs comprised of studio time, seminars, and independent study. Students are expected to complete a thesis and a master’s project before they can graduate. Although each program can have different course titles, program coursework typically covers topic areas such as:

•Design methods
•Conceptual design
•Visual communication problem-solving
•Color theory
•Portfolio development
•Visual communication technology
•Graphic design

Career Options

Program graduates can seek careers in upper-level positions in diverse fields such as planning, communication design, research and strategy for corporations and design studios. They can also aim for teaching jobs at the postsecondary and secondary levels.

Continuing Education Options

Licensure can be maintained by teachers through continuing education; however, each state may have separate requirements in terms of courses and hours. Interested individuals must complete continuing education in the areas of updated and new technologies; they can find the necessary courses offered by colleges, universities, or formal training companies.

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