Design (Visual Communication Design), MSD

The MSD with a concentration in visual communication design is a degree program meant for individuals interested in advanced studies in visual language, history, theory, criticism and methodology, design processes and technology. The student develops an understanding of contemporary graphic design issues through specialized research and design skills curriculum. It also prepares the graduate student for a career in graphic design education.

Degree Offered

Design (Visual Communication Design), MSD
Design & the Arts, Herberger Institute for


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study


Application Procedures and Requirements

Application period

Online applications are open September 15 with a priority deadline of January 15 for the following programs: MArch 2-year; MArch 3+; MIA 2-year; MIA 3+; MID 2-year; MID 3+; MLA 2-year; MLA 3+; MS.Arch; MSD; MUD; MVCD 2-year; and MVCD 3+.

Fall Admission: MSD programs only admit students for the fall semester. We accept applications until June 15th.

Apply Now

Paying for College

Teaching and Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are appointed each term to a select number of graduate students who are excelling in The Design School. Learn more about teaching assistantships including eligibility and application details.

Financial Aid

Learn more about your financial aid options.

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

Students who live outside of Arizona may be eligible for in-state tuition, find out if you qualify.

Concurrent Degree Options / Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Students in their first year of the two-year program or second year of the 3+ program may apply to study two graduate programs concurrently.  The curricula has been designed to allow for most of our programs to be taken simultaneously.  Please note that MArch students have the opportunity to apply to the W.P. Carey School of Business to study for a Master of Business Administration concurrently with their MArch degree.  We work to try to reduce the length of time for both degrees to save students a year of time and tuition fees. Students with two Master degrees have increased professional opportunities and great marketability.  If the concurrent option is taken, this will extend the graduate program by a minimum of one year.  

Global Engagement Studios

The graduate program curriculum encompasses a travel studio which is completed in the fall semester of the final year. Students travel all over the world to locations such as Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia among others. This offers students the opportunity to experience a foreign country for one week at the beginning of the fall semester. This trip is faculty led and the cost is inclusive within tuition fees.  The benefit of this experience to our graduate students is invaluable. To hear what our students are saying about the Global Engagement Studios and their experience view this video.

Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Design (MSD)

Applicants to the MSD program must hold a baccalaureate degree in graphic design, industrial design, interior design or a related design discipline.

When applying for admission, applicants must declare one of three concentrations: Industrial Design, Interior Design, Visual Communication Design.

The following are additional requirements for admission into the program:

  • A baccalaureate grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is required for application. The last two years of applicant’s undergraduate GPA records will be reviewed.
  • There is no GRE score requirement for the MSD program.
  • A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting or 480-965-3536.
  • Applicants to The Design School graduate programs are required to complete a two-step application process. Applicants must submit the Graduate College application as well as The Design School SlideRoom application.  For complete information on how to apply, please view the steps to apply on the admissions page.

Apply Now

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations serve as the public face for their respective professions, providing information to the general public about disciplinary practice and its role in improving the well-being of communities, promoting design excellence through the recognition of notable professional achievements, supporting the exchange of ideas and information about best practices between professional members through the development of conferences and through the support of opportunities for continuing education.

Learn more about professional organizations.

Student Organizations

Joining a discipline-specific student organization is a great way to help your long-term career plans and goals. Membership can add to your academic experience by building a portfolio, making important connections, networking and engaging with local and national professional communities.

Learn more about student organizations.



Request Information

Your interest in The Design School is very important to us!

Please complete and submit the form below, and a representative will contact you about enrolling at ASU

Fields marked with * are required.

My interests
About me

USA Format: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Format: mm/dd/yyyy