Visual Communication Design, MVCD

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There are two Master of Visual Communication Design (MVCD) programs available:

  1. The MVCD 2-year program is a studio-based graduate degree program designed to provide specialized studio design opportunities for those students who do have an undergraduate degree in visual communication or graphic design, another design discipline, or significant experience in design.

  2. The MVCD 3+ program (3 years plus one summer) is a studio-based graduate degree program designed to be a first professional degree for those students who do not have an undergraduate degree in visual communication or graphic design or no significant experience in visual communication or graphic design.

Both programs (2-year and 3+) offer the following:

  • Prepares students in expanded visual communication design practices including current and emergent design approaches such as information design, interaction design, service design, user experience design, design activism, participatory design, biomimicry, sustainable design, speculative design, design for social innovation, and others.
  • Equip designers with contemporary design tools and methods to practice design incorporating sensemaking, research, strategy, and critical thinking.
  • Graduates will be prepared to find employment as designers in corporate design offices or design consulting firms nationally and internationally.
  • Organizes the studio content sequentially from a local, national, and international focus and provides the opportunity for a travel studio as a part of the first semester of the final year.     
  • Opportunity for concurrent degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, the Master of Science in Design, the MBA in the W.P. Carey School of Business, and others.
  • The program offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations with students in other programs in The Design School including architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, and urban design.

 

The 3+ program offers great opportunities for students; see what our students are saying

Learn contemporary and emergent design skills and expand your skills in visual communication, strategic thinking, and speculative futures. You can become a design leader who understands how design generates business value and social change.

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The MVCD is a studio-based degree program.

Students in this program work on strategic visual communication design projects with a focus on visual design communication proposals as well as related practices that improve human experiences, enhance interaction with technology, increase business value, and speculate critically about social issues. Students engage in visual and theoretical research, ideation, visualization, prototyping and testing of creative solutions that address critical problems faced in the contemporary designed world.

Graduates of this program are adept in working with principles of visual communication design, emotional intelligence, and systems thinking in problem identification and its appropriate contextual solutions.

At A Glance

Visual Communication Design, MVCD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Admission

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-year; MIA 2-year; MIA 3+; MID 2-year; MID 3+; MLA 2-year; MLA 3-year; MS.Arch; MSD; MUD; MVCD 2-year; and MVCD 3+.

Summer Admission: MVCD 3+ programs only admit students to the summer term. We accept applications up until March 1st. Any applicant who would like to apply after these deadlines is welcome to contact designgrad@asu.edu.

Fall Admission: MVCD 2- year programs only admit students for the fall semester. We accept applications until July 1st.

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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 150% in-state tuition, find out if you qualify.

Degree requirements

Required Core (43 credit hours)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Other Requirement (6 credit hours)
GRA 581 Internship in Teaching Design (3)
GRA 584 Internship (3)

Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
GRA 622 Advanced Visual Communication Design Studio IV (5)

Additional Curriculum Information
The Master of Visual Communication Design program includes sequential studio courses. Requirements involve an average of 14 credit hours per semester. A summer internship is required during the summer prior to the final year.

The three-plus-year program adds the following requirement to the plan of study: deficiency courses (42 credit hours).

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution. Students should see below for information on the qualifications for a two-year program of study or a three-plus-year program of study.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. additional required application items submitted to SlideRoom (see below)
  4. two letters of reference
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency through either the TOEFL or the IELTS regardless of current residency. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS. Additional information can be found at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.

A portfolio, letter of intent, resume, and contact information for three references need be submitted to SlideRoom (https://asudesign.slideroom.com/#/Login). The Design School requires that these be submitted in addition to the Graduate College application requirements.

Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred. Students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted; otherwise, they will need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.

A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting the department.

Admission Requirements to the Two-Year Program
All applicants must have completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree or equivalent or a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university of recognized standing in visual communication design or graphic design, or other design discipline, or significant experience in design demonstrated with a portfolio where visualization and visual communication skills are presented.

Admission Requirements to the Three-Plus-Year Program
All applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree or equivalent in a field other than in visual communication design or graphic design, or no significant experience in visual communication or graphic design.

Applicants may be admitted to the two-year program with deficiencies if their previous coursework is not equivalent to the ASU undergraduate requirements and standards. Deficiencies must be completed prior to taking the required courses, if necessary. This may cause the student to take longer than two years to complete the program.

Program Curriculum

MVCD 2-year  

Travel

Students will have the opportunity to travel to a domestic or international destination while in the program as part of the learning experience. More information about destinations and requirements will be provided in the semester prior to the trip.

Admission Requirements

 Master of Visual Communication Design Two-year Program (MVCD)

  • All applicants must have completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university of recognized standing in visual communication design or graphic design, or another design discipline, or significant experience in design demonstrated with a portfolio where visualization and visual communication skills are presented.
  • Applicants must meet the minimum GPA requirements as established by Graduate College. The last two years of applicant’s undergraduate GPA records will be reviewed.
  • Students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted. The MVCD program commences in the fall semester of each year.
  • There is no GRE requirement for the MVCD program.
  • A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting designgrad@asu.edu 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

Master of Visual Communication Design Three-plus Program (MVCD3+)

  • All applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a field other than in visual communication design or graphic design, or no significant experience in visual communication or graphic design.
  • Students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted. The MVCD 3+ program commences in the summer session of each year.
  • There is no GRE requirement for the MVCD 3+ program.
  • A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting designgrad@asu.edu.
  • 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

Internships

Students completing the 3+ MVCD program are required to complete an internship. Students completing the 2-year program are encouraged to complete an internship. Internships are approved by The Design School in advance and can be completed anywhere in the world. The internship usually takes place during the summer after the first year; however, students may complete this in any semester after the first summer.

Learn more about internships.

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.

 

 

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