Course of Study

Most graduate graphic design programs in the U.S. focus on critical theory and radical exploration, primarily working in print media. Our focus is on transmedia, craft, skill, leadership and strategic thought with a goal of practical professional improvement.

Our regular two-year program consists of four full terms, a summer term reserved for studio-based independent study and an internship. If appropriate, we also offer a three-year program that includes two additional terms of undergraduate graphic design courses tailored to individual students’ needs.

The typical length of study for the MFA in Graphic Design is two years: four full terms plus one ArtCenter (ACL) summer term.

For incoming students who need additional design skills to complete the degree, we offer a three-year program. This program features two additional terms of undergraduate courses, tailored to meet the student’s individual needs. Once these two terms are completed, students enter the traditional MGx course track.

2-year (5 terms)

TERM 1 - FALL
Graduate Project Writing 3
Graduate Studio 3 6
Graduate Seminar 3 3
Graduate Typography 3 3
Grad Studio Materials Lab 2
TERM 2 - SPRING
Design Research/Strategy 3
Graduate Studio 4 6
Graduate Seminar 4 3
Graduate Typography 4 3
Mid-level Thesis Review 0
Visual Interaction Design 1: Web 3
TERM 3 - SUMMER (ACL)
Graphic Design Internship OR Studio Independent Study OR Testlab Berlin 6
Graphic Design elective 6
TERM 4 - FALL
Professional Leadership 3
Graduate Studio 6: Thesis 6
Graduate Studio 6: Thesis Lab 3
Final Thesis Review 0
Graphic Design Elective 3
TERM 5 - SPRING
Graduate Studio 7: Thesis 6
Graduate Portfolio 3
Graphic Design Elective 3
Completed Thesis 0
TOTAL
Total Required Units 74

3-year (7 terms)

TERM 1 - FALL
Graduate Studio 1 3
Graduate Typography 1 3
Motion Design 1 3
Digital Basics: LinkedIn Learning 1 1
Grad Studio Materials Lab 2
TERM 2 - SPRING
Graduate Studio 2 3
Graduate Typography 2 3
Visual Interaction Design 1: Web 3
Digital Basics: LinkedIn Learning 2 1
Graphic Design elective 3
TERM 3 - FALL
Graduate Project Writing 3
Graduate Studio 3 6
Graduate Seminar 3 3
Graduate Typography 3 3
TERM 4 - SPRING
Design Research/Strategy 3
Graduate Studio 4 6
Graduate Seminar 4 3
Graduate Typography 4 3
Mid-level Thesis Review 0
TERM 5 - SUMMER (ACL)
Graphic Design Internship OR Studio Independent Study OR Testlab Berlin 6
TERM 6 - FALL
Professional Leadership 3
Graduate Studio 6: Thesis 6
Graduate Studio 6: Thesis Lab 3
Final Thesis Review 0
Graphic Design Elective 3
TERM 7 - SPRING
Graduate Studio 7: Thesis 6
Graduate Portfolio 3
Completed Thesis 0
TOTAL
Total Required Units 85