Skip to Content

M.F.A. Communication Design

Build your future with an MFA in Communication Design.

Emphasis in conceptual thinking, experimentation, and investigation

The degree will require a minimum of 60 credit hours: 18 credit hours of the core curriculum, 30 credit hours of prescribed communication design studio electives, six credit hours of free electives, and six credit hours of thesis. The formal thesis will represent students’ research, design, and documentation of an original hypothesis in communication design.

Online Availability

The majority of this program is offered online with a multi-day, on-campus residency each semester. The residency is packed with workshops, critiques, and visiting designer lectures If you are not a Texas resident and will not relocate, please visit the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. International students, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) regarding additional considerations in taking online courses.

Graduate Assistantships

The MFA/CD program offers a limited number of assistantships to graduate students to help fund their graduate education. Most of the assistantships in the School of Art & Design allow selected students to gain experience teaching in the undergraduate communication design program. Graduate Assistants are paid a stipend for 20 hours per week of work. In addition, students who would normally be charged out-of-state tuition rates are lowered to in-state rates.  

Program Mission

The mission of the MFA/CD, a nontraditional, mostly online, terminal degree program, is to educate a communication designer through advanced critical thinking methods, the analysis and the synthesis of communication design history and criticism, improvement of writing skills, advanced research methods, and the study and application of emerging visual communication theory to professional practice. The strength of the program lies in the breadth and flexibility of the student’s experience and the continual focus on conceptual thinking, experimentation, and investigation.

Diverse faculty and visiting designers

MFA/CD faculty demonstrate sustained activity in peer-reviewed forums, including commissions, invited talks, lectures, presentations, and internal and external grant awards. Recognition and publication of faculty design work are evident in published books. Faculty research topics include social practice, publication as collaborative form, alphabetic systems, concepts of interconnectedness, and the dynamic of complementing opposites, human-centered design, screen-based interactive storytelling, rapid prototyping techniques for virtual reality, designing environments to help veterans cope with PTSD, experimental publishing, racist motifs in design. Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Students have a wide variety of potential career paths such as graphic designer, UI/UX designer, design researcher, typographer, and educator. Furthermore, the program equips students to move their careers beyond a traditional 9-5 job and use design to engage their communities. For students seeking a career as an educator in higher education, the program provides mentorship and the appropriate academic credential and the terminal degree in the discipline of visual communication design: the MFA degree.

We offer:

Affordability (even for out of state tuition)
Online/offline learning 

We value:

Diversity, equity, and inclusivity
Creative research
Social engagement
Community building 

Connect with us 



linked ininstagramfacebook

Questions About Applying?

Call us: 512.245.7450
Email us:

Upcoming Events

No results.
No results.