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Find answers to frequently asked student questions by clicking below.

  • Yes, the Graduate College offers scholarship opportunities ( The MFA program actively assists our students through in-house design competitions and helping students submit their work in international and national competitions.

  • Yes, we have Graduate Assistantship positions. These positions are a wonderful opportunity for first hand experience teaching in a university setting. Please contact the MFA Office for additional information.

  • The Graduate College gives each student 6 years to complete a master’s program.

  • Yes! Acknowledgement of your work via national and international competitions is vital for success in the MFA program. Competition awards are evaluated at mid-term review and are important for your resume. We have a competition calendar on our website that will help you keep up with options and deadlines. Please let the MFA Office know if you win and we’ll brag about you on our website.

  • Three classes (=9 credit hours) each fall and spring semester is considered full time by the Graduate College. We do not recommend taking any more than two classes (=6 credit hours) if you work full time. 

  • Yes, we try to offer options for summer I and summer II. Summer courses are dependent on faculty availability, University funding, and enough student participation.

  • Special Problems is an independent study course. Special Problems is designed for students who wish to further explore a specific communication design topic not offered in a structured course. The student must have a faculty member who has expertise and interest in the specific topic and who is willing to mentor the student during the semester. Approval (via Special Problems form) by the faculty member and the Graduate Advisor must be granted prior to enrollment.

  • The Professional Practice course must be taken twice for a total of 6 credit hours. Professional Practice course gives you an opportunity for practical and professional experience. Please complete the appropriate page of the Professional Practice form to receive approval from the Graduate Advisor for a particular project or internship to use towards this course.

  • The electives may be any graduate level course in any discipline and may be taken at another institution. Some students use these courses to explore a topic outside of communication design, while others use these courses to further their thesis research. Please send an email to the MFA Office for Graduate Advisor approval prior to enrolling in the course(s) you decide to take.

  • Three of the four history courses (ARTC 5340, ARTC 5341, and ARTC 5342) can be taken in any order. We usually offer each course annually, depending on the number of students who need the course. These courses are reading and writing intensive and offered online with one required face-to-face meeting.

  • Visual Communication Theory course (ARTC 5343) is the last history course and is designed to get you started on your thesis research. Usually you will take the course after you have completed and passed your mid-term portfolio review or the semester you have your review.

  • Each student must submit a mid-term portfolio and take an oral examination after reaching 30 credit hours in the program. The review is done the semester AFTER you have reached 30 hours. You will be notified by email when the review is due and given instructions. You must pass this review to continue in the program.

    It is important to save and document all class work done (studio course design work and history course papers). Documentation should include communicative message or project mission, course, faculty, media (i.e., print, electronic Web), publishing information and peer-reviewed outcomes. This will make compiling the portfolio package easier. It is also important to follow through on any suggestions made by faculty in improving your projects.