The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design program at Otis College of Art and Design is a 14-month, Los Angeles-based collective of students, faculty and international and local designers investigating the central issues of our day. We blend design exploration, critical inquiry, and applied projects to examine and better our world.
During the course of their studies, students learn to work across media and platforms through a series of studio projects, visiting artist workshops, courses in design theory and history, and roundtable discussions. The coursework engages research, discourse, critical thinking, and iterative processes with the goal of discovering many possible design outcomes. In so doing, the program supports students in taking on the challenges and opportunities in contemporary graphic design practice.
The MFA in Graphic Design program adopts an accelerated curriculum that runs for four consecutive semesters where students complete all required course credits in just fourteen months. This accelerated program serves the needs of working professionals and traditional students seeking to develop a professional practice in the fields of graphic design and technology.
The limited-residency MFA in Graphic Design provides a rigorous and challenging academic and studio environment for candidates interested in enhancing their current professional practice.
Participants select from three individual themes or tracks: social responsibility of the designer in society, typography and type design, or advancing the discipline through theory and innovation. Each track speaks directly to educating conscientious individuals who recognize the value of design and its role in society. Coursework is comprised of research, readings, studio projects (assigned and self-directed), and a final project. The department provides students with instruction by core faculty, visiting lecturers, and visiting artists who are recognized nationally and internationally in their design and art practice.
The program is two years and two months running for three consecutive summers with two part-time spring semesters that can be completed on or off-site. Incoming students begin the program at the start of each summer session.
Design Week and Symposia
Each summer, sessions begin with "Design Week:" multiple workshops running simultaneously and hosted by internationally recognized visiting artists whose practice exemplifies alternative practices. The week ends with a public event. In 2014, participants included Cox & Grusenmeyer, Type Radio, Feixen, Niessen de Vries, Adam Michaels of Project Projects, and LAVA Design. Live stream of public lecture (turn up the volume, and apologies for the shadows of passing heads!)
The program hosts weekly lectures, open to the public, by artists and designers from Los Angeles and beyond. All students are required to attend. MFAs spend the day in conversation with each visiting artist in a group setting or in one-on-one studio visits.