Yale University School of Art
1156 Chapel Street, POB 208339
New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8339
(203) 432-2600
GRAPHIC DESIGN DEPT

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GRAPHIC DESIGN (MFA)

The graphic design program focuses on the development of a cohesive, investigative body of work, also known as the student’s thesis. At Yale, the graphic design thesis is conceived as a loose framework within which each student’s visual method is deployed across many diverse projects during his or her two-year course of study. While every thesis project is unique, there are several common features: a focus on methodology, the application of a visual method to studio work, and the organization of the work in a thoughtfully argued written document and catalogue raisonnĂ©, also known as the “Thesis Book.”

The individual collection of graphic design work by each student is supported on several levels simultaneously: studio work led by faculty meeting weekly; small five- or six-person thesis groups meeting biweekly; individual sessions with writing and editing tutors; and lectures, presentations, and workshops.

Although the School of Art provides digital lab facilities, all graphic design students are expected to have their own personal computer for use in their studio work space. Each student has a designated work space in the design studio loft and has access to bookbinding materials and workshops, and to printing and digital work spaces in the School of Art and the Digital Media Center for the Arts. In addition, students draw on the extraordinary resources of Yale University courses, conferences, films, lectures, and museums, and especially the extensive reasearch and rare book collections of Sterling and Beinecke libraries.

Each year, up to ten students are admitted into the two-year graphic design program, and up to seven students are admitted into the preliminary-year program. Two-year program students are expected to have substantial and distinguished experience in visual studies and related professional experience. Students applying to the preliminary-year program typically have relevant experience in a field of study outside design and demonstrate evidence of visual acuity. After successful completion of the preliminary year, these students automatically continue on in the two-year M.F.A. program.

Credit Requirements

42 credits in area of concentration, including Art 949a, and 18 additional credits, including a minimum of 6 academic credits in courses outside the School of Art.

Typical Plan of Study

Preliminary year minimum credits

Graphic Design 710a and 711b: … Fall: 6; Spring: 6

Art 264a and 265b: … Fall: 3; Spring: 3

Art 468a and 469b: … Fall: 3; Spring: 3

Academic or Studio Electives: … Fall: 3 … Spring: 3

Total minimum credits for Fall Term: 15

Total minimum credits for Spring Term: 15

First year minimum credits

Graphic Design 720: … Fall: 6; Spring: 6

Graphic Design Sequence: … Fall: 3; Spring: 3

Art 949a, Critical Practice: … Fall: 3; Spring: 0

Academic or Studio Electives: … Fall: 3 … Spring: 6

Total minimum credits for Fall Term: 15

Total minimum credits for Spring Term: 15

Second year minimum credits

Graphic Design 730: … Fall: 6; Spring: 6

Graphic Design 739: … Fall: 3; Spring: 3

Graphic Design Sequence: … Fall: 0; Spring: 3

Academic or Studio Electives: … Fall: 6; Spring: 3

Total minimum credits for Fall Term: 15

Total minimum credits for Spring Term: 15

Last edited by: Jeffrey Scudder
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