The Department of Art offers courses leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree with a major in visual communication and design. The Department of Art is accredited with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and a member of the College Art Association (CAA).
Visual Communiciation Design includes: graphic design for print and web, typography, art direction, motion and interactive design, illustration, photomedia and other specializations. Designers analyze, plan and create visual solutions to comunication problems.
The MFA in Visual Communication and Design at JSU is a terminal degree that allows students to concentrate in one specific discipline under the umbrella of Visual Communicaiton Design (for example, web design or illustration) OR to complete individually crafted interdisciplinary programs of study also under the umbrella of Visual Communication Design. The course of study integrates both research and studio components and is designed to assist students in developing a professional portfolio by the completion of their degree. The 60 hour MFA program, with a possible completion time of three years, also prepares graduates to teach at the University level.
Both scholarships and teaching assistant positions are available to qualified applicants.
Required Application Materials
Applicants for the MFA degree with a major in visual communication and design must submit all of the following documentation to the College of Graduate Studies, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265-1602, by July 1, to be considered for admission.
Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis with the review process starting in mid-January. Applicants will only be accepted for enrollment for each fall semester. Preference will be given to applicants for full-time study. Contact the Department of Art for more information at 256-782-5626 or the College of Graduate Studies at 256-782-5329.
Official transcripts(s) from all postsecondary institutions attended. (Students who have previously attended JSU do not need to request a transcript from the University.)
Three "Graduate Reference Forms" completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of the applicant’s potential for success in graduate course work. Two of these must be from educators and/or professionals in the field of visual communication and design.
Statement of Purpose – A statement of purpose should outline the applicant’s current or previous work as relevant to plans and objectives for advanced graduate study; describe professional goals; and state the areas of research and investigation the applicant would like to pursue and study in a visual communication and design program.
Applicants must submit a portfolio of 20 examples of current work demonstrating proficiency in the area of visual communication and design. Print work should be in a single PDF or JPEGs submitted on a CD or DVD. Images should not exceed 1600 pixels in any direction, 150-300 dpi, and the file size cannot exceed 2 MB. Orient all images top up, for correct viewing. Please label CD with your name and label each image as follows: last name, first name, title, date, media and number that corresponds with that image on an image index; digital work should be submitted in Flash, QuickTime, or HTML format as appropriate. A separate image index should accompany the samples, listing title, date, media, and relevant information or project descriptions. Applicants must demonstrate competence and understanding of design related digital technology, including proficiency in industry standard page layout, illustration, and image manipulation software. Prerequisites and/or technical experience specific to this field of study may be required prior to admission. The Department of Art is not responsible for the submission of original work Submissions will not be returned.
In addition to meeting general admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, applicants for the MFA with a major in visual communication and design must have an undergraduate major in art, graphic design, or its equivalent, as determined by the head of the Art Department. Applicants to the MFA must meet the following admission requirements:
Grade Point Average – At least 3.0 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
Deficiencies – Admission to the MFA program is based on the extent and quality of undergraduate preparation, including courses in studio art, art history, and other academic subjects. Quality of studio preparation is judged on the basis of careful evaluation of work done at the undergraduate level. Prior to the admission of the successful applicant, the graduate faculty will determine the individual’s deficiencies in art studio, art history, and general education, and inform the student of the findings. The prospective student will be given a clear indication of the prerequisites required, emphasizing that no course work taken to compensate for deficiencies in undergraduate preparation can be counted as contributing to the minimum number of credit required for the MFA degree.
Minimum semester hours required: 60
Coursework required: A minimum of 39 credit hours of studio - 30 credit hours must be in visual communication design studios; a minimum of 9 credit hours in art academic courses (research, theory and art history); suggested 6 credit hours of approved academic elective studeies; reminaing credit hours (6) may be applied to any combination of studio, art, academic or elective courses.
Studio Project required: No other options are available
Studio Project: All MFA candidates must present for review at a public exhibition or other approved public venue.
Other requirements: Continuation in the MFA program beyond the first 30 semester hours requires an evaluation and recommendation of the MFA Committee.