The Rutgers master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree in design is a two-year, full-time course of study that combines creative work and critical inquiry. This program focuses on the innovative use of technology and interdisciplinary research in the creation of publications, experiences, exhibitions, information, interfaces, and more--preparing designers for a contemporary design studio practice that contributes to the future of arts, science, humanities, and technology.
This program attracts students who value experimentation, collaboration, and criticality. It combines studio work and the study of historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts with opportunities for collaboration with experts in a wide range of fields at Rutgers University. The program emphasizes research-driven work, empowering designers to identify, question, and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data and material from primary sources to underpin their creative projects. Design becomes a tool for inquiry and investigation alongside communication and expression.
Through seminars, studio courses, and independent work, M.F.A. design graduate students develop skills and experience to:
- Identify meaningful and appropriate subjects for design investigation
- Collaborate with research partners on complex projects that address cross-disciplinary concerns
- Visualize, design, prototype, and produce ambitious, innovative projects
- Situate their work within current scientific, social, and political contexts
This program is ideal for active visual designers and other makers who seek to deepen their skills in order to initiate their own projects and contribute to and lead collaborative project teams. Graduates will find career opportunities in various creative, technological, media, and educational fields, in a wide range of roles such as information designer, interface designer, design researcher, graphic and/or digital producer, coordinator of digital laboratories, coordinator of collaborative design projects, and more.
Each year, the department hosts a Design Lecture Series, bringing renowned and diverse practitioners and theorists to speak directly with students in an intimate setting. Previous speakers have included Young Sun Compton, Neil Donnelly, Dina El-Zanfaly, E Roon Kang, Prem Krishnamurthy, Casper Lam and Yu June Park of Synoptic Office, Andrew LeClair, Surya Mattu, McCandliss and Campbell, Paul Sahre, and Joel Simon.
Development and assessment of the work happens through self-reflective writing, presentations, class discussions, and critiques with faculty and peers.