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A student exhibit for the senior graphic design show

Master's of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design is a terminal degree. OSU’s MFA program is Oklahoma's only graduate program specializing in a unique combination of interaction design, motion design and visual communications. This three-year, 60-credit-hour degree will develop your expertise as a graphic designer in interaction design and motion design while developing your research, presentation and writing skills. As an MFA graduate, you will be able to respond to both the creative demands of the graphic design profession and the research and teaching requirements of academia. The MFA in Graphic Design is a terminal degree that qualifies you to teach at the university level.


  • Thesis
  • Teaching practicum
  • Off-campus internship
  • Graduate seminar
  • Twenty-seven to 30 credit hours of graduate level studio classes within program
  • Nine to 12 credit hours of electives inside or outside department
  • Courses include Graphic Design Graduate Studio, Motion Design Graduate Studio, Interaction Design Graduate Studio, History/Theory/Critical Analysis, Graphic Design History, History of Art and special topics in Graphic Design


Choose from interaction design, motion design and visual communications.


BFA Capstone Exhibit Information

The three primary focus areas for this degree are:

Interaction Design - Sometimes referred to IxD, User Experience Design or UX Design, the study of interaction design considers the role of graphic design within human-computer interaction, the ever-shifting role of the participant (user/consumer/participant) and design strategies for interface design and development. Other research areas explore the nature of design, communication and information in the context of crafting two-, three- and four-dimensional experiences.

Motion Design - Also known as motion graphics, this focus area brings the function and principles of graphic design and visual craft to sequential media and screen-based experiences. A focus in motion design includes animated typography, graphic elements, video in film and television, advertising, information graphics, music video and new media where elements of graphic design are set into motion, synced with sound and in dialogue with audiences.

Visual Communications - This focus invites interdisciplinary critical perspectives into visual media, considering the broad range of traditional as well as dynamic media. Emphasis is placed on innovative approaches to the communication of ideas and information within a spectrum of existing and speculative environments, experiences and frameworks. The array of applications of interdisciplinary visual communications include branding, information design, navigation and environmental graphics systems and media design.



MFA graduates will be able to respond to both the creative demands of the graphic design profession and the research and teaching requirements of academia. Students have 24-hour access to two design studios and three computer lab spaces in the Bartlett Center. Each computer lab is equipped with Adobe Creative Suite, audio editing software, Final Cut Pro, (20) 27” iMacs, laser color printers, scanners, & Wacam tablets. In addition, students also have access to large-format Epson 9900 printer, laser cutter, (25) iPad Airs, (2) 3D printers.


Department Facilities


Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in graphic design, a minimum of five undergraduate courses in graphic design or equivalent professional experience in graphic design
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose (1-2 pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio with 15-20 examples of work
Portfolio Instructions
  • Create your portfolio as a multi-page PDF document, preferably in a horizontal format.
  • Do not simply send a link to your website, without the PDF.
  • Each project must be clearly named and dated.
  • List projects in descending order: from recent (first) to oldest (last)
  • Include brief written information on: project objectives, concept and process.
  • Include process work if available: sketches, prototypes and iterations, to explain the development of your projects.
  • We encourage you to include self-initiated projects.
  • Show larger images of your final designs.
  • For motion and interaction projects: show screen shots and include links to actual pieces.

Test Scores:

  • GRE not required
  • TOEFL scores required for international applicants who aren't native English speakers
    Check here for exact score requirements.

Application Deadline:

January 15

Note: We do not except MFA applications for spring semester entries at this time.

Senior class at their senior show

Cost & Assistance

The MFA program awards several assistantships on a competitive basis to support graduate students, including Graduate Research Assistants (GRA), Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) and Graduate Teaching Lab Assistant (GTLA). The major criteria for awarding fellowships and other financial aid are academic excellence and scholarly promise. Need is also taken into consideration. The Department of Art, Graphic Design and Art History usually has four-six half-time (0.50 FTE) assistantships each year.

Half-time assistantship appointments include a monthly stipend, tuition waiver and health insurance benefits. To be considered for the graduate assistantship, you must indicate your interest during your graduate college application process and provide any additional information if required. These assistantships are available on a competitive basis and may be not awarded to all graduate students.


Assistantships and Scholarships

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