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Dave Johnson, Assistant Director, University Relations
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KU Offers Unique Master's Degree in Communication Design

September 12, 2013

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University will offer a new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Communication Design, a first by a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution. The technologically intense program will emphasize independent research and prepare students for employment as senior design executives, faculty at two and four-year institutions and creative design entrepreneurs.

Designed to be completed in five semesters, with the last semester being an off-campus experience, the program will emphasize personal creative design exploration and professional career investigation. To comply with criteria developed by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) for the MFA degree, 65 percent of the credits are in studio courses. The MFA at KU has received plan approval from NASAD and will be eligible for accreditation after the first cohort graduates.

An MFA is the terminal degree in the field of communication design and is an essential credential for professional designers. KU's MFA will prepare students for independent research and give them the opportunity to work with as many as 11 full-time faculty, all of whom are experts in their respective fields and working professionals. Graduate students in the program can choose from a number of unique electives, including a writing elective and seminars on unconventional typography, emerging media and contemporary topics in design. The format of the program provides opportunities for students to conduct research, determine self-directed projects and discuss and critique ideas in a seminar setting.

MFA graduate students will be trained in new and emerging technologies and will share their knowledge through a thesis exhibition as well as teaching and/or working in the design field and community. At Kutztown, the communication design bachelor's degree in fine arts (BFA) is highly recognized. KU alumni are recruited by advertising agencies, interactive and graphic design studios, as well as in-house design studios at corporations such as Hallmark, Reebok, Nickelodeon and ESPN. This spring, 51 art directors from 41 companies attended KU's annual portfolio review to evaluate and recruit BFAs. The MFA program is designed to build upon and extend the BFA program's prestigious reputation. 

KU is one of fewer than ten institutions throughout the tri-state area to offer an advanced degree in design and will be the most affordable. Additionally, the institution's central location is advantageous for students, who will have the opportunity to attend conferences, lectures, presentations and shows in New York City, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Bethlehem and Reading. Admission to the program will begin for the fall 2014 semester; for more information, please contact the Kutztown University Graduate Admissions office at 610-683-4200 or