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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

The MFA program provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in web design and new media. Progress in the MFA degree is measured through a rigorous process, both at the midpoint and final reviews. 

Studio courses develop creative and technical acumen, with attention to mastering user experience design, while advanced courses provide a focused learning environment for building final thesis projects. Students will graduate with a portfolio and comprehensive thesis project showcasing their talent.

MFA Web Design & New Media Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 18 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 12 units
Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 63 units
*Per director approval

MFA Web Design & New Media Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units

Additional Information

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Present a clearly defined design project worthy of the MFA degree
  • Provide proof of concept demonstrating the feasibility of the project
  • Produce a final thesis project demonstrating design thinking, and visual communication and technical skills

Design Thinking

  • Conduct appropriate market research and apply findings to design decisions
  • Demonstrate knowledge of thesis topic and identify resources for content development
  • Identify appropriate platform(s) and adapt designs accordingly

Visual Communication

  • Effectively utilize grid, hierarchy, typography, color, and composition
  • Demonstrate interactive design principles as appropriate to the project

Technical Abilities

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the technical skills necessary to execute the thesis project.

User Experience

  • Clearly define the target audience demonstrating a consideration of both primary and secondary users
  • Develop final testing plan based on initial explorations
  • Apply testing results to refine project throughout the design process.

Professional Readiness

  • Effectively articulate and defend ideas and processes
  • Demonstrate organizational skills in the thesis proposal and record of thesis project development process
  • Develop and demonstrate the skills required for the chosen professional path, as demonstrated in the thesis project, portfolio and personal website

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.


Please see Degree Breakdown for requirements for the program. Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Graduate Degree Breakdowns

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA degree provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in Web Design & New Media. Studio courses focus on the techniques necessary to develop and master technical skills. Graduate Liberal Arts courses promote the expression of ideas and effective communication utilizing visual, oral and written presentation skills. The program culminates with an independent final project. Students will graduate from the program equipped with a portfolio of work and prepared for professional opportunities in the field of Web Design & New Media.

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