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School of Advertising

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

The School of Advertising MFA program is designed to provide the MFA student with conceptual, technical and collaborative expertise, which is used to create full, advertising campaigns. These broad presentations, crossing forms of communication, show the student’s expansive and imaginative ability to tell an interesting and meaningful story about a service or product. The student is responsible for all aspects of the campaign, from concept to finish, including research, strategy, copywriting, art direction and presentation.

By the time they graduate, each MFA candidate should be able to establish themselves as creative communicators capable of formulating carefully planned strategies and expressing them in traditional media and emerging advertising.

The curriculum reflects professional expectations. It measures strategic communication, visual communication, verbal communication, conceptual thinking and professional readiness and, as it applies, the specialty skill, creative strategy. An individual portfolio that demonstrates a mastery of advertising principles serves as the final project.

MFA graduates of the School of Advertising will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • Strategic Communication

    • Develop strategic elements focused on the target customer, the product/service, and the market
    • Gather, assess, and apply relevant information, including historical research, to strategic work
  • Visual Communication

    • Use appropriate visual media, including freehand drawing, to convey essential elements
    • Apply appropriate design principles to strategic and creative work
  • Verbal Communication

    • Convey creative ideas, concepts, and brand tone through engaging and sophisticated language at each stage of the creative process
    • Communicate verbally and in writing with a unique and versatile voice
  • Conceptual Thinking

    • Communicate relevant objectives through the use of appealing aesthetic choices
    • Think conceptually and execute projects beyond traditional advertising media
    • Consider diverse points of view, and reach well-reasoned conclusions as part of the conceptual and design process
  • Professional Readiness

    • Present a sophisticated and original portfolio to acquire a job within the industry.
    • Articulate career goals and plan to achieve them
    • Communicate strategic conceptual and artistic goals at a professional level
    • Submit work according to professional presentation standards
    • Collaborate with other members of a creative team
  • Specialty Skills: Creative Strategy

    • Analyze social and cultural trends to identify patterns and potential implications
    • Evaluate a brand’s position from multiple perspectives

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.
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