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School of Industrial Design

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

Diversification within the Industrial Design graduate school curriculum allows for concentrations in transportation, product and furniture design. Graduate studio courses hone the graduate student's mastery of industrial design skill sets that visually communicate ideas accurately. Graduate Students will work on independent and group projects under technical and creative guidance from professional faculty.

The program emphasizes the identification and resolution of design problems and the nurturing of creativity and innovation. Graduate students will achieve expert skills in digital technology, and problem solving. The graduate student is guided by professionals and faculty in the achievement of an individually conceived Final Thesis Project. This project will incorporate the graduate student's personal creativity, through analytical skill, concept, aesthetic sensitivity and human factors. Each student must present the completed Final Thesis Project to a formal Committee for approval.

MFA graduates of the Industrial Design will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • MFA Thesis Project

    • Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
    • Demonstrate the feasibility of their thesis project
    • Explain the relevance of their project to their professional goals
    • Complete an approved body of work which represents an advanced level of achievement in their area of focus
  • Research & Analysis

    • Clearly define the problem/opportunity, hypothesis, main objectives, and product requirements in their project brief
    • Conduct adequate research and communicate findings using appropriate supporting materials
  • Visual Communication

    • Produce work that demonstrates proficiency in branding, graphics, drawing, rendering, 3D modeling, and model making
  • Design Process

    • Explore materials, color, form, manufacturing, ergonomics/human factors, and sustainability
    • Incorporate understanding of costs, bill of materials, and specifications into design planning process
    • Use innovative processes and design methodologies to develop conceptually strong projects (including brainstorming, mapping, sketches, and synthesis/testing of many ideas)
    • Explore secondary designs: packaging, engineering, user interface, and/or user experience
  • Presentation Skills

    • Give clear and concise professional presentations (verbal and visual)
    • Accurately present their ideas in writing
  • Professional Readiness

    • Produce a professional portfolio of work demonstrating their skills to a potential employer
    • Organize a final, stand-alone gallery exhibit of their completed thesis project

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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