Visual Communication Design, MVCD

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Become a design leader who understands how design generates business value and social change. Learn contemporary and emergent design skills and expand your skills in visual communication, strategic thinking and speculative futures.

The MVCD is a studio-based degree program.

Students in this program work on strategic visual communication design projects with a focus on visual design communication proposals as well as related practices that improve human experiences, enhance interaction with technology, increase business value, and speculate critically about social issues. Students engage in visual and theoretical research, ideation, visualization, prototyping and testing of creative solutions that address critical problems faced in the contemporary designed world.

Graduates of this program are adept in working with principles of visual communication design, emotional intelligence, and systems thinking in problem identification and its appropriate contextual solutions.

At A Glance

Visual Communication Design, MVCD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (43 credit hours)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Other Requirement (6 credit hours)
GRA 581 Internship in Teaching Design (3)
GRA 584 Internship (3)

Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
GRA 622 Advanced Visual Communication Design Studio IV (5)

Additional Curriculum Information
The Master of Visual Communication Design program includes sequential studio courses. Requirements involve an average of 14 credit hours per semester. A summer internship is required during the summer prior to the final year.

The three-plus-year program adds the following requirement to the plan of study: deficiency courses (42 credit hours).

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution. Students should see below for information on the qualifications for a two-year program of study or a three-plus-year program of study.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. additional required application items submitted to SlideRoom (see below)
  4. two letters of reference
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency through either the TOEFL or the IELTS regardless of current residency. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS. Additional information can be found at

A portfolio, letter of intent, resume, and contact information for three references need be submitted to SlideRoom ( The Design School requires that these be submitted in addition to the Graduate College application requirements.

Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred. Students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted; otherwise, they will need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.

A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting the department.

Admission Requirements to the Two-Year Program
All applicants must have completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree or equivalent or a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university of recognized standing in visual communication design or graphic design, or other design discipline, or have significant experience in design demonstrated with a portfolio where visualization and visual communication skills are presented.

Admission Requirements to the Three-Plus-Year Program
All applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree or equivalent in a field other than in visual communication design or graphic design, or no significant experience in visual communication or graphic design.

Applicants may be admitted to the two-year program with deficiencies if their previous coursework is not equivalent to the ASU undergraduate requirements and standards. Deficiencies must be completed prior to taking the required courses, if necessary. This may cause the student to take longer than two years to complete the program.

Information about this program

Visit The Design School website for full details.