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Guide to Master’s Degrees in Art & Design

Are you planning on improving your portfolio, attaining a doctoral degree or immersing yourself in the wonderful world of design theory? A master’s degree in art and design is a sure way of getting you there and far beyond. As a prospective student in an art and design master’s degree program, you should have a good understanding of the types of specializations therein.

Understanding Different Master’s Degrees in Art and Design

Graduate colleges in art and design allow students to make a selection between a Master of Fine Art (MFA) and Master of Arts (MS) degree. They usually have several shared core courses and variation arise in that:

  • Master of Arts – It provides solid training ground for aspiring professionals, educators and students wishing to advance their master’s to PhD level. At this level they are involved in art courses, studio design plus bonus grad-level theory in subjects they choose. Usually, MAs take less time compared to MFAs.
  • Master of Fine Arts – This is an ideal course for aspiring artists as it is generally more artistic than it is theory-based. An MFA is the apex of education for artists, meaning that it I the highest certification that an artist can attain. In some rare cases however, some fields (specialties) may permit PhD training.

Master’s degree programs vary greatly since you may find a studio based MA in creative writing or a theory based MFA in photography. Designers and artists wishing achieve the highest level degrees should pursue MFA degrees while those intending to carry out PhD programs later on or a brief theory based program should consider an MA.

Earn a Master’s Degree Online or Offline

Gone are the days when Master’s in Art & Design could be pursued in traditional colleges. Online courses allow students to enroll and attend colleges that are miles away from their homes. They also get to choose their own pace of study. Listed below are ways of earning a graduate master’s in art and design:

  • Online – this mode offers convenience beyond measure since you log in to class from anywhere in the world. In addition it allows flexibility for busy professionals and is characteristically self-paced to suit their needs.
  • Campus-Based – this is a time tested way of securing master’s in this field. It involves students living on or near campus attending classes several times a week to fulfill the required hours for theory and studio classes. Dedication to class attendance devoids convenience from this mode of education. On the other hand students benefit greatly from the hands-on experience they get from the software and art studios.
  • Low-Residency – this is most popular with MFA degree programs. It involves a master’s degree program taking place over a very concentrated period of face-to-face college time. Although much of the study takes place independently, they come together to interact with faculty for rigorous studio sessions. They usually last between three to four months.
  • Evaluate your preferred learning style and hours of availability per week to decide on which mode you will use to attain your master’s design and art. Self-motivated and independent students fit in very well and excel in online or low-residency programs, while those who require a lot of feedback and hands on experience should consider campus-based models.

Popular Master’s Degrees in Art and Design

Popular MFA and MA degrees allow for next level training. You can enroll in any of them in order to learn history, boost your artistic portfolio, technical details as well as theory. You can enroll for:

  • Animation and visual effects: This can allow you to bring your wildest dream to life. Typically, the coursework focuses on computer animation and graphics using various software packages.
  • Creative writing: Improve your creative writing skills via studio workshops. MFA are more popular in this accord; however some MA courses are partially designed to prepare students for PhD programs.
  • Fine art: While developing your portfolio, this also allows you to deepen your know-how on art’s history and put your talent to better use with an MFA or MA in Fine Art. Unlike the MFA, the MA doubles both theoretical and visual work.
  • Graphic design: By learning hardware and software fundamentals you are justified to earn a Master’s in Graphic Design. MA and MFA degrees both allow a balanced approach. Graduates with this degree may pursue their PhDs, freelance, tech or find a design position with regular salaries.
  • Illustration: This course stresses on the importance of visual communication. Students pursuing this specialization acquire knowledge in print and electronic media as they pave the way to enter artistic or technical careers.
  • Photography: If you have an appetite for photography, then MFA and MA degrees are there to prepare you for whichever genre you may want- photojournalism, wedding photography, fine art or portraiture.

Technical and Specialized Master’s Degrees in Art and Design

Ever thought of combining technical knowledge with high level artistic skill? Work towards an MA or MFA degree in any of the listed specializations and learn how profitable your expertise can be.

  • Computer arts and new media: Use industry standard software and software to acquire necessary skills in this high technology art degree.
  • Fashion design: Get to know how fashion came into being (its history) as you forge your area of expertise in the industry by building on a bachelor’s degree in any field – related or unrelated.
  • Industrial design: With a Master’s in Industrial Design, you get to create high technology products and objects used in everyday life. This course is available in both MFA and MA programs.
  • Interior architecture and design: Do you have a passion for determining which kind of furnishing will be suitable for someplace or a particular fabric in the house? If not, maybe you like creating the space where such will go? There is a degree program for you. Master’s in Interior Architecture and Design come in four strains – non-professional, post-professional, professional and pre-professional.
  • Motion pictures and television: A lot of design and artistry goes into production of movies and television, whether animation or real. Screen writing is also under this docket. You can find your strong area in a Master’s degree program.

Learn More About MA and MFA Degrees in Art and Design

Before getting to decide whether an online college in art and design is ideal for you or not, use the resources available on this website to get insight about various specialties within the programs, time commitments, their marketability and requirements for qualification among other vital information.