The Master of Arts in Visual Communication centers on meeting the needs of practicing education professionals. In this expanding field, students aspire to achieve a higher level of proficiency in creative methodology, critique methods, design curriculum, and education leadership.

The VisCom MA program explores creative process innovation, course preparation, development of curriculum, and an understanding of course structure and sequencing. Students will primarily be middle school and high school art teachers seeking to enhance their education and career viability. The MA in Visual Communication could be achieved in two years rather than the three years required for the MFA. Offering the MA and MFA degrees in conjunction with one another strengthens the overall graduate art curriculum and serves as a model and inspiration for the undergraduate students pursuing BFA degrees at the same location.

The MA Visual Communication research paper is the capstone project that addresses an issue of social, educational, environmental, or business significance utilizing research methods that yield new knowledge in the chosen field of study.

MFA Graduate Coordinator: Veronica Vaughan, veronica.vaughan@tamuc.edu

MA in Art with an Emphasis in Visual Communication
Required Courses (21 semester hours)
ARTS 595 Research Literature & Techniques 3
ARTS 540 Studio 1 Creative Method 3
ARTS 502 Design Teaching Methods 3
ARTS 506 Design Teaching Environment 3
ARTS 541 Studio 2 Design Education 3
ARTS 542 Studio 3 Design Writing 3
ARTS 546 Studio 7 Design Studio Processes 3
Required Support Courses (9 semester hours)
ARTS 549 Studio 9 User-centered Design Experience 3
ARTS 507 History of Graphic Design 3
ARTS 511 The History of American Typography 3
Total Hours 30

ARTS 540
Studio 1. Creative Methodologies, Three semester hours
Experimenting with both proven and experimental creative methodologies in a team based environment. An overview of innovative collaborative creative thinking processes. Pushing beyond one’s knowledge base through innovative role-play in self-problem solving techniques.

ARTS 542
Studio 3. Design Writing, Three semester hours
This course introduces students to basic skills surrounding persuasion and consensus-building. Students will learn to hone their oral and written presentations, and incorporate proven techniques for sharing ideas in a more coherent and compelling manner — effectively luring others (even skeptics) to listen, believe, and embrace a new vision.

ARTS 543
Studio 4. Cross-Cultural Marketing, Three semester hours
This course teaches advanced oral and written presentation skills within the context of a multicultural audience.  Students will examine the forces at work in today’s global marketplace and fine-tune their ability to bridge the cultural divide in order to connect with audiences whose history, customs, and beliefs they do not share.

ARTS 595
Research Literature & Techniques, three semester hours
This course is designed to give students focused instruction on primary and secondary sources of scholarly research, the proper use and citation of those sources, and other tactics of scholarly research.  The course will also guide students on the preparation of mandatory components of their thesis papers, including their IRB application (if applicable) and TAMUC thesis proposal.

Required Support Courses

ARTS 549
Studio 9. User-centered Design Experience. Three semester hours.
An introduction to the understanding, development and implementation of user-centered design thinking and problem solving. Emphasis will be placed on user personas, ethnography and other observational approaches, along with rapid prototyping methods towards building insights into product and service development

ARTS 550
Studio 10. Ideation, Process and Product. Three semester hours.
This 16 week course will be centered around innovation focused on creating value through ethnography, research, ideation and strategy in a marketing frameset. Students will explore radical ways of design thinking to create new business models or harness compelling value for products or services that do not currently exist in the marketplace. Projects will be collaborative and centered around the application of innovation through segmenting, brand positioning, target marketing, and the 4Ps (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place).

ARTS 551
Studio 11. Creative Promotion and Innovation. Three semester hours.
This 16-week course will empower students to take their innovations and marketing plans to the next level and implement them into a viable and fundable enterprise. Students will create a prototype to be presented as a proof-of-concept with a compelling presentation to an angel investor. In addition students will be introduced to issues related to the patent process and angel investment process as it relates to their innovations.

Required Art/Visual Communication Electives

Twelve semester hours