M.F.A. Design

Do you want to cultivate your knowledge and skills in diverse design disciplines?
Degree Type Master of Fine Arts
Delivery Hybrid

Our Master of Fine Art in Design program, a 60-credit terminal degree, combines practical problem-solving, ‘change the world’ mentality and innovative teaching in an art school experience that will help you grow as a designer, provide cross-disciplinary opportunities, and prepare you for creative leadership or teaching. Take your art or design degree to a new level at UW-Stout:

  • Outstanding reputation for undergraduate art and design programs
  • A variety of course delivery options accommodate working professionals
  • Dedicated studio and lab space for graduate students
  • Focus on leadership, sustainability, education and design practice
  • International study abroad opportunities
  • Our polytechnic approach combines creative work with innovative teaching and applied learning
  • Tailor your degree to your interests in a collaborative environment
  • Large number of accomplished faculty
You'll use your talent to create from concept to capability to culture as we reach across multiple design disciplines. / UW-Stout

UW-Stout is uniquely positioned to offer this cross-disciplinary graduate program. With contributing programs already established in graphic, industrial, entertainment design, and interior design, as well as a diverse, talented faculty, the School of Art and Design provides a collaborative environment unlike any other in this region. You’ll use your talent to create from concept to capability to culture.

Our Cross-Disciplinary Setting

  • Graphic design
  • Game design
  • Industrial design
  • Interior design
  • Interactive media
  • Entertainment design
  • Studio art
  • Art and design history

Reversible design could breathe new life into old buildings

With an undergraduate degree in architecture and a Master of Fine Arts in design from UW-Stout, Dharshana Gopalakrishnan appreciates buildings.
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Meaningful Experiences

This graduate degree is intended to prepare people to pursue roles in the academic community and as design professionals and leaders. The program provides a unique opportunity for experiential learning and design-based research through collaborative faculty-student projects that reach across design disciplines. Courses will be delivered through a variety of methods including on-site courses, online, evening, weekend and intensive summer courses.

StoutStories: Jonathan Wheeler

M.F.A. Design filmmaker wins Copper Quill at Red Cedar Film Festival.
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Global competition, a workplace that increasingly values creative workers, the increasing role of evidence-based design, and the search for sustainability have created the need for a new model for graduate education in design. The MFA in Design will prepare you to become transformational practitioners and educators with a focus on innovation, breaking boundaries, design leadership and sustainable models of practice.

Admission Requirements

April 1, 2019 priority application deadline for Fall 2019 admission.

General UW-Stout Graduate School Application

All prospective graduate students at UW-Stout must follow a standard application process through our Graduate School. Beyond that, each graduate program has specific requirements that must be met to be successfully admitted to the program:

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

To apply to the M.F.A. Design program, please submit the following additional application materials:

Visual Portfolio | digital submission

15-20 examples of creative/professional work from your area(s) of expertise:

  • A single, multi-page PDF document including 10-15 samples of creative/professional work and a list with brief written descriptions. Total PDF size should be no more than 20 MB. File-naming structure example: Nelson_VisualPortfolio.pdf
  • A limit of 5 motion/video images will be accepted as part of the total 15-20 examples. Each motion/video submission shall be no more than 3 minutes in length. Website links are also acceptable, but if a website is utilized, limit the work to the required number of examples.

All work must be created by you, the applicant. Failure to follow this rule will result in immediate rejection. If your work is the result of a group project, highlight the role you played in its creation within the written description list.

Written Statement of Interest | digital submission

This two to three-page statement should describe your goals for graduate study, your potential research question(s) for exploration, and also reference and contextualize your work included in the visual portfolio. Submit in PDF format. Please include as a digital file saved as .doc, .pdf, or .rtf, and titled with your last name (i.e. Nelson_StatementOfInterest.pdf).

Resume or Curriculum Vitae | digital submission

Please include as a digital file saved as .doc, .pdf, or .rtf, and titled with your last name (i.e. Nelson_CurriculumVitae.pdf).

Candidate Recommendation Form | online form

You must secure three (3) individuals who can qualify you as a potential graduate student and attest to your academic performance and experience within your profession. Each recommender must complete the Candidate Recommendation Form and submit it directly to the Program Director, either by e-mail or hard copy mail.

All program application materials (with the exception of the Candidate Recommendation Form) should be submitted digitally to: http://tinyurl.com/MFA-2017-2018.

Design Advisory Board

2018 Design Advisory Board

  • Julie Peterson, Program Director, Chair - Dept. of Design, Professor – Dept. of Design
  • Seth Berrier, Associate Professor, CSTEMM, Dept. of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science 
  • Erik Evensen, Assistant Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design,
  • Robert Fraher, Associate Professor, CACHSS, Dept. of Design
  • Amelia Kennedy, Design Manager, 3D Design Studio - Target
  • Kimberly Long-Loken, Assistant Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design
  • Rochelle Maresh, Lead Designer - Store Planning & Design, Target
  • Joan Menefee, Professor, CACHSS, Dept. of English & Philosophy,
  • Sarah Murawski, Graphic Design Manager, Great Northern Corporation
  • Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Art History
  • Glendali Rodriguez, Associate Vice Chancellor, Provost's Office (ex-officio)
  • Shane Sanders, MFA in Design, Student Representative
  • Elizabeth Sanders, Associate Professor, Department of Design, The Ohio State University
  • Fred Sklenar, Owner, Fred Sklenar Design
  • Rich Walters, Product Design Manager, LSR
  • Julie Watts, Professor, CACHSS, Dept. of English & Philosophy, Founding Director of MSTPC
Earn while you learn

Graduate Assistantships

Gain valuable professional experience while enjoying paid employment as a graduate student at UW-Stout.

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