Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Exceptions are made to the Bachelor’s degree requirement in rare circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Graphic Design Program for more information regarding exceptions.
Applicants must have basic proficiency in both appropriate hardware and software currently used within the field of graphic design. More specifically, applicants should have a working knowledge of Macintosh platforms as well as basic proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite software. Regular access to these technologies is also important for incoming students. Incoming students will be expected to maintain an internet file sharing service and internet access will be necessary.
Applicants must also have a working knowledge of contemporary visual culture as the program requires significant emphasis on critical and conceptual content in creative work. This working knowledge may come from previous coursework in art history, visual culture, communications, design, and/or professional experience in the field of graphic design or equivalent.
Priority Scholarship Consideration Deadline for October 2013 residency: July 13, 2013
Rolling Application Deadline for October 2013 residency: September 13, 2013
You may fill out the application form online, print it out as a .pdf,or request for a form to be sent to you by mail. In order to be considered for admission to the Graphic Design Program, all applicants must submit the following application materials:
- A completed and signed application form
- A $75 non-refundable application fee (made payable to Vermont College of Fine Arts)
- A resume of education, work experience, exhibitions, prizes, awards, and publications
- Official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework. The applicant should request that these transcripts be sent in officially sealed envelopes directly to:
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
- Two recent letters of recommendation sent directly from the recommenders to the Admissions Office. These letters should discuss your qualifications as a designer for master’s level study in design and your aptitude for independent learning. If possible, one letter should be from a former instructor and the other should be from a recent employer. Alternately, it is acceptable for both letters to come from either employers or instructors.
- A statement of purpose between 500 and 1,000 words in length. The statement of purpose should address the following questions:
What are your current design goals and specific reasons for seeking an MFA in Graphic Design
at VCFA? Please describe what experiences led you to this point and how they may have shaped
your current visual work. What do you hope to achieve during your MFA studies? What topics in
design are you most interested in studying?
As independent study is an essential feature of the low-residency model, it is important for us to
assess your aptitude for defining your own educational direction. What other independent educational
experiences have you pursued? Please describe the successes you achieved and the challenges you
faced in your prior independent educational experiences. Please discuss your motivation and comfort
level with independent study.
- A portfolio of design work that demonstrates a commitment to the design field as well as an aptitude for expressing content and voice in creative endeavors. Design work should also demonstrate an understanding of visual communication and basic design concepts.
The portfolio submission should highlight your visual strengths. It may be a chronicle of your development as a designer over time and should tell the story of your interests and experience. You can choose to submit digital images of various visual media if you feel they represent and clarify your design goals in some way. The committee assessing your aptitude for success will look less for polished professional experience in the field of graphic design and more at your demonstrated potential to effectively develop content and to communicate content visually. In other words, the faculty will look for candidates who bring context and richness to the generation of both form and content. If collaborative projects are included, please clearly identify your role in the project.
- Please send your portfolio on a clearly labeled CD. Do not submit original hard copies of any creative work. Additionally, please do not submit links to websites and/or photo sites in lieu of a CD submission.
- Submit between 20 and 40 single images or up to 20 projects or time-based media samples on CD.
- Individual images should not exceed 2 MB. Time-based media pieces should be submitted in Quicktime format. Please provide only excerpts for longer time-based works that clearly identify the scope of project with labeling.
- Please include an image list in .pdf format that clearly identifies medium, date of completion, and any necessary, brief description that helps to contextualize the project.
Access our online and .pdf applications here.