Course Descriptions

JBU's Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design requires 60 hours of coursework.

Faith & Practice (3 credit hours)
Focuses on the relationship between one’s faith, visual communication, and how to integrate their faith into their work within visual communication without compromising their values. Students will be required to take this class during their first year as an MFA student.

History of Design (3 credit hours)
A survey of key movements, trends, people, and innovations in the history of advertising and design. Students view work, read histories, and study concepts from the world of design, in hopes of gaining an appreciative understanding of the foundational artistic images and ideas that have been both a response to and an influence upon the culture at large. This analysis of historical commercial art will solidify students' own creative foundations for success in numerous professional fields-web design, advertising, industrial, product design, and graphic design.

Global Collaboration Strategies (3 credit hours)
Focuses on the theory and practice of collaboration on a local, national and international level. Students will develop an understanding of the great need for excellent and effective design thinking and visual communication, problem-solving creative solutions for non-profit organizations and ministries. This class will reshape the way you design and think. Students will take this class within their first three semesters in the program.

Self-Designed Study (24 credit hours)
Students will work on self-directed projects focusing on their area of interest within Visual Communication Design, Design Research, and Collaboration Design. Students will collaborate with other students, faculty, and/or organizations to develop bodies of work related to their research and specialty focus.

Seminars in Research, Critical Writing, and Teaching Methods (3 credit hours)
Structured as three seminars taught by guest experts within the specific topic areas. The first two seminars focus on research and writing. Since many MFA students will move into an academic career, therefore this class will help students understand the academic environment and good pedagogical practices.

Thesis Preparation (3 credit hours)
Designed to give students the opportunity to research and develop their written thesis. The course will help students learn how to effectively research, write critically, develop, and structure their thesis.

Electives (3 credit hours)
Students are required to take a minimum of three hours of electives, which will aid them in their specialty or research focus.

Thesis Development (6 credit hours)
Allows students the time and opportunity to develop their visual thesis (project) which will be displayed in the JBU student art gallery, and online.

Partnership (3 credit hours)
Works with students to help them research and develop international partnerships with non-profits or ministry organizations. These partnerships will lead to the work the students will be doing for their thesis project.

Internship/Partnership (6 credit hours)
Students are required to take six credit hours of international internships or missions internship. The students may join one of the undergraduate major-specific summer studies trips as an Art Director, or they may find a visual communication internship with a global ministry or non-profit partner.