Master of Fine Arts in Design

*Pending State Approval*

Design is an innovative, creative, cross-disciplinary practice that responds to changing paradigms in nature, culture and society. The Rutgers MFA in Design program offers a studio design degree with a focus on interdisciplinary research. The program combines creative work, inquiry, and investigation to prepare designers for advanced studio practice in the design of publications, information, interfaces and exhibitions. The program provides an environment for experimentation ,production and presentation with design practice at its core.

Rutgers MFA in Design is a two-year full-time 60-credit course of study. Through seminar and studio courses and independent studio work, graduate students develop skills and experience to:
Identify meaningful and appropriate subjects for design investigation
Collaborate with research partners on complex projects that address cross-disciplinary concerns
Visualize, design and produce ambitious, innovative projects
Situate their work within current techno-political contexts

Development and assessment of the work happens through self-reflective writing, presentations, class discussions and critiques with graduate and visiting faculty. Throughout the two years of study, alongside their Design MFA peers, students take courses in Research Methods, Design Studio, Design Seminar and Production. In the first year, each student chooses two university elective courses outside of Art & Design. In the second year, design courses address the research, development, production, publication and display of the student's thesis work.

MFA in Design students share a dedicated studio space, with 24-hour access and permissions to all facilities, labs and shops for the duration of their studies. The program is situated in the Civic Square Building which houses computer labs, design classrooms, lighting studios, project spaces and a 4,200-square foot gallery. The wider university offers a full range of academic departments, extensive libraries including the Rutgers Art Library and resources such as the Zimmerli Museum and the Center for Cultural Analysis

Rutgers offers considerable resources for interdisciplinary research. MFA in Design students may tap into a diversity of fields of study and university units such as Landscape Architecture, User Experience Design, Urban Planning, Biomedical Engineering, Packaging Engineering, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) and more.



Situated in the Department of Art & Design, the new MFA in Design program will co-exist with a thriving undergraduate and graduate artistic and learning community. The department includes the BFA in Visual Arts, with established media and photography areas; the MFA in Visual Arts, established in 1960 as the first interdisciplinary fine art graduate program in the USA, in which students move freely among all art media; and the BFA in design, which encourages experimentation and a critical engagement with contemporary culture, giving students the foundation for a practice in visual communication across the spectrum of concrete and dynamic media. See the department faculty here. Full-time design faculty members are Atif Akin, Gerry Beegan and Jackie Thaw. Current and recent instructors in Design include:

Lauren Francescone
Melanie Hoff
Bo-Won Keum
Asad Pervaiz
Laurel Schwulst
Stephen Spyropoulos
Scott Vander Zee
Karolina Ziulkoski



MFA in Design students who wish to gain teaching experience may choose to take a for-credit, semester-long teaching mentorship under Faculty supervision. Upon completion of the mentorship, students become eligible for selection as Part-Time Lecturers. Selected candidates receive teaching assignments, contingent on demonstrated expertise, experience, and position availability.

MFA in Design students also gain teaching experience through the Mentorship Program which partners graduate students with undergraduate thesis students. The program fosters guidance and support for undergraduates during their senior year, deepening artistic dialogue and strengthening connections across the diverse student body.



Art & Design Admissions Open House
Saturday, October 27
33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick NJ

MFA In Design Info Session at 2pm; RSVP to

MFA in Visual Arts Open Studios from 3-6pm

Individual tours available by request; please contact Cassandra Oliveras-Moreno at 848-932-5399 to schedule your visit.

Visit the Design Blog


Department of Art & Design
33 Livingston Avenue // New Brunswick NJ

For more information on the MFA in design, contact
Cassandra Oliveras-Moreno, Administrator