Visual Communication Design

Be a leader in design-led innovation

Our M.F.A. program in visual communication design prepares future design leaders to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration for strategizing positive changes and innovations within organizations, communities, and society.

Emphasizing people and their contexts, we teach you to harness the power of design to clarify, humanize, and energize complex issues at any scale through a creative problem-solving process.

You will focus on various forms of inquiry and actions involved in designing and be empowered to be a creative change agent.

Year 1, Fall Semester

  • Seminar: Introduction to Design Thinking
  • Seminar: Introduction to Human Factors
  • Methods for Design Research
  • Methods for Design Analysis
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 1
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 2

Year 1, Spring Semester

  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 3
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 4
  • Methods for Design Synthesis
  • Methods for Design Evaluation
  • Interdisciplinary elective

Year 2, Fall Semester

  • Seminar: Leadership in Design Practice
  • Seminar: Leadership in Design Education
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 5
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 6
  • Thesis Writing 1
  • Thesis Studio 1
  • Interdisciplinary elective

Year 2, Spring Semester

  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 7
  • Collaborative Action Research in Design 8
  • Thesis Writing 2
  • Thesis Studio 2

A research-driven practice

In seminar courses, you'll learn theories and contemporary issues related to sensemaking and changemaking. A series of methods courses will prepare you to utilize various tools and techniques during the design process. In studio courses, you'll conduct problem-based, collaborative research projects of different scales and complexities.

Visit the program's Medium blog

Sustained career growth

Once you learn the mindsets and approaches of people-centered design, you'll dive deeper into design leadership and facilitation as a second-year graduate student. Working directly with a range of practitioners and community partners on and off campus will position you for a meaningful, sought-after career upon graduation.

Meet Juhi Singh (M.F.A. '11)

Engage with different people, ideas, and perspectives

An ideal candidate for Herron's visual communication design graduate program is someone who wants to explore design processes for the role they can play in creating positive change in society.

We welcome professionals, practitioners, or recent graduates who:

  • Offer a unique point of view to the program.
  • Want a collaborative, immersive, and experiential graduate experience.
  • Enjoy working with people of different disciplines and points of view.
  • Bring experience from a relevant field, such as design, public health, urban planning, sociology, anthropology, business, engineering, environmental studies, philanthropy, or public affairs.

This program focuses on thought process. We approach design as a verb, a purposeful course of thinking and action.

Youngbok Hong, director of visual communication design programs, associate professor

Work in industries that highly demand innovation

Upon completing the Visual Communication Design master's degree program, life after Herron could lead to a career in sectors, such as healthcare, information technology, service design, or higher education.

Our alumni are design strategists, user experience designers, faculty members, entrepreneurs, and more and have found meaningful careers at powerful companies, such as:

  • Anthem
  • Collabo Creative
  • Community Health Network
  • Cummins
  • Facebook
  • German-Jordanian University, Jordan
  • Google
  • Healthx
  • IU Center for Health Innovation & Implementation Science
  • IU School of Medicine
  • Mad*Pow
  • OurHealth
  • Regenstrief Institute
  • Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
  • Riverview Health
  • Samsung Research America
  • Shift Technologies, Inc.
  • Studio Science
  • Workday, Inc.

Join Indiana’s premier school of art and design

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