M.F.A. in Design Research and Development

Curriculum


The Design Research and Development program leading to the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Design is devoted to the development of knowledge and skills possessed by successful designers, including environmental and social awareness, novel methods for human-centered and systematic analysis and visualization, and creative problem- solving. We emphasize the creation of outcomes that address and contribute to contemporary issues in a global society.

The program centers on research that discovers and explores new concepts, theories and outcomes in domains that are relevant to designers. The techniques and tools applied may be those traditional to design practice, including testing performance, usability, and user satisfaction, or they may evolve from experimentation, prototyping/making and exploration of the digital realm. Engaging primary research is critical to the processes of discovery that we encourage.

 

Example Course Plan


Courses marked with * are required in the semester shown. Electives and other courses represent the credit hour requirements and suggested distribution, but are flexible in the order that they are taken. 

Year One

Autumn Semester
Design 6200 Foundation for Grad Studies, 3 cr.*
Design 6400 DRD or DAIM Graduate Studio, 3 cr.*
Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Elective, 3 cr.
Design 7193 with 2 person committee, 5 cr.*

Spring Semester
Design 6100 Methods for Design Research, 3 cr.*
Design 6300 Exploration in Grad Studies, 3 cr.*
Design 6400  DRD or DAIM Graduate Studio, 3 cr.*
Studio Elective, 3 cr.
First Year Review

May/Summer
Seminar Elective, 3 cr.
Studio Elective, 3 cr.

Year Two

Autumn Semester
Design 6400 DRD or DAIM Graduate Studio, 3 cr.*
Design 6500 Graduate Design Seminar, 3 cr.*
AAEP7795 Research Writing, 3 cr. (Recommended, but not required - Fits into Thesis Category)
Studio Elective, 3 cr

Spring Semester
Design 6400  DRD or DAIM Graduate Studio, 3 cr.*
Design 7998 Thesis Project (Independent), 4 cr.
Seminar Elective, 3 cr.
Seminar Elective, 3 cr.
Thesis Committee Review

May/Summer
Design 7999 Thesis Writing (Independent), 5 cr.
Masters Examination

Total Credit Hours: 60

Category Descriptions


Theory/History/Criticism Electives (18 credits)

Courses should be seminar or lecture format with writing assignments and may be in or outside of the Design Department.

Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Seminar/Studio Electives (6 credits)

Courses apply when studying and interacting within another discipline.


Studio Electives (21 credits)

Hands-on experiences in or outside Design that advance skills applied in research or to understand and incorporate experimental or applied practices in other areas. Studios may be fulfilled with 5000 level undergrad courses in Design with a G designation, ACCAD studios, or graduate studios external to the Dept.


Thesis Development & Thesis Writing/Project (15 credits)

Courses taken independently with members of the student’s thesis committee focused on the production of a thesis.

 

For detailed information about forming Thesis Committees, the first year review and Thesis Committee Review, please see the Design department’s Graduate Handbook at: https://design.osu.edu/grad/resources
 
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