The art school will offer a master’s program in design from fall 2022

School of Art, Anna Jacobs Design

The University of Arkansas and Art school in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new master’s degree in design starting in fall 2022.

The Master of design The program focuses on communication and participatory design that will show students how to help strengthen their community, the state of Arkansas and beyond through design.

“Everyone at the School of Art is proud to offer another amazing master’s program,” said Gerry Snyder, Executive Director of the School of Art. “This program will prepare students to advance their professional practice as culturally sensitive designers and bring community-centered mindsets to leadership positions in any industry or sector.”

The program will accept students with diverse educational and professional experience, offering three-year and two-year study plan options.

The three-year Master of Design plan is for applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a similar field. This cohort of students will receive one year of core study preparing them to enter the standard two-year study plan.

Through a generous donation from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, all graduate students accepted into the program will receive funding during their years of study.

“The Masters of Design program hopes to welcome a diverse group of designers and students to the School of Art,” said Marty Maxwell Street, director of the School of Art and associate professor of graphic design. “We believe designers have a unique opportunity to inspire meaningful change through design. The extraordinary faculty is dedicated to providing education, resources and design responsibility to translate the concept of building a better world into action. . “

Through applied and speculative studio work, the MA in Design program prepares students for the emerging roles the field can play in involving communities in participatory design processes that generate equitable and sustainable solutions to design problems.

The program also addresses a research-driven professional context increasingly defined by information, product and service ecologies in which digital technologies are the main means of dissemination and places of experience for citizens and citizens. consumers.

Whether students are interested in leadership positions in design in industry, teaching in academia, or community-focused design work, they will acquire skills and strategies that will prepare them to shape the world. ‘future of the discipline of design,’ said Alison place, director of the graphic design program and assistant professor.

Students will also have the opportunity to facilitate and participate in activities with the Design Clinic, a community space dedicated to outreach through design that supports the promotion of social justice causes serving the nonprofit and entrepreneurial community of the northwest Arkansas and surrounding area. The Design Clinic will be housed in the new Windgate Studio and Design Center, which is expected to open in spring 2023.

Bree mcmahon, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, will lead the program as Director of Graduate Studies.

“This program will provide students with exciting learning opportunities and styles that are unique to the region,” said McMahon. “We look forward to continuing to enrich the design community in Arkansas alongside extraordinary colleagues, collaborators and supporters. Students in the program will have experiences that will prepare them for many design roles, especially those concerned with their communities. We look forward to seeing how their work radiates across Northwest Arkansas and beyond. “

McMahon is a passionate educator, designer and student mentor.

Alongside various collaborators, McMahon develops and conducts workshops for design students who examine complex topics through dialogical project prompts that encourage critical perspective and learning. Most recently, her research explores how design can address the complexities of the maternal health system in Arkansas.

“Bree’s experience with students and his own research – exploring methods to disrupt traditional approaches to design pedagogy – provide important insights into the new master’s program in design,” said Christopher Schulte, deputy director of the School of Art and professor with artistic education. “The interests and ethics that shape Bree’s practice as a designer will serve as a powerful resource for students, their work, and the learning they experience in this new program.”

Applications for the new program are now being accepted for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to Register and attend an information session on January 18, 2022 with the Faculty of Graphic Design. All applications must be submitted by March 14, 2022. For more information on the U of A High school and Master of Design application process, please visit

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