Graduate Catalog 2010-12

Design (Graphic/Information)



Eleanor Thornton (Chair, Vance 324), Wujun Wang (Dept. phone: 860-832-2557)


Department Overview

The Department of Design (Graphic/Information) provides an academic structure for the advancement of graphic and information design studies and degrees at the University. The department was established to promote professional studies in the expanding areas of graphic design, website design, multimedia design and digital imaging. The degree program is unique in curriculum and structure, including course work in design practice, marketing, management, computer applications, design theory, research methods, history of design and internship. The program, similar to the actual practice of design, addresses not only the theoretical, creative and technical aspects of visual design, but business applications as well. Faculty members have backgrounds in graphic design, fine art, advertising, illustration, communication, computer science, website design, multimedia design, and presentation.



The Department of Design maintains state-of-the-art computer laboratories and a print center that are dedicated to various aspects of design study. Faculty and staff with professional software training and design background operate these facilities.



Applicants for the Master of Arts degree in Information Design must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. The undergraduate record must demonstrate clear evidence of ability to undertake and pursue successfully advanced study in the graduate field.

In addition to standard University graduate admission requirements, the Department of Design requires that successful applicants submit the following materials: items 1 and 2 to the CCSU Graduate Admissions Office and items 3 and 4 to the attention of the Department of Design (Graphic/Information) Graduate Admissions Committee.

  1. Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.

  2. Transcripts that demonstrate 12 credits of undergraduate course work in graphic design with a grade of "B" or better, of which three credits must be at the 400 level. These courses will be reviewed by the department for discipline-specific content as it relates to the M.A. in Information Design.

  3. Application essay.

  4. Slide or CD-ROM portfolio (10 examples of applicant's graphic design work). The portfolio must meet department admissions committee approval for design quality. Collaborative projects must be clearly identified as such and include a detailed description of each student's contribution.


Note: Successful applicants will be expected to take a technical competency test prior to admission to DES designated courses requiring computer use.



Master of Arts in Information Design

Program Rationale:

The Master of Arts in Information Design prepares graduates to take leadership positions in the design industry, including graphic design, publishing, advertising, multimedia design, web design, digital imaging, and corporate information design.

Graduates are expected to meet the challenges presented by the theoretical, creative, and technical aspects of the rapidly changing field of visual design and its business applications through the development of the analytic and critical skills required to create, direct, present, and evaluate effective design solutions.


Program Learning Outcomes:

Students are expected to:

  1. Master advanced design theory, process and application;

  2. Develop analytic and critical skills required to create, direct, and evaluate effective design solutions; and

  3. Develop in-depth problem solving and research skills necessary for the creation and presentation of effective design solutions.


Course and Capstone Requirements

(36 credits):

Core Courses (21 credits):

MKT 470 Integrated Marketing Communication 3

BUS 590 Business Topics 3

DES 499 Computer Applications for Graphic/Information Design 3

DES 501 Graphic/Information Design Theory I 3

DES 502 Graphic/Information Design Theory II 3

DES 520 Advanced History of Design 3

DES 598 Research Methods in Design 3


Specialization (9 credits):

DES 503 Graphic/Information Design Practice I 3

DES 504 Graphic/Information Design Practice II 3

DES 537 Advanced Design Internship 3


Directed Elective (3 credits):

DES, MIS, CS, COMM, MGT, MKT, BUS or ART course as approved by advisor


Capstone (3 credits):

DES 597 Research Project (Plan C) 3

The capstone requirement is a research project supervised and approved by the graduate advisor and Graduate Faculty Committee. The research project also requires final approval by the dean, School of Graduate Studies.


Note: Students enrolled in the following courses will be assessed a $65 Design Lab Fee: DES 436, 438, 439, 465, 498, 499, 503, 504, 597, 598. Contact the department for additional information.

Note: Students are limited to six credits of DES designated course work per semester without permission of advisor and department chair.

Note: No more than nine credits at the 400 level, as approved by the graduate advisor, may be counted toward the graduate planned program of study.


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