Information Graphics & Interactive Design (Graduate)
M.A. Program: Information Graphics & Interactive Design track
Students who are interested in using design, storytelling and information as a communication tool in information graphics, data visualization, web design and user experience design are suited for the Information Graphics & Interactive Design track in our Master of Arts (MA6926) program.
The Information Graphics and Interactive Design track combines the professional practice of data visualization and designing information graphics as well as user experience and front-end web design. Students develop storytelling skills through design and typography, graphics, websites, mobile platforms, and other methods such as motion graphics and video.
Graduates of this program work as designers, information graphic designers, interactive and user experience designers, website developers, and art, creative and communications directors. They have had successful careers in the industry in a variety of capacities and have worked at a variety of places, including The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The Food Network Magazine, Business Insider, Wondersauce, The Wall Street Journal, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Urban Institute, and various teaching institutions around the world.
This sequence takes three semesters to complete, and many students opt to continue a fourth to expand coursework and/or work on their Masters Project.
Questions? Please contact Graduate Director Stan Alost, email@example.com.
Students in this sequence are interested in visual communication and storytelling through interactive websites, mobile platforms, and other methods, including motion graphics (animation), video, publication design and informational graphics. See more student work.
Three of our four tracks are three-semester programs, with most students opting to stay a fourth for additional courses, research, and Masters project defense. The M.A. requires at least 30 credits of graduate coursework, plus a Master’s project (taking an additional 5 credit hours, including 1 hour for the defense).
Course requirements for all VisCom graduate students:
- VICO 5022, Graduate Seminar
- VICO 5014, Information Design Basics
- VICO 5400, Illustration I: Digital Imaging
- Master’s project (5-15 hours)
Students enroll in 20-24 credit hours in their field of study. For the Information Graphics & Interactive Design track, this includes:
- VICO 5161, Interactive I: An introduction to UX and web design
- VICO 5111, Infographics
- VICO 5435, Picture Editing
- VICO 5173, Interactive III: Interactive Media
- VICO 5112, Advanced Informational Graphics and/or VICO 6188, Interactive Capstone
Information Graphics & Interactive Design students are also encouraged to take:
- VICO 5900, Motion Graphics
- JOUR 5790, Data Journalism
Desired electives both within VisCom and across the university are also available. In the three to four semesters, about 50 percent of the coursework is elective. Information Graphics & Interactive Design students often take courses relating to their interest areas, such as computer-assisted reporting, writing, social media, motion graphics, publication design and commercial photography.
A required progress review is held toward the end of the first semester, or completion of 15 credits, to assess the student’s suitability for continued study.
Internships are encouraged for all graduate students, unless significant professional experience within your selected area has been gained prior to entering the program. This internship or practical education is not taken for credit towards your degree.
Equipment requirements and facilities
While there are no equipment requirements for the Information Graphics & Interactive Design track, many students come to school with a computer and Adobe software. An external hard-drive is highly recommended.
Equipment checkout room
VisCom also supplies an Equipment Checkout Room with the support of Nikon, Canon, Mamiya Corporation of America and Sony. Students can check out DSLR cameras, lenses, lighting gear, audio equipment, video equipment, a 360-degree camera, tripods other stabilization tools.
The School of Visual Communication uses Apple computers and predominantly the Adobe Creative Suite. We are pleased to provide computer labs with Apple computers, the Adobe Creative Suite and other software needed for classes. These labs also have open hours in the evenings, as do other labs on campus, and have color printers and photo printers students can use with purchase of a print card. Graduate students have 24-hour access to the VisCom Graduate Lab which includes printers and desktop computers.
Within the Schoonover building, VisCom also has two photographic studios available, including state of the art lighting equipment, dressing rooms and a cyclorama (“cyc”) wall.
The School of Visual Communication Gallery
On the first floor of Schoonover, the School of Visual Communication runs a gallery. Rotating regularly between student and alumni shows, students can not only show their work, but gain experience participating in the exhibitions.