MFA\Design  Beyond a Conventional MFA

Our MFA program, a 60-credit terminal degree, combines practical problem-solving, ‘change the world’ mentality and innovative teaching into an experience that will help you grow as a designer, provide cross-disciplinary opportunities, and prepare you for creative leadership or teaching.

We offer:

  • A cross-disciplinary setting that includes
    • Art and design history
    • Interior design
    • Graphic design
    • Interactive media
    • Entertainment design
    • Game design
    • Industrial design
    • Studio art
  • A variety of course delivery formats
    • On-campus
    • Online
    • Weekend and evening
    • Hybrid courses (partly online)
  • A transformational experience
    • Combination of creative work with inquiry and investigation
    • Collaborative design environment
    • Innovative teaching and learning 

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Global competition, a workplace that increasingly values creative workers, the increasing role of evidence-based design, and the search for sustainability have created the need for a new model for graduate education in design. The MFA in Design prepares students to become transformational practitioners and educators with a focus on innovation, breaking boundaries, design leadership and sustainable models of practice.

UW-Stout is uniquely positioned to offer this cross-disciplinary graduate program. With contributing programs already established in graphic, industrial, entertainment design and interior design, and a diverse, talented faculty, the School of Art and Design provides a collaborative environment unlike any other in this region. You’ll use your talent to create from concept to capability to culture.

Meaningful Experiences

This graduate degree is intended to prepare people to pursue roles in the academic community and as design professionals and leaders. The program provides a unique opportunity for experiential learning and design-based research through collaborative faculty-student projects that reach across design disciplines. Courses will be delivered through a variety of methods including on-site courses, online, evening, weekend and intensive summer courses.

Measuring Success

The MFA in Design is a 60 credit, terminal creative degree – which is one of the highest possible degrees in the arts. This program is built on inter-disciplinary coursework in Art and Design that builds on each student’s individual knowledge base, interests and talents. 

Varied coursework in Ethics and Social Responsibility, Research Practices, Sustainability, the Historical and Cultural Context of Design and Interdisciplinary Design Studios contribute to a broad understanding of the possibilities of design.



Applications are still being accepted over the summer for fall 2017 start. The priority deadline is April 1, 2017. If you have questions, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Julie Peterson at

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Program Accreditation

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The MFA in Design program provides a specialized education and is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design.

USDLA Certification

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UW-Stout is proud to be the first university in Wisconsin to be certified for excellence in distance education practices.

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