An inspiring path to an illustrious MFA
the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) to UMass Dartmouth is proud to announce that it has added a Post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) in visual design in its BA, BS and BFA programs in studio arts, several fields of design, art history, arts education and music. This new PBC allows you to focus on graphic design, illustration and animation / game art. It is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree by portfolio exam.
Here are three main reasons why you should consider a PBC in visual design:
- Portfolio Development: This 18-credit hour-long program is designed for students who wish to strengthen their design portfolios before applying for graduate programs or jobs in the design industries.
- Professional Development: The PBC program is perfect for professionals who wish to broaden or update their skills.
- A New Path: The PBC program enables studio and performing artists to acquire strong design skills to create or expand their own career opportunities.
UMass Dartmouth’s PBC in Visual Design is a pathway to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Successful PBC students who choose to continue their education in an MFA program at UMass Dartmouth will receive up to nine credit hours for that degree, allowing you to combine the PBC with an abbreviated master’s program.
Located on the beautiful South Coast of Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth is 30 minutes from Providence, Rhode Island, one hour from Boston and 4.5 hours from New York. The south coast has miles of pristine beaches, bike paths, and walking trails, and is the gateway to famous Cape Cod with its quaint villages and gorgeous beaches.
CVPA has state-of-the-art facilities on the main campus (designed by acclaimed mid-century architect Paul Rudolph) and the Star Store campus in the heart of the arts and culture district of downtown New Bedford. Students from all programs will have the opportunity to work one-to-one with our world-class faculty, in small collaborative groups across disciplines, and with the broader South Coast community. Its faculty also has excellent links with professional organizations and in industries related to their specific design areas.
PBC students work closely with CVPA MFA students in the classroom and in the studio. UMass Dartmouth offers an MA in Studio Visual Arts and Design (with concentrations in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramics, Graphics, Illustration, and Animation / Game Art). The PBC and MFA are both designed to allow students to broaden their creative horizons, work through media, and prepare to become successful designers and artists in the 21st century.
CVPA prides itself on its dedicated and professionally active faculty in all of its disciplines. Recent faculty honors include:
- Scott Ahrens (graphic design) and Michael Swartz (animation) collaborate with an interdisciplinary faculty to visualize the Hoover Dam in a project funded this year by the National Endowment for the Humanities;
- Rebecca Huntchison (Ceramics) showed her most recent multimedia sculpture in a solo exhibition at the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts in the fall and winter of 2021;
- Our new faculty member, Gabo Camnitzer, continues to show new work in prestigious venues across the United States and Europe.
In the 2021 ranking of the Animation Career Review, UMass Dartmouth performed well in the Illustration category: top 20 nationally among public schools and colleges, top 20 in the East and second in Massachusetts.
In addition to the PBC in Visual Design, CVPA also offers a Ceramic PBC, available to students both remotely and at its Dartmouth campus. Both post-baccalaureate certificates provide students with an excellent portfolio and professional development opportunity and offer a proven path to build exciting careers in design and ceramics. The MFA is the highest art and design degree offered in the United States. Like the PBC, it offers students the opportunity to experiment, take risks, and grow as artists and designers. It is also the required degree if you are looking to teach art or design fields at US colleges and universities.
Personalized support from the start
CVPA works with New education of the mind on a pre-arrival program for students coming from China at UMass Dartmouth. New Mind Education created this initiative to help Chinese students enrolled in American universities understand academic expectations in a different educational setting and help with cultural adaptation. This valuable program will be offered online for students to complete before traveling to the United States.
An experiential finale
The closing experience for CVPA’s MFA students is the annual Masters Thesis Exhibition. International student and 2021 graduate from South Korea, Sung Ji Lee, wrote this about her mixed media textile installation in this spring’s exhibition: “Over time, memories fade; their fragments are fossilized and reside somewhere in my unconscious. Each fragment is not very clear but has subtle traces. They can be found in various forms like objects, smells, colors and emotions.
“I explore these fragments that have been hidden for a while, to paraphrase Walter Benjamin, like a man digging the earth to find dead cities. I try to synthesize my old memories over time to bring them back to life in my work. In this process, the memories are no longer ambiguous, but they are articulated in a tangible and visible form.
To learn more about how ACVP prepares students for artistic careers and beyond, click here.