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Master of Fine Arts in Transportation Design

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  • Entry requirements
    Graduate Studies Candidates
    * Must demonstrate the adoption of cutting-edge technology in their design processes, and an interest in future trends.
    * Must have completed, or be in the final year of completing, an undergraduate degree in a design or related discipline.
    * Possess a high standard of skills in drawing and possess well-developed skills in 3-D spatial perception and form, as related to either general design and/or transportation design.
    * Submit official college transcript(s). Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 college grade point average.
    * Present a portfolio in a digital format (either CD and/or personal web-site) that communicates the applicant’s problem-solving skill as well as technical and aesthetic skill levels.
    * Submit an original sketchbook (for admission to the Transportation Design Program).
    * Write a statement of purpose: the applicant’s objectives in seeking an MFA. This document also serves as the applicant’s writing sample*.
    * Submit a résumé/CV.
    * Provide three recommendations from people who know the prospective student’s academic or professional record and potential for graduate study.
    * As well, candidates will be contacted for an interview.
  • Course description
    The College for Creative Studies has earned a worldwide reputation and helped shape an industry by placing more graduates in automotive design than any college anywhere. But now, looking ahead, the graduate program in Transportation Design aspires to create those visionaries who will reshape the very notion of what Transportation can be.

    The program requires students to develop a keen awareness of global environmental issues and social change. The curriculum is designed to guide students to synthesize these external factors in their design work, translate them into a form that is meaningful in a business setting, and create products that resonate with a target market from all design and functional points of view.

    In order to address one or more design problems, the major component of the curriculum is structured in a studio format. This format ensures that each student will participate in at least two team-based studio projects during his/her CCS graduate experience. Each project assignment will require that students follow a design development path that commences with an extensive and rigorous research phase. A project definition or project brief will grow out of the research findings, and will serve as the plan of work for the completion of the studio course. Students will be expected to work through the subsequent project phases by creating high-quality visual material (concept sketches, computer 2-D/3-D rendering) and a 3-D model, either hand-built or milled in either clay or other materials. Read More ›

    Another important objective of the studio component of the curriculum is to expose students to first-hand experience working with industry clients on commercially oriented, rigorous research projects. To this end, the program aims to provide each student with at least two opportunities to participate in industry-sponsored projects. As is established practice in the undergraduate curriculum, projects will only be accepted if they support the program’s curricula objectives. If accepted, students may gain academic credit through approved and formally structured industry internships.

    The studio component of the curriculum is supported by significant lecture course requirements in history, business practices and the social sciences. These include courses that cover subjects such as design history presented in a historical and social context, research methodology practices, business practices, design management in a product development context, interaction design branding and related issues, sustainable manufacturing and environmental issues.

    Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminars will involve all CCS graduate students. In addition to being a platform for peer review and critique, the seminars will be a mechanism to expose students to industry and academic leaders in related fields. Social context, sustainability and ethics will be some of the themes addressed, possibly structured within a colloquial format. The seminars will require extensive reading, research, short fast paced design assignments, and individual and group presentations.
    Subject to prior experience, schedule and other issues, enrolled students may be offered teaching assistantships in CCS’ undergraduate program. These would be paid, noncredit bearing assignments.

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