Design MFA | School of Art and Design | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Design MFA

Design MFA


The new MFA in Design at SIU Carbondale explores the professional applications of design process, theory, tools, and technology. The program will provide students with opportunities to work collaboratively with design faculty, undergraduate design students, and corporate clients on 2D and 3D design projects in conjunction with the Design Program’s Design Research Studio (DRS).

The MFA in Design curriculum has a central focus on 2D and 3D Design, Design and Business, Methodology, Collaborative Problem Solving, Sustainable Design Practices, Innovation, User-centered Design, and Brand Strategy.

Design Facilities

Pulliam Design StudioThis newly renovated 24,000 sq./ft. Pulliam Design Wing is home to the studios, workshops, classrooms, and faculty offices of the Design area.

Design Research Studio (DRS)

Founded in 2011, the DRS applies the design program’s strengths in design methodology, collaborative problem solving, 2D and 3D design, and sustainable design practices in the pursuit of innovative, user-centered design solutions. The resulting outcomes assist client partners to achieve defined business objectives while advancing new collaborative learning models. Previous projects include app development, tradeshow booth concepts, athletic shoe design and marketing, outdoor furniture, corporate branding, biometric computer peripheral concepts, and a package delivery system. Previous clients include: Symrise Inc., Teterboro, NJ; Elan Polo International, St. Louis, MO; HARMAN/Yurbuds, St. Louis, MO; Anova, St. Louis, MO; SIU Engineering.

Subtractive and Additive Maker Laboratory (S.A.M. Lab)

Run by the School of Art and Design, the S.A.M. Lab is open to all SIU Carbondale students. 

Design Gallery

The Design Gallery is a 600 sq./ft. professionally lit gallery space available for use by both the design area, and the rest of the School of Art and Design.

Program Requirements

The MFA in Design is a Three Year program and requires a minimum of 60 hours of course work to complete. Candidates develop a thesis topic and must complete a written thesis.

The course breakdown is as follows:

  • Design Studio Courses – 21 hrs
  • Graduate Art History – 9 hrs
  • Studio Electives – 9 hrs
  • Interdisciplinary Electives – 9 hrs
  • Thesis – 12 hrs


Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; a degree in a design related field is preferred, but not required.

In cases where applicants are accepted to the program, but are lacking required proficiencies, students will be allowed to enroll in the appropriate undergraduate classes that address the missing proficiencies.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Aaron Scott:



Apply to the MFA in Design by February 15 for the following Fall Semester.
Apply at: School of Art and Design Application

Please note that you must apply for admission to both the School of Art and Design and the Graduate School.

Pulliam Design Studios