What is a typical student body like?
Students in the program are from all over the world, and range from individuals recently graduated from undergraduate programs as well as individuals who have extensive professional experience. Students might come from architecture or interior design, graphics, stage or theater. We have had students from film and television, art history, prop making, curation and even dance! Exhibition designers typically have eclectic backgrounds and our students reflect that. It is a part of what makes the program unique and dynamic. All of our students are dedicated, have relevant technical craft in addition to creative thinking capabilities. Each year we will accept between 15 – 17 students.
The program is designed to work with students who are focused on working in leadership capacities within the exhibition design profession. Age, type of professional experience or amount of time spent working within a design field are not necessarily indicative of whether a person will be successful within the program and anyone meeting the admissions requirements is encouraged to apply.
How do I apply?
This website has detailed information about how to apply, the portfolio and experience requirements, and provides the application form. Applications should be submitted electronically, and will be reviewed in the early Spring. The deadline for applications will be February 15th and notifications of acceptance are given by April 15th. There are no rolling admissions.
What should be in my portfolio?
We will need to see examples of drafting, graphics done in Adobe Creative Suite software, 3D digital rendering, as well as quick thumbnail concept sketches, diagramming or other illustration of conceptual development work. If you do not have any experience in a required technical area your portfolio will be considered incomplete. Please limit your portfolio to 20 of your strongest examples of work. If you paint, draw, take photographs or make sculpture, please include a few examples as well. Showcase your strengths and how creative you are in other ways!
What undergraduate degree should I have?
Applicants must have a BFA in an arts or design-related area, or an area that pertains to some form of media communications. The most important thing is to have a complete portfolio. If you have studied an area such as art history, journalism, etc., you might have skills and experience that lends itself nicely to exhibition design!
Will I have an interview?
Select candidates are contacted for interviews. in-person interviews are preferred, and if not possible, phone interviews will be requested.
The department website includes comprehensive and detailed information about all of the program's coursework. The program awards a Masters of Arts degree achieved through the completion and passing of 39 credits of coursework as described. Each course is studio-based, includes regional site visits to a variety of exhibition venues, invites working professionals into the classroom for presentations, lectures and studio participation, and has students completing assignments outside of the classroom using the city as a resource for study.
In addition to the intensive studio coursework, a focus on academics is also part of the student experience in the form of research, writing, critical thinking and analytical thinking skill development.
The 3 semester program is highly intensive with only a few small breaks throughout the year, beginning in the summer and concluding the following summer. Individuals who have to work outside of school will be informed of the difficulty of completing this program while working.
A professional internship is offered as an elective and students fulfill 240 intensive work hours within an appropriate exhibition venue.
Internships have included design firms, museums, science centers, zoos, botanic gardens, tradeshow and exhibit marketing firms, historic sites, retail design and production firms. Internships best match the unique qualities of the student with an appropriate placement. Internships can often be outside of New York depending on what would best serve a student's professional interests, and we also have international internships.
The program's diverse faculty are all working professionals who bear expertise in their areas of craft and bring relevant and current experience to their instruction. Nine faculty teach within the program providing students with a great range of expertise, professional experience and leadership.
Do you accept transfer credits?
The department does not accept transfer credits. If you have experience gained from other coursework feel free to include examples in your portfolio.
Do you teach technical design software programs?
Technical software programs are not included within the program's instruction and it is the obligation of the student to execute course assignments in the programs listed on the website.
Details regarding the qualifications required for admission of international students can be found in the FIT website, including TOEFL requirements and visa status information. Questions regarding international student requirements are best directed to FIT's office of International Students.