students sitting around a table working on design structures

FAQs

Admission

How many students are admitted to the xdMFA each year?

We can admit no more than 15 students each year.

When is the application deadline?

May 1, but applications will be considered as early as February 1 each year.

Assistantships

Does the program offer assistantships or other financial assistance?

No. Our program and the University can not offer assistantships for students in the xdMFA. We have set our tuition at a competitive rate and reduced fees significantly to reduce costs for all students, not just a few who can earn assistantships.

Hybrid, Distance-Learning Format

How much travel is required for this degree?

Students are required to travel five times during the degree. Once to Oxford, and four times to a different destination in the U.S. Each travel period overlaps a weekend, (these meetings take place Thursday-Sunday for Destination Weekends, Wednesday-Sunday for Oxford Weekend).

What is the least amount of time students must spend on-site over the course of the degree?

Students must travel five times during the degree: four times for ART 650 (Experience Design Studio), and once for ART 627 (Design Research Methods). About 97% of total time in the degree can be completed online/virtually. Required semester travel can be broken down as follows:

Semester: Fall 1

  • 4 Days in Oxford: Design Research Methods
  • 3 Days at Destination: Experience Design Studio

Semester: Spring 1

  • 3 Days at Destination: Experience Design Studio

Semester: Fall 2

  • 3 Days at Destination: Experience Design Studio

Semester: Spring 2

  • 3 Days at Destination: Experience Design Studio

Semester: Fall 3

  • 0 Days

Semester: Spring 3

  • 0 Days

If students choose to take ART 536: Applied Experience Design: Walt Disney World, one week of travel to Orlando, Florida will be required in either the first or second summer during students' degree.

Can students complete this degree in Oxford/on-site?

Yes, students can complete a lot of the degree on-site. See course listings for courses that are offered as face-to-face or hybrid courses. Students who study in Oxford can also attend office hours in-person, can participate in active research with faculty, and can teach as adjunct instructors to gain teaching experience. Any on-line coursework would still be completed online.

IMS Digital Innovation Center Program: San Francisco and Cincinnati

What do xdMFA Students do in this program?

The IMS Digital Innovation Center program involves several IMS courses in which students visit San Francisco or Cincinnati startups. Students also work as interns in an agency or startup and also participate in any online xdMFA courses that need to be completed during the semester.

Does this program cover the entire semester (3/4 months)?

Yes. This experience requires students live in San Francisco or Cincinnati for the entire semester.

International Students

May international students apply for the xdMFA?

Due to the distance learning nature of this program, Miami University cannot support international applicants who require an F-1/J-1 visa.

On-Campus Jobs

Are on-campus jobs or teaching positions available if I come to Oxford for a semester or longer?

Yes! Jobs are often available on campus at Miami University. Visit the Jobs and Careers at Miami page for more information and job listings. We often hire MFA Candidates as Adjunct Instructors to teach in the BFA in Communication Design, Communication Design Minor, in Interactive Media Studies (IMS) or other departments at Miami.

Research

Can xdMFA students be actively involved in research projects?

Yes. Our program includes opportunities for engagement in research projects at various levels. We encourage active research and publishing throughout the course of the degree. Most courses in the curriculum include self-driven or team-based research, some specifically in user experience with screen-based devices others are more focused on service design where screens assist usability. Faculty members in the xdMFA are research-active and their work is funded by grants that allow them to "hire" research assistants for this work.

Scholarships

Are any scholarships available for students in the xdMFA?

Several small travel scholarships are available each semester. These are awarded based on need and are limited in number.

Software and Hardware Requirements

What software is required for the program?

Students must have access to software in Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe CC). A student rate is available from Adobe.

Are there any hardware requirements for students in the program?

Students must have a laptop computer. We recommend Apple's MacBook Pro.

Travel

Who is responsible for booking travel arrangements for Destination Weekends?

Students must book all of their own travel, including hotel, air or ground transportation and meals. One or two meals may be provided depending on the destination and planned activities.

Tuition

Is there out-of-state or in-state tuition for this program?

No. Tuition and fees are the same for every student in the program, regardless of where they live.

Work-Life Balance

Is it possible to complete the program while working full-time?

Yes. The program was developed so it can be completed while students work full-time or have duties caring for loved ones. Doing so is intense and challenging, but possible. The MFA can be earned in three years by taking no more than nine hours per semester and two summer/winter courses. The design of the xdMFA was informed by our faculty's personal experiences of working as designers and adjunct instructors while raising families. We have taken into account how learners in the program could balance existing careers, family, and their studies but still have a rich, transforming learning experience that will advance their knowledge, thinking, and skills in experience design.