The Art Direction Master’s Degree

In partnership with Furman and Florida International University.

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How does a Master's program boost your career in Art Direction?

Our Art Direction Master’s degree is like a rocketship for your creative career. This program, offered in conjunction with Furman University and Florida International University, has been tailored specifically to give up-and-coming creatives the tools they need to lead incredible projects in the real world. 

We all know the awesome power and responsibility of an Art Director when it comes to creative work. The question is, can you learn enough in school to jump straight into that world after graduation? That’s what this program does. You will take classes at both institutions. You will be taught by creatives who work for agencies, brands, and studios. They take time off to teach, to give back to the industry they love. Add the master’s degree from FIU or Furman to get a full understanding of theoretical, strategic, and research elements in the industry. With all the resources of this highly distinguished university added to your resume, you’ll be the best catch of all.

Ryan KutscherFounder and Chief Creative Officer at Circus Maximus AND a M.AD Art Direction Grad.
"You essentially begin your career the day you start MAD."

The Art Direction Master's Curriculum

What you’ll be learning
Like learning a new language, the best way to learn your trade is through total immersion. The focus of the program is to drive your career forward by offering you world-class experience in guiding creative campaigns. And it all happens with an innovative curriculum of courses like these:
  • Ideas First
  • Video Storytelling
  • Experiments in Digital Photography
  • Thinking Strategically
  • Everything is Media
  • Publications & Editorial Design
  • Interactive Concepting
  • Portfolio Development
  • Content Creation
Want to know what else you’ll be learning? Learn more about the courses you’ll take in the course brochure.

Our Partnership

How we work with Furman & FIU to run the programs

Students spend the first summer term (8 weeks, June – August) at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Classes focus on type, design, and rhetoric. Additional evening programming enhances team building, inclusion, inspiration and confidence.Greenville housing: Students live on campus in an apartment setting with a total of four students per apartment.

Housing at Furman costs $1250 for the entire 8 weeks. Meals are not included.

The next 11 months, October – September, are spent taking classes at MAD in Atlanta. Students take four courses a week. Courses are taught by industry professionals. Assignments focus on the real-world skills needed to strategize, concept and execute traditional, digital and social advertising campaigns. Students also participate in weekly networking sessions with a leader in the advertising and design industry. You’ll graduate with a portfolio of projects that demonstrate your creative ability and a network of industry connections.

Students live in the Atlanta area during the terms they are in school at the School of Ideas. Housing in the Atlanta area is the student’s responsibility. The school has a list of suggested housing options located within a few blocks of the school and roommate list. Contact your admissions advisor for more information.

Students spend their final term October – December completing the coursework for their practicum and developing their portfolio. The location is determined by the student’s interests and career goals. This term can be completed in Atlanta or getting hands-on experience in a top advertising agency in the US or abroad. You will graduate with a portfolio and earn a masters degree granted by Furman University.

Interested candidates MUST apply to BOTH schools individually. Two applications are required: One for Furman and one for M.AD.



This is a 39-semester credit, lock-step program that is completed in five consecutive semesters including summers. Students take seven courses at the FIU’s Biscayne Bay campus and six courses at the MADl Wynwood location: FIU Biscayne Bay Campus – 3000 NE 151 Street, North Miami, Florida / MAS – 571 NW 28th Street Miami, Florida 33127. Students are strongly advised and recommended not to work while pursuing the program. The program is demanding and requires time and effort. There is no flexible-curriculum available as all the courses are pre-selected for the student. Please be advised that the school enrolls and selects the schedules for the students by cohorts. Students do not have the option to change schedules.

There are no conditional admissions options for GSC-Creative track applicants. The decisions are made individually and are not granted to international applicants due to the visa regulations and the implications of the conditional status rules.

GPA’s below the 3.00 range will not be considered due to our program’s very competitive and limited nature. We evaluate GPA based on the last 60 credits taken by the applicant on their bachelor’s degree. We do not count the first 60 credits of the bachelor’s degree, only the last 60.

Interested candidates MUST apply to BOTH schools individually. Two applications are required: One for FIU and one for M.AD.

Hands On Experience Around The World

The NOM.AD Program

After spending at least one year (4 quarters) in your home location, you can apply for NoM.AD. This program gives students the opportunity to work and learn in up to four more cities around the world. Imagine client meetings in Atlanta, a photoshoot in Tokyo, or a breakthrough brainstorming session in New York. You’ll be working on the front line…and building your worldwide network of professional friends.

Each quarter, we send students a massive list of active opportunities. It’s like a backdoor into the industry. You could work with:

Teachers Who Practice What They Preach

Art Direction courses at M.AD are taught by industry professionals. They constantly revise the classes to be as relevant as possible to the industry. What you get is the most up to date skills and best practices, applied to real projects based in reality, which produces the best work for your portfolio.
Brig WhiteFreelance Director (Apple, Adidas, Toyota, Amazon)
"Before M.AD, I was without a plan. I graduated with an English degree and was wondering what I was going to do with it. I liked design, but didn’t know much about it. But other than that, I had no idea what I wanted to do."

Master Art Direction In Atlanta Or Miami

Each school has a unique charm.

The MAD School of Ideas represents the best of what America has to offer. The cities we’ve chosen all boast a special blend of people, places, and energy. Just pick your cocktail of choice.

Schedule A Tour At Any M.AD Campus

The best way to see what we’re all about is to experience it for yourself.

How To Apply

The application is as creative as the career.
Four Stages to Apply
Step 1

The application is as creative as the career.

Enter your information and register for your M.AD School of Ideas account.
Step 2

Choose a city, program, and start date

Select the school you are most interested in right now. Should you change your mind later on, you can easily change your application.
Step 3

Follow the process laid out in the application portal

Show us who you are as a creative thinker. Share examples of things you’ve created.. Or do one of our fun creative exercises. Finally, schedule an introductory meeting with your Admissions Advisor.
Step 4

Review and Submit

Make sure all your information is correct, and that you’ve paid your application fee. We’ll get back to you soon!

Cuándo es la próxima edición

Comienzo de clases: 11 de Julio

Nuestros programas comienzan 4 veces al año: en enero, abril,  julio y octubre. Las solicitudes se cierran unos meses antes. Haz clic a continuación para obtener más información sobre nuestro proceso de admisión y da el  primer paso hacia la carrera de sus sueños hoy.

Important Program Information

Tuition at Furman

Tuition per term is $8250 | $41,250 for the five term master’s degree program.

No assistantships are offered for this program. All students must cover tuition in its entirety.

Tuition at FIU

Tuition is $7,970 per semester paid to FIU. Tuition is based on the semester system with 5 installments for a total of $39,850 (plus fees) total.

Students enrolled in the program may be eligible for financial aid through graduate level Federal aid programs.

Financial Aid & Scholarships
We work tirelessly to make MAD affordable for students of all backgrounds. For our American students, federal loans generally cover tuition costs. We also offer a variety of scholarships.
International Students
In the past decades, students have come to us from every corner of the world. If you’re worried about getting here, never fear: you’ll likely be able to attend the campus of your choice. Click for more about the visa process.

Have A Question? Reach Out.

Career advice with no strings attached.
Our admissions team love to chat with people like you—answering questions, proposing solutions, and making plans for a creative future. An advisor can help you figure out what’s next in your creative adventure. Maybe that means a Master’s at M.AD. Maybe it’s ice fishing in Kathmandu. Your advisor can help you work it all out.

Download The Course Brochure

Crucial information about the Art Direction Master's program.
  • Exclusive video content
  • Art Direction career facts
  • Average salaries
  • Information on co-ops and internships
  • Example projects for real brands
  • Detailed application process

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