The Design Portfolio Program

2-Year career accelerator for media creators.

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What does a designer do?

A mix of craft, science, design, storytelling, propaganda and philosophy. 

Everything you touch, read or experience has been designed by someone. Branding, publications, packaging, products—restroom signs to the Declaration of Independence. Graphic designers are determined that all those things be well designed. Purpose, vision and strategy; form and function. Graphic Designers seek a more beautiful, more usable, more thoughtful world.

The design portfolio program at M.AD School has a strong emphasis on craft. There is a Maker’s Studio at the school for design students to build their models and prototypes.  Students often have real projects from outside clients, ranging from retail product packaging to experiential space design. 

The school is also a crucial part of the wider design community. MODA (Museum of Design} is partnered with our school. AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is also closely involved and holds many exhibits at the school. GRAPHIS (The renowned international magazine of Graphic Design) recently held their 100 Top Graphis Posters Exhibit at the school in cooperation with MODA and AIGA

Carter TindallGraphic Design at Principle​
“I had the opportunity, even as a junior designer, to do work for the biggest clients.”

The Design Curriculum at M.AD

What (and how) you’ll be learning.

Design is a highly skilled, highly demanding profession. That’s why our 2-year portfolio program is built specifically to help you develop the tools required to excel in that high-stakes world. It’s all about learning through experience. Our curriculum prepares you to work as a designer in agencies, publications, start-ups, and the creative departments of the world’s top brands —all through a carefully built program of mentorship and deliberate practice. You’ll build a personal network to rival the most connected professional, and at the end of it all, you’ll get the same job placement assistance we’ve offered to our graduates for the past 20 years. It’s no wonder our graduates find work at world-leading companies of all kinds.

Here are just a few of the courses you’ll take:

  • Strategic Innovation and Product Design
  • Design History, Modernism, Criticism & Theory
  • Information Design & Data Visualization
  • Symbol, Metaphors & Logos
  • Experiential Design
  • Network Marketing, Identity and Branding
  • Mobile Design & Systems
  • Message & Content
  • Experiments in Digital Photography
  • Introduction to Craft
  • Semiotics
  • Publication & Editorial Design
Want to know what else you’ll be learning? Learn more about the courses you’ll take in the course brochure.

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. We have partners in cities like:

Teachers Who Really Know What They’re Doing

Truly stand-out designers aren’t just masters of the technical…they understand the wider creative process. They know the context of their work, and excel at collaborating with other talented artisans and creatives. So how do you learn those intangible traits that will put you over the top—in addition to the hard skills that will allow you to create digital gold? It helps to have a mentor who’s been there themselves.
Jenny LamSVP Brand User Experience at Oracle
“The biggest advantage is all the connections. The friendships. All the friends I made during my time at M.AD are still friends. They are my network. We lean on each other for support. Just the other day I was in contact with some of them. We reach out to each other for jobs."

Campuses in Florida and Georgia

Each school has a unique charm.

The M.AD 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

Experience the School of Ideas for yourself. 

Check out our locations in: Atlanta, Miami, New York and San Francisco

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!

Our Next Cohort is Starting Soon

Program Starts: October 4 | Application Deadline: August 25

Important Program Information

Tuition
 

Tuition of $4,850 is due quarterly. It takes eight quarters which is 2 years to complete the art direction program.Total tuition cost for the program is $38,800.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

We work tirelessly to make M.AD affordable for students of all backgrounds. For our American students, federal loans can often cover some or all of 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 Art Direction at M.AD.

Download The Course Brochure

Crucial information about the design program.
  • Exclusive video content
  • Design Career Facts
  • Average salaries
  • Information on co-ops and internships
  • Example projects for real brands
  • Detailed application process

The Creative Network

Join 50,000 creatives getting the M.AD newsletter.

We’ve quietly built the world’s most influential creative network. It’s time for you to tap in. Each week we collect the most important creative content around the world, and share it straight to your email for free.

When the winds of change start whispering… you’ll know about it first.

Schedule a Call

Find out more about our admissions process and take the first step towards your dream career today

Book a Tour

 
 
 

Ready for a new career? Apply by August 25

Get the training you need to be a creative leader. Learn from the best. Develop your skills. Become who you’re meant to be.