Grad School Profile: The Savannah College of Art and Design

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Danya Ahmed, M.F.A. fibers student, Toledo, Ohio

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers several graduate programs for fashion-minded students, including advanced degrees in Fashion and Luxury and Fashion Merchandising.  One of the more unique programs at the college is their graduate program in Fibers.  Here, students take classes on the technical, cultural and historic aspect of fibers and textiles and undertake independent research. They also have access to advanced facilities, such as an electronic Jacquard loom, Compu-Dobby looms and a Mimaki textile printer, to support their academic success.

Both MA and MFA programs are offered in all fashion programs at SCAD.  The MA program in Fibers is less intensive and requires students to take 45 credit hours, while the MFA program requires students to take 90 credit hours and includes an internship or teaching assistant component, more electives, and studio application courses.  These two tracks allow prospective enrollees flexibility in carrying out their ideal academic course of study.

A unique aspect of SCAD is its juried competitions and shows.  Students are given many opportunities to share their work and research to industry leaders such as André Leon Talley, Oscar de la Renta, Miuccia Prada, Tom Ford and Zac Posen.  SCAD resides within the mid-range graduate tuition bracket, and there are several scholarships available.  Financial aid is provided for graduate students based on academic and/or artistic merit, as well as need-based.

The School of Design provides a list of post-graduate careers students have obtained in the past.  According to the website, “Fibers professionals combine historic textile processes and traditions with emerging technologies…They engage in interdisciplinary, experimental and sustainable approaches to design, craft and art-making.”  Alumni career success seems to be positive as well – “…an average of 8 out of 10 SCAD alumni responding to a survey were employed in their fields…within six months of graduation.”

SCAD main campus is located in Savannah, Georgia.  A town steeped in history and beauty, the very peaceful setting creates an ideal location for students looking for a more laid back scholastic experience.  Concentrated towns such as Savannah offer students the chance to focus on their academic success without the distractions major cities may provide.  Classes for the graduate program in Fibers are held primarily on the Savannah campus.

Savannah’s closest urban setting, Atlanta, is a little over 4 hours away by car.  Students will gain a lot of experience on campus and in surrounding businesses, but will lack immediate access to the large companies and business centers found in cities like Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.  SCAD does offer alternative campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France, although not all Masters programs are available.  SCAD has also not produced any notable alumni from their fashion programs, their strengths lying more in the fine arts, music and architecture fields.

SCAD appears to be a good choice for scholars residing in the South, as it truly is one of the best and most unique art schools in the region.  The varied degree programs at the college and access to fashion industry icons allows students a graduate experience that is often limited in other schools.  Careful contemplation should be taken concerning the location and tuition rate, but overall, the graduate programs at the Savannah College of Art and Design should definitely be considered by the fashion and textile scholar.  For more information, please refer to SCAD’s website.

If you attend a graduate program in this field and feel it should be profiled, please email Worn Through.

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