Antarctic Chroma by Skye Morét, AMD ’16 (MFA)


Graduates of the Certificate in Information Design and Visualization are professionals who are prepared to tackle new information communication challenges and communicate and collaborate with researchers in a variety of fields, as well as stakeholders and the public. Throughout the course of the certificate, students master how to think visually, while also learning how to produce effective, meaningful visual information from various sources of data.

The certificate is intended for practitioners and graduate students from related fields – media, design, communications, data science, and more – who would like to acquire competencies in information design and data visualization to complement their skills and address their professional needs. Embedded in the course offering of our Master of Fine Arts in Information Design and Visualization program, students in the certificate program will have the opportunity to join MFA students for activities such as attending guest lectures and workshops.

Over the past five years, interactive data visualization has grown to play an increasingly important role in the professional and research world. While visualization used to be regarded as a discipline for specialists dealing with problems of limited scope, it has now developed into a complex field that major global companies – from Google to IBM – are recognizing as a key to growth and success in today’s competitive market. These large companies, as well as public sector institutions, increasingly hire information designers and establish information design departments as data- and analytics-related services become central to their activities.

The “data revolution” has affected all aspects of society as organizations from various disciplines recognize that more open data can unlock greater knowledge and influence – and information visualization is the native language for communicating and exploring data-related issues. While there is a sustained demand for dedicated data visualization experts, there is also an increasing need for professionals and experts from diverse backgrounds who have a competency in information design and visualization. This is where our Graduate Certificate in Information Design and Visualization fits in. Please explore the certificate’s educational objectives below.


Students in the Graduate Certificate in Information Design and Visualization will learn how to translate data and information into accessible visual languages. They will gain the relevant skills needed to assume professional leadership roles in an interdisciplinary and growing field. The courses of the certificate are designed to help students to:

  • Create effective visualizations using suitable programming languages, tools, and platforms
  • Critically assess the choice of visualization methods appropriate for a specific task and data source
  • Demonstrate facility with different data formats, including quantitative, qualitative, textual, relational, hierarchical, or spatial data sources
  • Demonstrate facility with visual languages to create pictorial, diagrammatic, temporal, spatial, and interactive representations of information.


The graduate certificate consists of 16 credit hours.  Students take two required courses and two directed electives.

Required Courses:

  • ARTG 5130 Visual Communication for Information Design (4 CH)
  • ARTG 5330 Visualization Technologies (4 CH)

Sample Elective Courses:

  • ARTG 5310 Visual Cognition (4 CH)
  • ARTG 5320 Statistics Basics for Designers (4 CH)
  • ARTG 6310 Design for Behavior and Experience (4 CH)
  • ARTG 6320 Design of Information-Rich Environments (4 CH)
  • ARTG 6330 Information Design Mapping Strategies (4 CH)
Course Descriptions


Department Interim Chair


Andrea Raynor, Teaching Professor, MFA from School of Visual Arts in New York


Nathan Felde

Nathan Felde, MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Design

Tom Starr

Thomas Starr, MFA, Yale University, Graphic Design

Associate Professors

00 Kristian Kloeckl a

Kristian Kloeckl, PhD, University of Venice, Design Sciences

Ann McDonald

Ann McDonald, MFA, Yale University, Experience Design

Professors of the Practice


Hugh Dubberly, MFA, Yale University, Graphic Design

Mauro Martino, Laurea (M.S. Italian Equivalent), Polytechnic of Milan, Design

Assistant Professors

Dietmar Offenhuber

Dietmar Offenhuber, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Urban Planning



Gloria Sutton, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Art History

Pedro Cruz, PhD, University of Coimbra, Information Visualization

Miso Kim, PhD, Carnegie Mellon, Experience Design

Senior Lecturer


Doug Scott, MFA, Yale University, Graphic Design

Part-time Faculty


Janos Stone, MFA, Boston University, Design


Siqi Zhu, Master of Urban Planning, Harvard University, Urban Design and Technology


Swissnex Boston

Philips Color Kinetics

Center for Complex Network Research

NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University

Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy

Digital Archives, Snell Library at Northeastern University 

Computational Social Science (Professor David Lazer)


Please visit the CAMD Graduate Studies website for detailed admission information including a listing of required application materials and answers to frequently asked questions.