Latest news and projects from our program

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


“Understanding precedes action.”
– Richard Saul Wurman, Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Information Design

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. 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.

The first MFA program entirely dedicated to Information Design and Visualization trains students in harnessing visual languages to support discovery and communicate information across a range of socially relevant issues. Our students have the unique advantage of studying at a major research university known for interdisciplinary collaboration located in Boston, a global center for technology, science, and education and a hotspot for information design and data visualization. Graduates will be professional information designers able to collaborate effectively in this dynamic and burgeoning field of practice and research. They will be prepared to work in design agencies, research institutions, companies, and public institutions. The program intends to produce professionals skilled in design principles and practices needed to assume leadership roles in an evolving interdisciplinary field. Students will also be well positioned to pursue PhDs and academic careers. We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring data, visual and auditory design, perception and creative inquiry. Both practicing professionals and recent undergraduates in fields such as architecture, graphic design, journalism, business, the humanities and sciences are welcome to apply.

Year 1 : Fall Semester

ARTG 5100 Information Design Studio 1 – Design Principles

ARTG 5110 Information Design History

ARTG 5130 Visual Communication for Information Design

ARTG 5330 Visualization Technologies

4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

Year 1 : Spring Semester

ARTG 5120 Information Design Research Methods

ARTG 6100 Information Design Studio 2 – Dynamic Mapping and Models

ARTG 6110 Information Design Theory and Critical Thinking


4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

Year 2 : Fall Semester

ARTG 6200 Information Design Studio 3 – Synthesis

ARTG 7100 Information Design Thesis Seminar



4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

4 CH

Year 2 : Spring Semester

ARTG 7990 Thesis


8 CH

4 CH


60 CH

Course Descriptions

The graduate certificate is intended for practitioners and 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 the Master of Fine Arts in Information Design and Visualization program, students in the certificate program will have the opportunity to join MFA students for guest lectures and workshops. 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. Graduates 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. The graduate certificate consists of 16 credit hours. Students take two core courses and two 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 Chair

Tad Hirsch, Ph.D. and MSc, the M.I.T. Media Lab; MDes, Carnegie Mellon


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)

Student Work


Prof. Douglas Scott, Studio 1 Review


Prof. Thomas Starr, Introduction to Visual Communication


.vote – student project in collaboration with Philips Color Kinetics

Beijing Air Quality, interactive, Vivian Sung, 2014

Beijing Air Quality, interactive, Vivian Sun, 2014

Gather App paper prototype, A. Treni, R Greig, M. Kuo

Gather App paper prototype, A. Treni, R Greig, M. Kuo

Gather App paper prototype, A. Treni, R Greig, M. Kuo

Gather App paper prototype, A. Treni, R Greig, M. Kuo

process book, Skye Moret

Process book, Skye Moret

Process Book, Skye Moret

Process Book, Skye Moret

Cooperative Education

As an international leader in cooperative education (co-op), Northeastern offers unique experiential learning opportunities for its master’s degree students. Students in our MFA in Information Design and Visualization have recently worked at the following organizations:

Broad Institute
Charles River Development
Graphicacy (Washington, DC)
Microsoft (Redmond, WA)
MIT Civic Data Design Lab
Philips Lighting
Pinch, Inc.
ReproMagic (San Diego, CA)
Small Design Group
The Boston Globe

Co-op Stories

Divya Srinivasan, UX Design Intern at Microsoft

Patrick O’Donnel, Graphic Design Intern at Small Group Firm

For more information about graduate co-op, contact CAMD Art + Design Co-op coordinator Dori Mazor at

Admissions + Portfolio

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