Safarani Sisters, "Cocoon," 2015

Safarani Sisters, “Cocoon,” 2015


Uniquely positioned at the intersection of architecture, visual art, music, media and screen studies, and the expanded field of design, the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with an emphasis on the Arts of Engagement attracts an international cohort of experienced creative practitioners who address cultural, social, and environmental concerns through creative work.

Learn about our community here!

From video to virtual museum, from new media to performance art, from image-making to experimental sound, students employ diverse strategies to define and refine their practice. A field-based summer residency or graduate co-op work experience is available, supported by an online course offered by Northeastern faculty. All students participate in a thesis exhibition during their final semester.

The two-year interdisciplinary program draws core faculty from Art and Design, Architecture, Music, Game Design, Art History, and Media and Screen Studies. Students pursue creative work in the context of a major urban research university with the capacity to build robust research collaborations both across the globe and in the neighborhood. Partnerships with premiere institutions and artist-run initiatives in Europe, Asia, and beyond provide experiential learning opportunities in a global context, while the city of Boston offers an unparalleled intellectual environment for advanced study in the arts.

Graduate students will be selected not only on the basis of their previous work in the arts but also on their demonstrated potential to shape an emerging field of practice. Prospective applicants with professional experience outside the arts are encouraged to contact the program coordinator to discuss how their goals align with the program’s orientation toward artistic action and research.

The program recommends 64 semester hours of coursework. A minimum GPA of 3.0 and 60 semester hours is required for the MFA degree. Coursework consists of

  • Critique Seminars
  • Studio Electives
  • History/Theory Courses
  • Independent Research
  • Thesis Research and Exhibition


Year 1, Fall Semester

Year 1, Spring Semester

Year 1, Summer 1

  • Studio Elective (4 SH)

Year 1, Summer 2

  • Studio Elective (4 SH)

Year 2, Fall Semester

Year 2, Spring Semester

Studio Electives

History, Theory, and Critical Studies Elective


Department Interim Chair


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



Mira Cantor, MFA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – Studio Art

Nathan Felde

Nathan Felde, Professor, MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Design


Dennis Miller, DMD, Columbia University – Music


Russell Pensyl, MFA, Western Michigan University – Media Arts

Associate Professors


Sarah Kanouse, MFA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – Studio Art


Celia Pearce, PhD, University of the Arts London – Games


Ronald Bruce Smith, PhD, University of California, Berkeley – Music

Assistant Professors



Gloria Sutton, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles – Visual Studies

Associate Teaching Professors


Michael Frengel, PhD, City University, London – Music



Northeastern Center for the Arts


Gallery 360


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.