Experience Design is a holistic and integrative approach to design that focuses on the quality of the human experience in concrete situations. It employs investigation, analysis, creativity and technology as tools to understand human goals, needs, and desires and to mediate the human experience. The Experience Design program at Northeastern University embraces research-driven design thinking for entrepreneurship and innovation, focusing on important global challenges of today. For example, in the context of healthcare, an experience designer does not focus on the design of any one technology product, information system or physical space in isolation. Instead, the designer is charged with understanding and improving the overall sequence of events and interactions that impact the patient before and during a hospital stay as well as through follow-up care.
“The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” —Steve Jobs
The Graduate Program in Experience Design is designed to prepare students to become vital contributors and leaders of professional experience design teams where technological innovation intersects with design. Successful graduates will be able to analyze how people undergo real-world situations, enabling them to enrich experiences by orchestrating new design-driven relationships. They will be equipped with the skills to identify shortcomings as well as opportunities for improved engagement between artifacts, systems (virtual or physical), and the humans who encounter them.
Through examining how people behave in real contexts in relation to the constructed world and emerging technologies, CAMD’s graduate degrees in Experience Design allow graduates from design and other disciplines (such as architecture, business, engineering, communications, computer science, healthcare, humanities and the social sciences) or working professionals to gain knowledge and experience in the design competencies needed to address societal challenges. To accomplish these goals, students will learn how to invoke cooperation, collaboration and integration across disciplines and practices.
Learn more about our projects, students and faculty at camd.northeastern.edu/experiencedesign.
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (2 year program)
The MFA in Experience Design offers a two year graduate experience that combines theory and studio-based practice and results in a terminal degree. Students will engage in and complete this program with a studio based Experience Design graduate thesis and a thesis exhibition. Graduates are prepared to continue onward to advanced academic or professional tracks as Experience Designers. They will able to collaborate effectively in this dynamic and burgeoning field of research and practice, ready to succeed in design agencies, design-related and design-driven industries, research institutions, public institutions, PhD programs and academic careers. The program intends to produce professionals skilled in design principles and practices needed to assume leadership roles in an evolving interdisciplinary field. Embedded in the CAMD graduate course offerings, MFA Experience Design students will have their own studio space and are part of a lively cohort of graduate students in related fields who intersect around vibrant events, exhibitions, guest lectures and workshops. Applicants are welcome with past experience in the design domain but also in related fields such as architecture, business, engineering, computer science, communications, and others. The MFA in Experience Design is a 2-year, 60-credit hour program. Students complete 10 required courses and 4 electives.
Master of Science (MS) (1 year program)
The Master of Science in Experience Design offers a two-semester long graduate experience that combines theory and project-based practice and results in a professional degree. The program delivers a strong graduate credential to complement a student’s prior degree(s) and prepares them to be professional Experience Designers able to collaborate effectively in this dynamic and burgeoning field of research and practice. Graduates are prepared to work in design agencies, design-related and design-driven industries and public institutions. The program develops professionals skilled in design principles and practices needed to thrive in an evolving interdisciplinary field. Embedded in the CAMD graduate course offerings, MS Experience Design students will have the opportunity to join CAMD graduate students from diverse disciplines for a range of events, exhibitions, guest lectures and workshops. The MS in Experience Design is a 1-year, 32-credit hour program. Students complete 6 required courses and 2 electives.
The Graduate Certificate in Experience Design offers a four-course curriculum that introduces fundamental to advanced design processes, and allows individual specialization through the selection of an elective. The certificate is intended for practitioners and students who wish to acquire competencies in Experience Design to complement their skills and address their professional needs. For recent graduates, this certificate is a perfect introduction to the field, which may be a portal into taking a full master’s degree. For mid-career and current graduate students, earning this certificate is a way to specialize within the field. Embedded in the CAMD graduate course offerings, students in the certificate program will have the opportunity to join CAMD graduate students from diverse disciplines for a range of events, exhibitions, guest lectures and workshops. The Graduate Certificate in Experience Design is a 1-year, 16 credit hour program. Students complete three required courses and one elective.
Experience Design, MFA / MS / Certificate Requirements
*For complete program course listing, visit the University course catalog.
Resources for Current Students
Visit the Registrar website for a course catalog and information on university core requirements.