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Experience Design, MFA / MS / Certificate

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

  • Academics
  • Experiences
  • Interests

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.

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.

Graduate Certificate

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.

Learn more about our projects, students and faculty at https://camd.northeastern.edu/experiencedesign

View University Course Catalog

Interests of Experience Design, MFA / MS / Certificate Students

  • Artifacts
  • Augmented
  • Augmented Reality
  • creativity
  • design
  • Design Research Behavior
  • Design Thinking
  • digital media
  • Engagement
  • Experience
  • Experience Design
  • Human-centered Design
  • Innovation
  • Integrative
  • Integrative Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interactive
  • Prototyping
  • Responsive
  • Sensorial
  • storytelling
  • Strategy
  • Systems
  • Systems Design
  • technology
  • User Experience
  • Virtual Reality

Co-op Opportunities

  • Reed Exhibition
    Richmond TW9 1DN, UK
  • Philips Research (HealthTech and Lighting)
    Cambridge, MA
  • Mad Pow
    Boston, MA
  • LevelUp
    Boston, MA
  • America's Test Kitchen
    Boston, MA
  • Wayfair
    Boston, MA
  • TJMaxx and HomeGoods
    Framingham, MA
  • The Boston Beer Company
    Suite 850 Boston, MA
  • Orgami Logic
    Mountain View, CA
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
    Boston, MA
  • MIT Center for Civic Media
    Cambridge, MA
  • MIT Mobile Experience Lab
    Cambridge, MA
View all co-ops for Art + Design

Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary Skills
    • understand and master design methods and techniques for planning and design of systems, artifacts, communication, environments, and service offerings
    • Develop strategies for applying core systems concepts and models to experience design
  • Careers of Tomorrow
    • Designer
    • design Researcher
    • Design Director
    • Strategist
    • Futurist
    • Art Director
    • Design Agency
    • Innovation Agency
    • Innovation Agency
    • Design Consultant
    • Product Manager

University Requirements

Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) offers three Experience Design graduate degree options to meet the unique goals and aspirations of individual learners: the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Experience Design (2 years, 60 credits), the Master of Science (MS) in Experience Design (1 year, 32 credits) and the Certificate in Experience Design (1 year, 16 credits). All three degree options move beyond design thinking to produce outcomes that demonstrate the value of human-centered research and design methods. They draw on findings from a range of professional and scholarly disciplines (including design, business, psychology, human- computer interaction, engineering and cybernetics) to understand and shape specific situations that extend across many industries and aspects of life, including healthcare, public service, travel, transportation, education, entertainment, shopping, and the nature of work and workplace itself.

Experience Design, MFA / MS / Certificate Requirements

Master of Fine Arts, MFA

Master of Science, MS

*For complete program course listing, visit the University course catalog.

Resources for Current Students

Course Catalog

Visit the Registrar website for a course catalog and information on university core requirements.

View University Course Catalog

Program Coordinators:

Kristian Kloeckl

Associate Professor

k.kloeckl@northeastern.edu
617-373-6987

Department Chair:

Ed Andrews

Associate Professor, Interim Department Chair

e.andrews@northeastern.edu
617-373-4081

Administrators:

Cathy Bright

Graduate Enrollment Manager

c.bright@northeastern.edu
617-373-2566

Co-op Advisors:

Dori Peleg Mazor

Co-op Coordinator

d.mazor@northeastern.edu
617-373-3439

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