Art + Design

Information Design and Data Visualization, MS

The Information Design and Data Visualization program uniquely combines analytical methods with distinctive training in visual communication. Successful graduates gain expertise in the visual and technological languages of data, applying modes of visual cognition and using analytics tools to create interactive, data-driven communication and installations. This design-centric program prepares graduates to collaborate across a variety of fields and settings, crossing the bridge between technology, public communication and systems design.

The College of Arts, Media and Design offers three Information Design and Data Visualization graduate degree options to meet the unique goals and aspirations of individual learners: a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), a Master of Science (MS), and a Graduate Certificate. Students in the Information Design and Data Visualization program gain an understanding of translating data and information into visual languages and learn to integrate theoretical, visual, and technical aspects of visualizations that engage a broad range of audiences. 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. We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring data, visual and auditory design, perception and creative inquiry. Practicing professionals and recent undergraduates in a variety of fields (architecture, graphic design, journalism, communications, business, the humanities, and sciences) who desire a fluency in information design should apply.


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The Master of Science in Information Design and Data Visualization is a two-semester research and analysis-oriented program focusing on visual interfaces to communicate and explore digital information. Graduates will be professional information designers and data visualization experts able to collaborate effectively in this dynamic and burgeoning field of practice and research, prepared to work in data-driven areas including design, technology, business, health, education and public institutions. The curriculum is designed to train students in design principles, critical inquiry and the analytical and creative practices needed to assume leadership roles in an evolving interdisciplinary field. Course work focuses on the translation of data and information into visual languages, and the integration of theoretical, cognitive and technical aspects of visualizations that engage a broad range of audiences. Embedded in CAMD’s Information Design and Data Visualization graduate course offerings, the MS is a designated STEM degree that strengthens students’ quantitative research skills and technical competencies. From this master’s program, students have multiple options to expand their advanced studies along diverse avenues, including adding Graduate Certificates in related topics, engaging in co-op opportunities, and applying to proceed academically into a terminal Master of Fine Arts degree.


The MS in Information Design and Data Visualization is a 1-year, 32-credit hour program.


Semester 1 is dedicated to foundations, including introductory courses in information visualization and visual communication principles and practices, visualization technologies, design studio, and visual cognition.


Semester 2 continues foundational training in statistics and data analysis, information design theory and critical thinking, and provides an advanced studio and information design elective allowing students to focus their studies along lines of individual interest.


The MS in Information Design and Data Visualization is a STEM-designated degree. 

View Course Catalog
Co-op Opportunities

The Broad Institute

Thomson Reuters

Philips Research (HealthTech and Lighting)

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority


Design researcher

Data Visualization Expert

Information Designer

Interaction Designer

User Experience Designer

Visual Communication Expert

Visualization Researcher

Visual Strategist

Multidisciplinary Skills

Data analysis

Human factors

Design critique

Design process

Data physicalization


User-scenario mapping and observation

User testing

Learning Outcomes
  1. Concept/Expression Outcome: Conceptualize and create expressive and innovative games, playable experiences, and artifacts, developing a personal style via reflective design.
  2. Craft Outcome: Hone craft and technical skills in a broad range of mediums, and justify the appropriate usage of techniques in the service of creating artifacts.
    Research Outcome: Gather, organize, and articulate relevant research to inform design and analysis.
    Process Outcome: Follow an iterative design process informed by user testing, external and self-critique for producing creative works.
    Values/Context Outcome: Analyze the social, political, and cultural theories embedded in games, playable experiences, and artifacts, and articulate ethical reasoning during design and production.
    Collaboration Outcome: Plan and manage the organization of people, timelines, tasks, repositories, and finances for multi-person creative projects, and constructively critique others’ work.


Alumna Skye Moret Part of Winning Team in National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge

Northeastern alumna Skye Moret, who graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Information Design and Visualization, was part of a winning team that participated in the National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge. The competition […]

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CAMD Alumna Creates Graphics & Visualizations For Global Audience At BBC

Irene de la Torre Arenas, alumna of Northeastern University’s MFA in Information Design and Visualization (IDV) program, is an information designer and journalist who is currently a Data Designer at BBC. Working in the New Broadcasting House in London, one of the main […]

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