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.

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.



Participants have the unique advantage to study at a major research university known for interdisciplinary collaboration that is situated 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.


The degree of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Information Design and Visualization comprises of 60 semester hours and two academic years of residency. A thesis project and an accompanying written thesis are expected. The program offers studio courses, lectures and seminars in design, strategy, theory, research methodologies, and historical and cultural literacy.

  • Required Studio Courses (12SH)
  • Theory and Research Methodologies (8SH)
  • Historical and Cultural Literacy (4SH)
  • Studio and Other Electives (24SH)
  • Thesis (12SH)

Year 1, Fall Semester

Year 1, Spring Semester

Year 2, Fall Semester

Year 2, Spring Semester

Information Design Electives

Open Elective

In consultation with graduate coordinator, you can select one graduate level subject of interest offered in any college of the University. It is recommended that students pursue a practicum or co-op experience as part of their degree program.

The Birth of Modern Dane Poster by Laura Upham

The Birth of Modern Dane Poster by Laura Upham


No Future: A history of west coast punk by Ryan Fleming

No Future: A history of west coast punk by Ryan Fleming


Media Hours Poster by Allan Yu

Media Hours Poster by Allan Yu


Media Hours Poster by Geneva Cegelis

Media Hours Poster by Geneva Cegelis

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)

To apply, please use Northeastern’s online application portal.

You are also required to submit a portfolio via Slideroom, an online portfolio submission service.

The application portfolio requires a maximum of 20 individual images of recent original work. Your portfolio should demonstrate your design experience and include work that represents your interest in Information Design and Visualization. The portfolio typically includes:

  • Visualization projects, Infographics, maps, diagrams, charts
  • Creative work from Art, Graphic Design, Architecture, Journalism, Photography, or Film
  • Research projects (choose an appropriate visual representation)
  • Ideas, sketches and prototypes
  • Professional projects, websites or interactive applications

Provide authorship information, year, title and other relevant information (such as course name, instructor) for each project.

Visit the College of Arts, Media and Design’s Graduate portal for detailed Admissions information.