Students of the MFA and Information Design and Visualization program learn to translate and communicate information into visual, physical, and virtual forms across a wide range of socially relevant issues.
Participants have the unique advantage of study at a major research university known for interdisciplinary collaboration that is situated in Boston, a global center for biotech, financial, public policy, education, technological, scientific and social science applications of information design and data visualization.
By Nader Borale

By Nader Borale

The program seeks applicants from diverse fields of study – not just visual communications – who are interested in information visualization and communication of information through visual and analytical means. 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.

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 firms, research firms, corporations and institutions and government and urban agencies. 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 program leading to the degree of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Information Design and Visualization comprises of 60 semester hours and residency of two academic years. A thesis project exhibition 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, select one graduate level elective subject (5000 or 6000 level) of interest, including these areas within the University: Anthropology, Architecture, Business Management, Computation, Entrepreneurship, Digital Humanities, Engineering, Journalism, Linguistics, Psychology, Science (natural, physical,health), Sociology, Urban Planning. 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)

Art + Design Prospective students applying for Fall 2014 should use Northeastern’s online  application portal.

Art + Design applicants are required to submit their portfolio via Slideroom, an online portfolio submission service.

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