Northeastern’s MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts educates socially-engaged artists for a lifetime of creative, critical, and effective work in the public sphere.
Uniquely positioned at the intersection of architecture, visual art, music, media and screen studies, and the expanded field of design, the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts fuses mentored studio work with independent creative research. Over the course of two years, students participate in critical discourse while engaging collaboratively with contemporary practices of art in the context of public experience. With an emphasis on the Arts of Engagement, the program attracts an international cohort of experienced creative practitioners who address cultural, social, and environmental concerns through creative work. From video to virtual museum, from new media to performance art, from image-making to experimental sound, students employ diverse strategies to define and refine their practice.
Students in the Interdisciplinary Arts program pursue creative work in the context of a major urban research university with the capacity to build robust research collaborations both across the globe and in the neighborhood. A field-based summer residency or graduate co-op work experience is available, supported by an online course offered by Northeastern faculty. All students participate in a thesis exhibition during their final semester.
Students participate in a thesis exhibition during their final semester.
Optional field-based summer residency or graduate co-op work experience is available.
Partnerships with premiere institutions and artist-run initiatives provide experiential learning opportunities in a global context.
Learn how our teaching and research benefit from a worldwide network of students, faculty and industry partners.
Seminars Required Courses
Enrollment in a section of each course is required each term. The format of the course is critique-seminar.
ARTD 5001 - Art, Context, Action 1
ARTD 5002 - Art, Context, Action 2
ARTD 6001 - Art, Media, Participation 1
ARTD 6002 - Art, Media, Participation 2
In consultation with faculty advisor, complete four courses from the following:
ARTD 5101 - Interactive Media Arts 1
ARTD 5202 - Photographic Media in Cultural Context
ARTD 5582 - Collaborative Video and Community Engagement
ARTD 6101 - Interactive Media Arts 2
ARTD 6201 - Interactive Mobile Art Apps
ARTE 5901 - Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
ARTG 5100 - Information Design Studio 1: Principles
ARTG 5310 - Visual Cognition
ARTG 5330 - Visualization Technologies 1
ARTG 5620 - Notational Systems for Experience
ARTG 6100 - Information Design Studio 2: Dynamic Mapping and Models
ARTS 5100 - Visual Ideation
ARTS 6000 - Studio
ARTS 7896 - Studio Continuation
Art History Electives
Complete three courses from the following:
ARTH 5100 - Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
ARTH 5200 - Issues in Contemporary Art
ARTH 5300 - Postmodernism: Theory and Practice in the Visual Arts
ARTH 5400 - Contemporary Visual Culture
ARTH 5500 - Art and New Media: History and Theory
ARTH 5902 - Special Topics in Art and Design History
ARTH 6901 - Special Topics in Contemporary Art
1.00 - 4.00
ARTE 6211 - Art Criticism by Artists
Research, Thesis, and Exhibition
In consultation with faculty advisor, complete one course from the following:
ARTG 5120 - Information Design Research Methods
ARTE 6210 - Research Methods for the Creative Arts
GSND 5130 - Usability and Empirical User Research
Complete one from the following:
ARTD 5301 - Independent Research Project 1
ARTD 6301 - Independent Research Project 2
Thesis and Exhibition
ARTE 7100 - Thesis Proposal
ARTE 7990 - Thesis
ARTE 7996 - Thesis Continuation
Northeastern's signature experiential learning model combines academics with professional practice to help students acquire relevant, real-world skills they can apply to their desired industry. Each program offers its own unique experiential learning opportunities, but they might include:
Full-Time Co-op Opportunities — Students on co-op work in a paid position in their field of study for three to six months.
In-Class Case Studies — Professors integrate case studies and exercises into the classroom to bring a real-world perspective and relevance to what they’re teaching.
Research — Students collaborate with faculty in our more than 30 federally funded research centers, tackling some of the most pressing challenges in health, security, and sustainability.
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and in fields ranging from finance to education to biomedical science to management to the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors, and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to a network of more than 230,000 alumni and 3,000 employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global NGOs. Our current students and faculty across strategically located regional campuses further foster that lifelong global community of learning and mentoring.