About the Program

Critical. Creative. Engaged. The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts

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 emphasizes the Arts of Engagement, broadly conceived. Our program attracts an international cohort of 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. A field-based summer residency or graduate co-op work experience is available, supported by mentorship with Northeastern faculty. All students produce a thesis project and paper during their final semester.

The two-year interdisciplinary program draws on faculty expertise in Art and Design, Architecture, Music, Game Design, Art History, and Media and Screen Studies. Students pursue creative work in the context of a major urban research university with the capacity to build dynamic research collaborations both across the globe and in the neighborhood. Partnerships with premier institutions and artist-run initiatives provide experiential learning opportunities in a global context, while the city of Boston offers an unparalleled intellectual environment for advanced study in the arts.

Course of Study

The two-year program supports sustained, creative dialogue through a series of core critique seminars. Students chart their own path with a wide range of studio electives and ground themselves in the history and analysis of contemporary art. Research and self-directed practice is stressed in the curriculum, with a course on creative research methods and a summer independent research project, which could unfold through a residency, job placement, or practicum.

See complete list of course requirements here.

Scholarships and Assistantships

The College of Arts, Media, and Design offers merit-based scholarships and graduate assistantships to highly qualified applicants. The priority application deadline for these awards is February 1, though more limited funding may be available after this date.

Students who have an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University are eligible for the Double Husky Scholarship.

Students with financial need, a demonstrated commitment to social justice, and the capacity to enhance diversity Northeastern are encouraged to apply to the Martin Luther King Fellowship.

The Department of Art + Design has a limited number of competitive Graduate Teaching Fellowships for students with demonstrated potential for educational leadership and a desire to gain experience in the classroom prior to graduation. These positions come with a stipend and ongoing training. Currently, teaching fellows work support instructional activities in the Makerspace and teach 2D Tools.

Additionally, we recommend all students contact Student Financial Services for information about federal aid applications, student employment, and other university services.


Graduate students will be selected not only on the basis of their previous work in the arts but also on their demonstrated potential to shape an emerging field of practice. Prospective applicants with professional experience outside the arts are encouraged to contact the program coordinator to discuss how their goals align with our orientation toward artistic action and research.

We accept applicants on a rolling basis. When you are ready to apply, go to the CAMD website.

  • Priority deadline for scholarship awards: February 1
  • Final deadline for international students: May 1 (fall enrollment) or October 1 (spring enrollment)
  • Final deadline for domestic students: August 1 (fall enrollment) or November 1 (spring enrollment)