Experience Design, MFA

The Master of Fine Arts in Experience Design embraces research-driven design thinking for entrepreneurship, innovation, and other areas, preparing students to be vital contributors and leaders at the intersection of innovation and design.

Experience design is a holistic and integrative approach to design that utilizes investigation into the human experience in specific situations to improve its quality, given an understanding of human goals, needs, and desires. For example, in the context of healthcare, an experience designer does not focus on the design of any one technology product, information system, or physical space. Instead, the designer is charged with understanding and improving the overall sequence of events that impact the patient before and during a hospital stay as well as through follow-up care.

The experience design program moves beyond design thinking to produce outcomes that demonstrate the value of human-centered research and design methods. It draws on findings from a range of professional and scholarly disciplines (including business, psychology, human-computer interaction, engineering, cybernetics) to understand and shape specific situations. It extends across many industries and aspects of life: healthcare, technology, services, travel, education, entertainment, shopping, dining, and the nature of work itself.

Through examining how people behave in a real context in relation to emerging technologies, the Master of Fine Arts in Experience Design allows graduates from design and related disciplines (such as communications, computer science, business, architecture, art, journalism, humanities, and the social sciences) to gain knowledge and experience in the design competencies. To accomplish these goals, students will learn how to invoke cooperation, collaboration, and integration across disciplines and practices.

The Master of Fine Arts in Experience Design seeks to prepare students to be vital contributors and leaders of professional experience design teams where technological innovation intersects with design. Successful graduates will be able to analyze how people undergo real-world situations, enabling them to enrich experience by orchestrating new design-driven relationships. They will be equipped with the skills to identify shortcomings as well as opportunities for improved engagement between systems and elements—virtual or physical—with the humans who encounter them.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

Required Core
ARTG 5120Research Methods for Design4
ARTG 5600Experience Design Studio 1: Principles4
ARTG 5610Design Systems4
ARTG 5620Notational Systems for Experience4
ARTG 5640Prototyping for Experience Design4
ARTG 6310Design for Behavior and Experience4
ARTG 6600Experience Design Studio 2: Group and Interpersonal4
ARTG 67004
Thesis
ARTG 7100Thesis Seminar for Design4
ARTG 7990Thesis8

Electives

Complete 16 semester hours from the following:16
Art, Context, Action 1
Visual Cognition
Statistics Basics for Designers
Visualization Technologies 1
Design of Information-Rich Environments
Information Design Mapping Strategies
Other electives may be chosen in consultation with program coordinator.

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

60 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required

Sample Two Years, One Co-op (Optional) Plan of Study

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
ARTG 56004ARTG 66004Co-op (optional)0
ARTG 56204ARTG 63104 
ARTG 56104ARTG 56404 
Elective4ARTG 51204 
 16 16 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours 
ARTG 67004ARTG 79908 
ARTG 71004Elective4 
Elective4  
Elective4  
 16 12 
Total Hours: 60

Sample Two Years, No Co-op Plan of Study

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
ARTG 56004ARTG 66004Vacation0
ARTG 56204ARTG 63104 
ARTG 56104ARTG 56404 
Elective4ARTG 51204 
 16 16 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours 
ARTG 67004ARTG 79908 
ARTG 71004Elective4 
Elective4  
Elective4  
 16 12 
Total Hours: 60