Media Arts, BFA

The continuing revolution in digital computing and global communications has produced a rapidly evolving field for artists who create experiences of image and form with computer screens, intelligent devices, and new materials. Artists also invent tools for exploring, creating, and distributing their ideas and works. Media arts practices of animation, game, game art, photography, and video arts are offered with variations more yet to be invented.

Courses in imaginative and narrative arts, required for professional work in documentary films, game art and promotion, visualization, motion graphics, interactive art, illustration, and short animated film, are offered. An intensive studio program, the curriculum provides knowledge, experience, and techniques of media arts informed by theory, experimentation, and critique. Extensive digital imaging and interactive media editing and production facilities afford you the opportunity to become highly proficient in the current skills and emerging practices necessary for remarkable work. The media arts are evolving and expanding their reach into culture and society in daily life and global experience. The revolutions in 3-D printing, embedded devices, and robotics are changing the landscape in which the media artist will operate. This degree is designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of continuous change with adaptive ingenuity.

 Video arts is a multidisciplinary field focused on creative video expression and messaging that weaves together art and design foundations; art and design history; video production; cinematic language (including documentary, narrative, and experimental strategies); collaborative frameworks; and theories of social and cultural change. The scope of the video arts curriculum is a broader and more diverse tapestry than traditional video art and it reflects the dynamic evolution of video in multiple contexts. The video arts concentration enables students to explore traditional, alternative, and other artistic means of video art production in a variety of creative and technical contexts. The focus on a multiplicity of artistic formats—hence, the choice of the title video arts—underscores our attention to the training of students who are interested in learning how to experiment with new technical, narrative, and aesthetic practices and incorporate these options into the traditional medium of video art.

Complete all courses listed below unless otherwise indicated. Also complete any corequisite labs, recitations, clinicals, or tools courses where specified and complete any additional courses needed beyond specific college and major requirements to satisfy graduation credit requirements.

University-Wide Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the University-Wide Requirements.

NUpath Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the NUpath Requirements.

NUpath requirements Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Interpreting Culture (IC), and Societies and Institutions (SI) are met through the major course requirements. 
NUpath requirements Natural and Designed World (ND), Formal and Quantitative Reasoning (FQ), Analyzing and Using Data (AD), Difference and Diversity (DD), and Ethical Reasoning (ER) must be met through general electives.

Art and Design Core

Introduction to College
ARTF 1000Art and Design at Northeastern1
Art and Design Fundamentals
ARTF 11222D Fundamentals: Surface and Drawing (with optional ARTF 1123 )4
ARTF 11243D Fundamentals: Structure and Drawing (with optional ARTF 1125 )4
ARTF 22204D Fundamentals: Sequence and Drawing (with optional ARTF 2221 )4
ARTF 22235D Fundamentals: Experience and Drawing (with optional ARTF 2224 )4
Art and Design History
ARTH 1110Global Art and Design History: Ancient to Medieval4
ARTH 1111Global Art and Design History: Renaissance to Modern4
ARTH 2210Modern Art and Design History4

Media Arts Requirements

Drawing Fundamentals Elective
ARTF 1120Observational Drawing4
or ARTF 1121 Conceptual Drawing
Media Arts Basics Elective
Note: If you are pursuing a concentration, select courses not used for your concentration.
Complete one of the following:4
Photo Basics (with optional ARTD 2361 )
Animation Basics (with optional ARTD 2371 )
Video Basics (with optional ARTD 2381 )
Media Arts History Elective
Complete one of the following:4
Contemporary Art and Design History
Survey of the Still and Moving Image
Interactive Media and Society
Design Requirement
ARTG 2250Typography 1 (with optional ARTG 2251 )4
Degree Project
ARTD 4530Media Arts Degree Project 14
ARTD 4670Media Arts Degree Project 24

Media Arts Electives or Concentration

Complete the media arts electives or contact your academic advisor to declare one of the following concentrations:

Note: Courses in this requirement may not be used for the drawing fundamentals elective or media arts history elective.
Complete six of the following:24
The Graphic Novel
Art and Design Abroad: Studio
Art and Design Abroad: History
Art and Design Special Topics
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Interactive Media and Society
Nineteenth-Century Art
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Sculpture Basics
Painting Basics
Figure Drawing
Drawing in Mixed Media
Narrative Basics
Photography 1
Animation 1
Virtual Environment Design
Character Design for Animation
Animation for Games
Video: Sound and Image
Experimental Video
Photography 2
Animation 2
Animation 3
Digital Sculpture and Model Making
Collaborative Video and Community Engagement
Studio Photography
Alternative Photographic Processes
Business Literacy for Design and Media
Time-Based Design

Program Requirement

130 total semester hours required


Concentrations (Animation/Photography/Video Arts)

Concentration in Animation

Animation Requirements
ARTD 2100Narrative Basics4
ARTD 2370Animation Basics (with optional ARTD 2371)4
ARTD 3470Animation 14
ARTD 4570Animation 24
Animation Electives
Complete two of the following:8
Virtual Environment Design
Character Design for Animation
Animation 3
Digital Sculpture and Model Making
Animation for Games
Art and Design Elective
Note: Courses in this requirement may not be used for the drawing fundamentals elective, media arts basics elective, media arts history elective, or animation electives.
Complete one of the following:4
The Graphic Novel
Art and Design Abroad: Studio
Art and Design Abroad: History
Art and Design Special Topics
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Conceptual Drawing
Interactive Media and Society
Nineteenth-Century Art
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Sculpture Basics
Painting Basics
Figure Drawing
Drawing in Mixed Media
Photography 1
Video: Sound and Image
Photography 2
Studio Photography
Alternative Photographic Processes
Graphic Design 1
Business Literacy for Design and Media
Time-Based Design

Concentration in Photography

Photography Requirements
ARTD 2360Photo Basics (with optional ARTD 2361 )4
ARTD 3460Photography 14
ARTD 4565Photography 24
Photography Elective
ARTD 4660Studio Photography4
or ARTD 4661 Alternative Photographic Processes
Art and Design Electives
Note: Courses in this requirement may not be used for the drawing fundamentals elective, media arts basics elective, media arts history elective, or photography elective.
Complete two of the following:8
Narrative Basics
The Graphic Novel
Business Literacy for Design and Media
Art and Design Abroad: Studio
Art and Design Abroad: History
Art and Design Special Topics
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Nineteenth-Century Art
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Sculpture Basics
Painting Basics
Figure Drawing
Drawing in Mixed Media
Animation 1
Virtual Environment Design
Character Design for Animation
Video: Sound and Image
Experimental Video
Animation 2
Animation 3
Digital Sculpture and Model Making
Collaborative Video and Community Engagement
Graphic Design 1
Time-Based Design
Animation for Games
Interactive Media and Society

Concentration in Video Arts

Video Arts Requirements
ARTD 2380Video Basics (with optional ARTD 2381 )4
ARTD 3480Video: Sound and Image4
ARTD 5582Collaborative Video and Community Engagement4
Video Arts Electives
Complete three of the following:12
Experimental Video
Narrative Filmmaking
Topics in Documentary Production
Screenwriting
Survey of the Still and Moving Image
Acting for the Camera
Art and Design Electives
Note: Courses in this requirement may not be used for the drawing fundamentals elective, media arts basics elective, and media arts history elective.
Complete two of the following:8
Narrative Basics
The Graphic Novel
Business Literacy for Design and Media
Art and Design Abroad: Studio
Art and Design Abroad: History
Art and Design Special Topics
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Nineteenth-Century Art
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Sculpture Basics
Painting Basics
Figure Drawing
Drawing in Mixed Media
Animation 1
Virtual Environment Design
Character Design for Animation
Photography 2
Animation 2
Animation 3
Digital Sculpture and Model Making
Graphic Design 1
Time-Based Design
Animation for Games
Interactive Media and Society

Sample Five Years, Two Co-ops in Spring/Summer 1/Sample. ZA Plan of Study only. 

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 10001ARTF 1122 (with optional ARTF 1123)4 VacationVacation
ARTF 1124 (with optional ARTF 1125)4ARTF 2220 (with optional ARTF 2221)4   
ARTH 11104ARTH 11114  
Drawing fundamentals elective4Elective4  
Elective4   
 17 16 0 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 2223 (with optional ARTF 2224)4Media arts history elective4VacationVacation
ARTH 22104Media arts elective4  
Media arts basics elective4 Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTG 2250 (with optional ARTG 2251)4 Co-opCo-opVacation
Media arts elective4   
Elective 4   
Elective4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Media arts elective 4Co-opCo-opVacation
Media arts elective4   
Elective4   
Elective4   
 16 0 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
ARTD 4530 or ARTG 47004ARTD 4670 or ARTG 47014  
Media arts elective4Media arts elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16  
Total Hours: 130

Sample Five Years, Two Co-ops in Spring/Summer 1/Sample. ZA Plan of Study Only. 

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 10001ARTF 1122 (with optional ARTF 1123)4VacationVacation
Drawing fundamentals elective4ARTF 2220 (with optional ARTF 2221)4  
ARTF 1124 (with optional ARTF 1125)4ARTH 11114  
ARTH 11104Elective4  
Elective4   
 17 16 0 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 2223 (with optional ARTF 2224)4ARTD 21004VacationVacation
ARTD 2370 (with optional ARTD 2371)4ARTD 34704  
ARTH 22104Media arts history elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTD 45704Co-opCo-opVacation
ARTG 2250 (with optional ARTG 2251)4   
Media arts basics elective4   
Elective4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Animation elective4Co-opCo-opVacation
Art and design elective4   
Elective4   
Elective4   
 16 0 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
ARTD 4530 or ARTG 47004ARTD 4670 or ARTG 47014  
Animation elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16  
Total Hours: 130

Sample Five Years, Two Co-ops in Spring/Summer 1/Sample. ZA Plan of Study Only. 

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 10001ARTH 11114VacationVacation
ARTH 11104ARTF 1122 (with optional ARTF 1123)4  
ARTF 1124 (with optional ARTF 1125)4ARTF 2220 (with optional ARTF 2221)4  
Drawing fundamentals elective4Elective4  
Elective4   
 17 16 0 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 2223 (with optional ARTF 2224)4ARTD 34604VacationVacation
ARTD 2360 (with optional ARTD 2361)4Media arts basics elective4  
ARTH 22104Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTD 45654Co-opCo-opVacation
ARTG 2250 (with optional ARTG 2251)4   
Art and design elective4   
Elective4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
Media arts history elective4Co-opCo-opVacation
Photography elective4   
Elective4   
Elective 4   
 16 0 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
ARTD 4530 or ARTG 47004ARTD 4670 or ARTG 47014  
Elective4Art and design elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16  
Total Hours: 130

Sample Five Years, Two Co-ops in Spring/Summer 1/Sample. ZA Plan of Study Only. 

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 10001ARTF 1122 (with optional ARTF 1123)4VacationVacation
ARTF 1124 (with optional ARTF 1125)4ARTF 2220 (with optional ARTF 2221)4  
ARTH 11114ARTH 11104  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective4   
 17 16 0 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTF 2223 (with optional ARTF 2224)4Video arts elective4VacationVacation
ARTD 2380 (with optional ARTD 2381)4Drawing fundamentals elective4  
ARTH 22104Media arts history elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
 16 16 0 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTD 34804Co-opCo-opVacation
ARTG 2250 (with optional ARTG 2251)4   
Media arts basics elective4   
Elective4   
EEAM 20001   
 17 0 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTD 55824Co-opCo-opVacation
Art and design elective4   
Video arts elective4   
Elective4   
 16 0 0 0
Year 5
FallHoursSpringHours  
ARTD 45304ARTD 46704  
Video arts elective4Art and design elective4  
Elective4Elective4  
Elective 4Elective4  
 16 16  
Total Hours: 130