Welcome to interdisciplinary graduate studies in the College of Arts, Media and Design. Here you’ll find courses and programs that embrace shared dialogue and experiential learning across creative fields. These interdisciplinary master’s programs and graduate certificates place collaboration at the core of their mission, integrating frameworks, methods, and practices to support students in developing truly innovative approaches and outcomes. Our interdisciplinary degree and certificate options provide a strong foundation of use-inspired, experientially informed coursework and research opportunities.
The Creative Practice Leadership degree program brings together faculty, scholars, and practitioners across the performing arts, fine arts, and design fields to work with students to explore new forms of practice and leadership within contemporary culture. Students engage in a shared core, then develop a customized course of study, allowing focus on a breadth of issues.
The Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship master’s degree and graduate certificate programs give students foundational to advanced training in the skills and techniques essential to leading arts and culture organizations today, combining the human literacies of collaboration and communication with the technical basis of arts organizational visioning, planning, and sustainable management.
The Urban Planning and Policy program is jointly offered between the college’s School of Architecture and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs within the College of Social Science and Humanities. The curriculum provides a strong foundational knowledge base and allows specialization into the closely related areas of sustainable urban planning and contemporary approaches to urban policy for global cities.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MS)
- Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship
- Creative Practice Leadership
- Urban Planning and Policy
Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship
AACE 6000. Arts and Culture Organizational Leadership. (3 Hours)
Offers an overview and introduction to leadership knowledge areas, tools, and skills sets for the arts and culture sector. Key topics include issues and challenges in the management of arts-oriented organizations, leadership characteristics and techniques for arts and culture teams, balancing organizational priorities with artistic vision and values, board formation and management, audience outreach, and operational practices. Focuses on the administration of people and processes to communicate mission; realize goals; and effectively manage the creative resources, human resources, and financial challenges of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.
AACE 6010. Planning for Arts and Cultural Organizations. (3 Hours)
Offers an overview and introduction to knowledge areas and primary skills sets for planning, launching, and sustaining arts and cultural organizations. Key topics include evaluating opportunities in the arts and culture sector; building effective vision, mission, and values for arts and culture initiatives in balance with civic and community contexts; smart approaches to arts and culture funding; developing sustainable and flexible strategic plans; and planning challenges for the contemporary strategic arts organization.
AACE 6020. Experiential Study in Arts Administration. (3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to learn best practices in arts project management, including how to assess and scope a project, develop a timeline with clear action items and goals, relay needs and expectations to clients, research materials to assist in the process, and measure and deliver project results. Faculty coach students to cultivate professional skill sets, build competency around key areas of student interest, and bridge theory with practice. Students receive feedback from their project sponsor, review lessons learned, and incorporate suggestions to improve and further develop their career plans. Seeks to support the development of business communication skills, project and client management skills, and frameworks for analysis.
AACE 6110. Information Technology for Arts and Cultural Organizations. (3 Hours)
Offers nontechnical students an opportunity to obtain a clear and current understanding of key information technology (IT) concepts set in the context of arts and cultural organizations and to empower them to make decisions that map technology to strategy. Covers how to identify technical terms, stakeholders, and issues; evaluate IT challenges; apply best-practice frameworks; and identify business needs and compare technical solutions in order to minimize cost and maximize strategic alignment. Combines readings, casework, video lectures, screen casts, guest videos, and a hands-on approach to researching solutions and leading change. Includes both group and individual deliverables that students synthesize to create and present a final project.
AACE 6120. Advocacy and the Arts. (3 Hours)
Seeks to equip future arts leaders with the competence, power, and commitment to act in the interest of creative resilience—and creativity—for the collective good. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to both advocate for the arts and advocate through the arts. Each module presents a specific challenge faced by artists and arts institutions and compels students to identify and articulate creative solutions to overcome this challenge. Exposes students to diverse knowledge sources—including theoretical and practical literature, organizational and project case studies, and guest presentations by arts leaders in the Boston area—to help prepare students for this important work.
AACE 6200. Programming and Community Engagement for Cultural Entrepreneurs. (3 Hours)
Examines the role and tools of the cultural entrepreneur and investigates practical and tactical approaches centered around real-world examples. Topics include how cultural entrepreneurs turn new ideas into concrete initiatives and how they communicate with and learn from their audiences and communities to assess and evaluate the implementation of cultural endeavors. Offers students an opportunity to create their own cultural initiative from the ground up. Through modules covering mission and vision, program evaluation, community engagement, and basic resource management, the successful student should finish the course with a real project “in a box,” ready to launch.
AACE 6210. Building Value Through Cultural Enterprise. (3 Hours)
Examines the question of value through the lens of cultural institutions big and small. Explores examples from real-world case studies. Focuses on areas of value, ways to measure impact on both qualitative and quantitative levels, and how to demonstrate that impact to a variety of audiences from our daily visitors to our federal government. Value in the cultural sector is a critical question that institutions and individuals working in this area must answer on a regular basis for themselves, their constituents, and their supporters.
AACE 6220. Innovative Approaches to Audience Engagement. (3 Hours)
Investigates the philosophy, methods, and application of a wide spectrum of audience engagement strategies. Utilizes provided materials, inquiry-based research practices, and experiential study to introduce students to the various interpretations and outcomes of effective audience engagement, particularly as it relates to an arts organization’s mission, vision, and values. Drawing directly from their course work and research, students are paired with an arts organization to design a creative audience engagement strategy that both aligns with the organization’s mission and supports a new visionary initiative.
COMM 6102. Health Communication Campaigns. (4 Hours)
Offers an in-depth look at how persuasive health campaigns are designed and executed. Discusses how campaigns are intentionally designed to influence awareness, knowledge gain, and attitude/behavior change. Offers students an opportunity to obtain skills to design and evaluate campaigns through the completion of their own campaign projects and to learn about visual and verbal arguments and the unique ethical and other considerations of health campaigns.
COMM 6304. Communication and Inclusion. (4 Hours)
Explores the relationships between communication, social identity, and social inclusion. Focuses on how communication shapes perceptions and positions of social identity categories and how individuals and groups resist and transform identity and promote inclusion through communication. Examines communication and inclusion in the contexts of gender, race, sexual identity, social class, ability, and age. Course topics cover a range of theoretical and practical issues, including diversity in organizational settings and the social construction of identity.
COMM 6320. Political Communication. (4 Hours)
Covers the major theories about the role of communication in U.S. politics, public opinion, and public policy. Discusses how to formulate and evaluate your own theory-based hypotheses on the influence of media in American democracy. Emphasizes the role and place of the media in a democratic system devoted to the proposition that the government should be responsive to the "will of the people." The course is organized around five subjects that are central to the study of political communication: communication systems and practices; communication effects: media, politics, and society; the politics of entertainment and the changing political information environment; elections, accountability, and the mass media; and media and political institutions.
COMM 6500. Environmental Issues, Communication, and Media. (4 Hours)
Analyzes major debates over the environment, climate change, and related technologies such as nuclear energy, wind power, natural gas “fracking,” and food biotechnology. Studies the relevant scientific, political, and ethical dimensions of each case; the generalizable theories, frameworks, and methods that scholars use to analyze them; and the implications for effective public communication, policymaker engagement, and personal decision making. Offers students an opportunity to gain an integrated understanding of their different roles as professionals, advocates, and consumers and to improve their ability to find and use expert sources of information; assess competing media claims and narratives; write persuasive essays, analyses, and commentaries; and author evidence-based research papers.
COMM 6501. Free Speech: Law and Practice. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to better understand freedom and limits to freedom, particularly in the realm of speech and expression. Topics covered range from the philosophy of freedom to historical legal cases about free speech and the press to political correctness and the repression of dissent.
COMM 6605. Youth and Communication Technology. (4 Hours)
Examines how meanings of “youth” and “communication technology” shift in relation to one another and to broader changes in society, culture, politics, and the economy over time. Analyzes how communication technologies (and the content they deliver) positively and negatively affect the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young people and how these changes are influenced by the particular family, school, community, and institutional contexts in which children grow up. Examines how young people differ individually across the life span as well as collectively by class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and disability. Requires a final paper at the end of the term in which students articulate and defend positions about youth and communication technology.
COMM 6608. Strategic Communication. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to complete a semester-long, intensive research and writing capstone project related to the field of strategic communication. Research topics can span business, politics, advocacy, entertainment, public health, the environment, and other societal sectors. Building on previous course work, students have an opportunity to gain a deeper scholarly and professional understanding of strategic communication; cultivate professional and academic contacts; and demonstrate mastery of relevant theoretical concepts, professional principles, research methods, and writing approaches. Encourages students to share and translate their findings for relevant academic and professional communities.
COMM 6631. Crisis Communication and Image Management. (4 Hours)
Examines literature related to crisis communication—including theories, models, and strategies—and establishes ethical principles in terms of what, how, and when essential elements must be employed for effective and ethical crisis communication. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to distinguish between an incident and a crisis; to analyze communication practices and methods applied during a crisis; to apply social scientific theory to explain how and why a crisis occurred; and to draw upon theory to develop effective crisis communication plans. Assesses responses to crises using ethical principles such as transparency (the what element), two-way symmetrical communication (the how element), and timing (the when element). Designed to prepare communication professionals who appreciate the need for responsible advocacy when responding to crises.
COMM 6962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
COMM 7962. Elective. (1-4 Hours)
Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.
Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts, Media, and Design
INAM 5100. Performance Studies. (4 Hours)
Examines how live performance operates within the contexts of everyday life, interpersonal communication, performance art, music, games, and theatrical events. Defines “performance” broadly, encompassing performance installations, interactive events, theatrical performance, etc. Explores the interdisciplinary field of performance studies by investigating performance as a method of creating new knowledge. Examines foundational performance theory using theoretically grounded methods of creating performance and developing performances as research. Culminates in the creation of original performance projects, in which students use their varied disciplinary skills and talents to craft an encounter between a work and an audience. Students who do not meet course restrictions may seek permission of instructor.
INAM 5183. Interdisciplinary Special Topics: Pop-up Course. (1,2 Hours)
Addresses timely trends, issues, and events in the fields of arts, media and design as they unfold. Offers students an opportunity to learn about and respond to issues of the day in an immersive, interdisciplinary, short-course format. Includes emphasis on experiential forms of teaching and learning. Content and instructors vary by offering.
INAM 5963. Topics. (1 Hour)
Offers students an opportunity to learn about timely issues, develop new skills, or explore areas of broad interest in an immersive, short-course format. Content and instructors vary by offering.
INAM 5964. Projects for Professionals. (0 Hours)
Offers students an applied project setting in which to apply their curricular learning. Working with a sponsor, students refine an applied research topic, perform research, develop recommendations that are shared with a partner sponsor, and create a plan for implementing their recommendations. Seeks to benefit students with a curriculum that supports the development of key business communication skills, project and client management skills, and frameworks for business analysis. Offers students an opportunity to learn from sponsor feedback, review 'lessons learned,' and incorporate suggestions from this review to improve and further develop their career development and professional plan.
INAM 5965. Engaging with Industry Partners for Rising Professionals. (0 Hours)
Offers students an enhanced applied project setting in which to apply their curricular learning. Working with a partner sponsor, students refine an applied research topic, perform research, develop recommendations that are shared with the partner sponsor, and create a plan for implementing their recommendations. Curriculum supports students as they develop key business communication skills, project and client management skills, and frameworks for business analysis. Offers students an opportunity to learn from sponsor feedback, review lessons learned, and incorporate suggestions to improve and further hone their career development and professional plan. Career development opportunities through skill-building workshops, panels, and interview preparation are available. Partner-student interactions, including a culminating project presentation, allow partners to assess student potential for co-op, internship, or other employment opportunities with the partner.
INAM 5983. Interdisciplinary Special Topics. (4 Hours)
Addresses timely trends, issues, and events. Offers students an opportunity to learn about and respond to issues of the day in an immersive, interdisciplinary format. Content and instructors vary by offering.
INAM 6100. Critical Foundations of Creative Practice Leadership. (4 Hours)
Introduces core theoretical foundations of the creative practice and creativity studies fields. Considers interdisciplinary, contemporary, and critical frameworks alongside themes such as creative economies; performance and reception studies; placemaking; social and ecological justice; critical race and gender studies; and the intersection of ethics, culture, politics, and public policy around modes of creative practice.
INAM 6200. Topics in Communication Strategies. (4 Hours)
Explores methods and techniques of professional writing to build creative narratives for cultural leaders as well as written and nonwritten communication. Covers strategies for advocacy, including artists/program notes, grant opportunities, business plans, blogs, op-eds, new media, marketing/promotion, and strategic positioning. Offers students an opportunity to develop a portfolio of documents (written and nonwritten) to establish a core for future communication platforms.
INAM 6210. Projects in Creative Practice Leadership. (4 Hours)
Focuses on project management and assessment for creative projects and related entrepreneurial enterprises; critiques of creative work and creative organizing projects; analysis and application of multiple forms of assessment of the professional practice; and planning for intellectual property, branding, and marketing challenges. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to articulate and implement medium-to-long-range strategies for reaching next career stages and achieving larger goals in their creative enterprises.
INAM 6300. Models for Applied Inquiry in Creative Practice. (4 Hours)
Focuses on thoughtful engagement with diverse and emerging forms of critical inquiry, professional engagement, and creative practice for artists, entrepreneurs, and administrators. Through course work and interaction with leading practitioners, offers students an opportunity to gain an understanding of the impact that forms of production and business models have on potential contribution to fields of critical practice and their diverse culture, while developing innovative models for their own creative, critical, and entrepreneurial endeavors.
INAM 6976. Directed Study. (1-4 Hours)
Offers directed study of a specific topic not normally contained in the regular course offerings but within the area of expertise of a faculty member. May be repeated without limit.
INAM 7000. Introduction to Research in Interdisciplinary Design and Media. (4 Hours)
Offers an overview of different forms of art and design research. Designed to guide students in crafting a plan for navigating their own individual path through the program. Creates a shared vocabulary for interdisciplinary research and sets expectations for the remainder of each student’s highly individualized path. Throughout the semester, the class reads and discusses key texts on interdisciplinary arts and design and media research; researches and reports on case studies of other research that relates to the direction of their research, including dissertations by prior students from CAMD and other institutions; and participates in guest presentations/discussions by program faculty regarding the integration of research and practice.
INAM 7001. Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Design and Media. (4 Hours)
Offers an overview of research designs and methods across disciplines. Discusses how to select and use these methods and strategies and discusses IRB procedures. Includes guest presentations from faculty across the campus. This course is not meant as a comprehensive methodological training but rather an overview that should be complemented with at least one specialized methods course from a university-wide list of courses in the first semester of study and two others in the second semester of study.
INAM 7900. Research Seminar. (4 Hours)
Requires students to present their work in progress for feedback by their peers, faculty, and visitors. The work conducted in this seminar serves as the foundation for establishing the topic and method of study employed for the dissertation.
INAM 7901. Dissertation Writing Seminar. (4 Hours)
Introduces and discusses conventions in dissertation writing such as structure, contextualization, argumentation, tone, formality, and citation styles. Development of a thesis proposal and honing the project’s methodology is the main function of this course. Offer students an opportunity to continue developing publishable scholarly work that is associated with the dissertation project.
INAM 9000. PhD Candidacy Achieved. (0 Hours)
Indicates successful completion of program requirements for PhD candidacy.
INAM 9990. Dissertation Term 1. (0 Hours)
Offers dissertation supervision by individual members of the department.
Prerequisite(s): INAM 9000 with a minimum grade of S
INAM 9991. Dissertation Term 2. (0 Hours)
Offers dissertation supervision by individual members of the department.
Prerequisite(s): INAM 9990 with a minimum grade of S
INAM 9996. Dissertation Continuation. (0 Hours)
Offers dissertation supervision by individual members of the department.
Prerequisite(s): INAM 9991 with a minimum grade of S
Music, Music Industry, and Music Technology
MUSC 6300. Music Perception and Cognition Research. (4 Hours)
How and why does music stimulate our senses, and how can music promote health and well-being? This course provides an overview of the perceptual, cognitive, and brain bases of performing, composing, and listening to music for enjoyment and for human benefit. Topics include theories and empirical research on pitch, rhythm, harmony, melody, timbre; music and language; development of musical ability, and special populations in musical functions. Meetings will include demonstrations and exercises in experiment design and data analysis. A final project (paper and in-class presentation) is required. By the end of this course, students will be able to design and conduct their own research study in music perception and cognition. The course will involve an in-depth research project in consultation with the instructor.
Attribute(s): NUpath Analyzing/Using Data, NUpath Natural/Designed World
MUSI 5540. Special Topics in Music Industry. (3,4 Hours)
Focuses on various topics related to the music industry. May be repeated up to two times.
MUSI 5900. Ethnography in Creative Industries. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to work together on a class project with a partner organization, conduct individual ethnographic projects, and experiment with different forms of documenting and presenting ethnographic research. Ethnography includes participant/observation and other qualitative methods. Ethnographic research provides insights into institutions and organizations within creative industries—their particular corporate cultures, structures, priorities, market emphases, divisions of labor, etc. Ethnographic data informs corporate strategy and contributes to marketplace research. For creative producers—actors, architects, artists, dancers, designers, musicians, writers—ethnography can inform creative practice, enriching the artworks that form the core of creative industries. Studies what we learn from ethnography, what purposes ethnographic research is best suited for, how ethnography contributes to strategic decision making, and how ethnography enriches creative practice and art making.
Attribute(s): NUpath Analyzing/Using Data, NUpath Capstone Experience, NUpath Societies/Institutions
MUSI 6000. Management of Music Organizations. (4 Hours)
Examines approaches used to manage and oversee various music organizations, including managing change, decision making, negotiation and presentation skills, and assessing management style. Successful music industry leaders must be well grounded in traditional management knowledge and practices, yet at the same time appreciate the unique aspects of the creative industries.
MUSI 6100. Music Industry Research Methodology. (3 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to develop and enhance their research skills. Success as a music industry manager often hinges on the ability to find solutions effectively and efficiently. Many business mistakes can be directly traced to inaccurate information, inappropriate data, or invalid interpretation. All of these are due to inappropriate research. In an increasingly diversified music industry, managers must be functional in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis and must develop sensitivity to the target market or subjects of interest. This course is designed to help students understand how good research enables managers to make informed decisions. Requires students to complete written research reports.
MUSI 6200. Financial Management in the Music Industry. (3 Hours)
Examines financial reporting and decision making in the music industry. Offers students an opportunity to become proficient in analyzing financial statements to predict the future performance and growth of a firm.
MUSI 6300. Intellectual Property for Creative Practice Leadership. (4 Hours)
Introduces students to intellectual properties: copyright, trademark, trade secrets, patents, and likeness/publicity rights. Reviews the balance of interests at the heart of intellectual property policy, including serving the public interest, supporting innovation, and protecting private property rights.
MUSI 6360. Investigating Global Music Industries in Context. (4 Hours)
Supports graduate students’ development of the investigatory and explicatory acumens necessary to put their new knowledge to work. Students encounter and compare diverse global music industries in their historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Explores the professional practices of and cultural contexts for today’s global music professionals in course readings, creative case studies, and summative research projects. Identifies the ways in which diverse industries consolidate music production, distribution, and consumption. Analyzes diverse creative products and critiques music’s value—financial, social, political, ideological, and personal. Students practice critical reading and interpretation and apply theories within the social sciences and cultural criticism for the interpretation of global music industries in context.
MUSI 6400. Marketing Strategies in the Music Industry. (3 Hours)
Examines the role of strategic planning in developing effective marketing programs that enhance the overall performance of a music organization. Specific topics include consumer behavior, market segmentation, targeting, customer equity, brand equity, brand positioning, marketing research, product policy, pricing strategy, distribution channels, marketing communications, global branding, new product development, and social marketing.
MUSI 6540. Special Topics in Music Industry Leadership. (1-4 Hours)
Focuses on various topics related to the music industry. May be repeated up to 11 times for up to 12 total credits.
MUSI 6700. Advanced Licensing Techniques for Music Management. (2-4 Hours)
Identifies and explores advanced licensing strategies, techniques, and transactions for various intellectual properties, including music publishing, sound recordings, trademarks/service marks, and likeness/publicity rights. Examines complex or hybrid licenses that cover more than one aspect of IP in the same license and approaches, strategies, and tactics (both successful and unsuccessful) that have been applied to licensing. Offers students an opportunity to develop a dynamic and effective licensing methodology and practice.
MUSI 6964. Co-op Work Experience. (0 Hours)
Offers eligible students an opportunity for work experience.
MUSI 7976. Directed Study. (1-4 Hours)
Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on chosen topics. May be repeated without limit.
MUSI 7980. Capstone. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity to integrate their course work, knowledge, and experiences into a capstone project. Offers students an opportunity to work in partnership with local, state, or national leaders to produce an operational music company. This is a faculty-guided project for students completing course work in music industry leadership studies.
THTR 5973. Topics in Fashion Design Studies. (4 Hours)
Offers students an opportunity for upper-undergraduate and graduate-level in-depth examination of a subject of particular significance in the fashion industry. May be repeated up to four times.
THTR 6100. Advanced Creative Storytelling for Social Engagement. (4 Hours)
Examines the ways people use creative storytelling to forge human connection in digital environments. Includes theoretical readings and critical analysis of digital performances in social and historical context, alongside experiential projects in which students create digital performance projects and curate collections of digital performances for particular audiences and purposes. This creative practice research course is open to advanced students with established storytelling skills in any discipline.