Regarding the Media Design MA

The graduate program in Media Design is no longer accepting new students. We encourage students to review our new Journalism and Media Innovation MA program that blends the Media Design program foundations into its curriculum.

Emerson College’s online graduate Media Design program was an applied research program housed in the College’s Engagement Lab. At the Engagement Lab, media design took on a distinctly civic nature. We were interested in the technologies, designs, and practices that supported positive civic impact in the world. The design focus was oriented toward building stronger approaches to participation in the world: from supporting stronger community infrastructure to using media to solve some of the largest social and civic problems with technology. In this regard, we understood media and design as:

  • Media are about the texts, narratives, technologies, and representations that guide our engagement in the world. Whether films, apps, games, art, pedagogy, or rhetoric, media as we understand it in this program are the ways in which we connect to civic life.
  • Design is understood as the process by which we engage in the world through media. We focus on participatory and human-centered design methodologies, where we explore ways that we can engage with communities. This incorporates how to build trust and reciprocity with communities, how to design interventions that include communities, and how to design facilitations and technologies that focus on social justice and meaningful engagement in the world.

Master’s Program in Media Design

The online Master of Arts (MA) in Media Design was a cross-departmental program that was taught through the lens of civic media, which were the technologies, designs, and practices that produced and reproduced the process of being in the world with others toward a common good.

Civic media, then, entailed the ways in which we designed media interventions to support positive civic and social impact in the world. During this program, students connected with community organizations from the outset and worked with those organizations as they formulated their thesis projects.