Media Design Curriculum

Emerson’s MA in Media Design requires 32 credits. You can choose from two program paths; A One Year Immersive Program or a Two Year Program Sequence. Courses are offered fully online.

32 Credits Required for Graduation

  • 24 Credits of Core Requirements
  • 8 Credit Electives
  • (Non-credit) Civic Design Colloquium offered each semester

Core Requirements - 24 Credits

Number Course Credits
CM 600 Foundations in Civic Media 4
CM 610 Participatory Design Methods 4
CM 620 Design Studio 1 4
CM 621 Design Studio 2 4
CM 631 Mapping Community Engagement 4
MD 690 Master’s Thesis 4

Elective Requirements - 8 Credits Sample Courses

Number Course Credits
CM 630 Experience Design 4
MK 664 Design in Communication 4
CC 640 UX Design 4
CM 640 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change (global opportunity) 4

Thesis

The Media Design master’s thesis includes both written and production components. Successful theses include a literature review and theoretical justification, creative portfolio, the design of creative work or program scaled for implementation, and evaluation of initial sketch or intervention, as well as a plan to continue work with the partner organization. 

Final theses are in the form of design books to be reviewed by a faculty chair and small review committee, which is intended to be part of the responsibility of the Engagement Lab Fellows. An external reviewer for the final thesis may also be included, which would bring in practitioners or scholars from the Boston community, incentivized by small honoraria.

Program Paths

You may choose to complete your program as a One Year Immersive Program or a Two Year Program Sequence.

One Year Immersive Program 

The One Year Immersive Program is a three-semester program, running from Fall-Summer. The program is fully online with most classes taking place in the evening. Elective schedules are flexible and are offered during the summer semester.

Sample Curriculum Map

Program Start - September

  • Fall Semester 1 (12 credits)
    • CM 600 - Foundations in Civic Media
    • CM 610 - Participatory Design Methods
    • CM 620 - Design Studio I
    • Civic Design Colloquium 
  • Spring Semester 2  (12 credits)
    • CM 621 - Design Studio II
    • CM 631 - Mapping Community Engagement
    • One Elective Requirement
    • Civic Design Colloquium 
  • Summer/May Semester (8 credits)
    • MD 690 - Master’s Thesis
    • One Elective Requirement or Global Media Academy, Salzburg, Austria

Two Year Program Sequence

The Two Year Program Sequence is a four-semester program with an optional summer semester available. The program is fully online with most classes taking place in the evening. Elective schedules are flexible and are offered during the summer semester.

Sample Curriculum Map

Program Start - September

  • Fall Semester 1 (8 credits)
    • CM 600 - Foundations in Civic Media
    • CM 610 - Participatory Design Methods
    • Civic Design Colloquium 
  • Spring Semester  2 (8 credits)
    • CM 631 - Mapping Community Engagement
    • One Elective Requirement
    • Civic Design Colloquium
  • Summer Semester (optional)
    • One Elective Requirement or Global Media Academy, Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall Semester 3 (8 credits)
    • CM 620 - Design Studio I
    • One Elective Requirement
    • Civic Design Colloquium 
  • Spring Semester 4 (8 credits)
    • CM 622 - Design Studio II
    • MD 690 - Master’s Thesis
    • Civic Design Colloquium