Graduate Curriculum

The Media Design program at Emerson College prepares you for a career improving the world through art, media, technology, and civic engagement. Media Design students partner with local and global organizations to learn how to use art and design to help support stronger and more inclusive communities. From designing apps and interactive learning guides to building physical installations with city governments and community-based organizations, Media Design at Emerson will teach you how to effectively engage with different populations through and with dynamic design interventions.

Fall 2024 cohort early decision deadline March 1, 2024, with rolling applications through July 1

Members of the Media Design 2022 Cohort posing in front of a brick wall

Graduate M.A.
Media Design

Media Design logo

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Students in the Lab’s media design program:

  • Learn collaborative design skills that can be applied to advancing social justice.
  • Explore how codesign can have a lasting impact on communities.
  • Learn foundational art and design skills in support of building creative interventions for social change.
  • Prepare for design jobs in government, nonprofits, design firms, the tech sector, and beyond.


CM 600: Foundations in Civic Media

CM 621: Design Studio 2

CM 620: Design Studio 1

CM 610: Participatory Design Methods

CM 631: Mapping Community Engagement

MD 690: Master’s Thesis


CM 630: Experience Design

MK 664: Design in Communication

CC640: UX Design

CM 640: Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change (Global Opportunity)

Social Justice and Media Symposium

The Social Justice + Media Symposium is an annual convening of students, faculty, activists, scholars, and storytellers to explore how media pedagogies and practices can support more just and equitable civic futures. The symposium provides space for emerging storytellers from universities around the world to create networks that advocate for the media and civic systems that best reflect equitable and vibrant societies. Each spring, SJ+M presents the transformative media literacy scholar award, which provides support for social justice media projects, and access to networks of fellow practitioners and teachers. 

SJ+M was launched in 2020 in memory of Dr. Moses Shumow, a transformative scholar, educator and activist, who worked at the intersection of media, narrative, and social justice. Moses died in a bike accident on October 22, 2019, just months after starting a new position at Emerson College, in Boston, MA. SJ+M was launched by Moses’s closest colleagues and friends, in an effort to bring students, faculty and community stakeholders together MA to honor the life and work of Moses.

The symposium, now an annual gathering, brings young emerging media storytellers together with educators, researchers and the community to expand dialog, collaboration and media narratives in support of just and equitable futures.

For more information about the Social Justice + Media Symposium, about Moses Shumow, or if you are interested in joining this network, please contact Dr. Paul Mihailidis at

Two individuals seated on a stage, looking at the audience, with a projector screen behind them

Salzburg Creativity, Media and Global Change Program

A crowd of students gathered in Salzburg, Austria with a beautiful mountain landscape behind them

The Salzburg Creativity, Media & Global Change Program invites speakers from literature, business, the arts, education, journalism, law, entertainment and advocacy groups to engage students from different cultures and institutions in hopes of promoting cross-cultural awareness and gaining an understanding of global media systems and their influence on global networks and digital culture. Together, students will debate and examine the effect of media, digital culture and new technology on global issues and themes. Emerson’s Engagement Lab supports this program. Emerson students selected to participate in this program will study in Salzburg, Austria along with 75 other students and faculty from a broad range of universities located around the world.

Applications for our next cohort will open in spring 2024!