The Masters of Arts in Exhibition Design is one of the few accredited graduate programs in the nation devoted to interpretive exhibition design. The curriculum is focused on design-thinking and experiential design, which students learn through a balanced integration of academic, technical, and real-world design opportunities. Throughout the program students are challenged consider human factors in the creation of meaningful experiences and engaging spaces. Students obtain the professional and technical skills needed to create narrative environments, museum exhibitions, through user-centered design.
Situated in the heart of Washington DC, an international hub of the museum and design community, the MA Exhibition Design program offers students opportunities to practice their skills and theory among professionals of the highest caliber. Students intern at the Smithsonian Institution museums, the National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, the Textile Museum, Creative Mornings DC, SweetGreen, and award-winning exhibition design firms located in DC.
Real-world design opportunities are integral to learning in the MA Exhibition Design program. Students practice design-thinking, iterative and collaborative design through project-based coursework. Portfolio-building opportunities are also found in the client-based projects completed by DesignCorps, an extra-curricular design group open to Exhibition Design students. Recent DesignCorps projects include installations at the World Bank, the US Diplomacy Center at the US State Department, the International Finance Corporation, and the Historical Society of Washington DC. DesignCorps has also collaborated on installations with Corcoran Photojournalism students and completed an award-winning museum-based "hack-a-thon" with our technology partner. As a design program situated within the context of a major research institution there are many opportunities to capitalize on design-based collaborations with science, technology, engineering, the arts, and the humanities.
Graduates leave the program ready to assume the responsibilities of visual storytellers, communicators, and visitor advocates. Recent graduates have found job placements at nationally recognized history museums, cultural sites, art museums, event marketing firms, and exhibition design firms.
With a growing network of successful alumni the MA in Exhibition Design is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and forward-thinking degree programs of its kind.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans and alternative loans to graduate students seeking to finance their graduate educations.