Northeastern University: Create Your Own Path

CAMD students

CAMD students

Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media & Design (CAMD) takes creative education to a new level. There are more great things to say about this program than can easily fit into one blog. Seriously. I’ve been researching the program for a family and just had to share my findings with you.

Beginning with the basics, Northeastern (NU) has almost 18,000 undergraduates, with 2,000 of them enrolled in CAMD. What’s unique here is the combination of available educational options. They lead to a plethora of opportunities, especially benefitting those who want to create their own path. Within the college students can graduate with a single major, two double majors, or combine two half majors. Huh? Yep! Undergraduates can explore and intertwine two passions – two half majors – and accumulate more credits than with one major, but fewer than doubling up.

The university is focused on experiential learning; getting up, out of your seat, and becoming involved. Students across all departments are required to engage in at least one form of experiential education:

  • Barcelona architecture

    Barcelona architecture

    Cooperative education (co-op) typically takes one semester. Students can co-op three times, providing up to 18 months of real-world education. Aspiring artists and designers gain professional hands-on experience. They engage with industry leaders, explore careers, and begin building their career paths.

  • Service learning creates opportunities for students to apply their creative skill set to the greater community, and vice versa. They become active participants, utilizing their newly gained artistic capabilities while furthering social justice.
  • CAMD students also have the opportunity to create individual research projects. Here they can take a deep dive into a singular focus with a faculty member, a group of peers, or on their own.
  • Study abroad offers a whole host of opportunities. Beyond spending a semester studying the Medici’s artistic influence in Florence or fashion in France, students can take a co-op, service learning, or research project abroad. Sign me up!!

Designers also have Scout, an on-campus student-led design studio giving them access to real clients as they solve real design problems.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University

Design, Game Design, and Media Arts majors earn BFAs. Studio Art majors graduate with a BFA through a partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). (A program note: beginning this fall SMFA will become part of Tufts University. I don’t yet know how this will affect the Studio Arts major at NU.) Other CAMD majors graduate with a BA. Portfolios are required for the BFA in Studio Art and are optional for other majors.

CAMD prides itself on educating and molding its students into engaged and vibrant makers, and ensuring that each one has a perspective of place in the global environment. I hope you go check it out.

Find more information on art and design college programs on Facebook and Twitter.

City Life For Me

If urban living is what you’re after make sure to check out Massachusetts College of Art & Design.  Located smack dab in the hubbub that is Boston, the school announces itself to its neighbors with a giant MassArt sign.  You can’t miss it.  I was lucky enough to visit MassArt on a beautiful autumn day.

The school is comprised of a series of connected buildings, forming a giant square that takes up a city block (with green space in the middle).  Three dorms are across the street; the newest is nicknamed “the treehouse.”  According to admissions personnel Hilary Babick and Tiffany Sewell, the process for designing “the treehouse” was a collaborative effort that included input from current students.  Under the guidance of Professor Paul Hajian students were involved with ADD Inc. architects and interior design staff to create a coherent design.   The end result: functioning art in the real world.

“The Treehouse”

Freshmen are encouraged to live on campus, and they do. Approximately 72% of freshmen and foundation transfers live on campus.  Part of college is creating relationships and community with your fellow students.  If you can swing it – living together the first year will help build that community for you.

The connection of buildings I referred to?  They’re a great asset in the winter when you won’t want to venture outdoors to get to your next class.  For peace of mind – for you as well as moms and dads – the enclosed square provides added security.  MassArt is not an open campus; not just anyone can come in and wander around.

Other bonuses: everything is at your doorstep.  The green line stop is just steps from MassArt and can connect you to any place in the city, as well as to thousands of students attending some 50+ colleges and universities in the area.

What’s On Campus?

Resources matter, especially when considering which art school to attend.  So make sure you check out the gallery space available on campus.  Galleries give you the opportunity to view successful artists work up close and in person, as well as the chance to possible display your own creations.

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair With Textiles

I was lucky to stumble upon Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles, showing at Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Bakalar & Paine Galleries during a recent visit.  As a textile artist, I loved it!  This British fashion designer has been crafting incredibly creative textiles and clothing since the 1960’s.  It’s well worth a visit.

Coincidentally, the Savannah College of Art & Design is currently showing Little Black Dress in the SCAD Museum of Art.  Curated by SCAD Trustee and Vogue Contributing Editor André Leon Talley, this fashion show focuses on you guessed it, that standard in every woman’s closet.  The show includes contributions from designers around the world as well as those of the Best-Dressed List.

Make sure to view the gallery space when you tour a school.  If you’re headed to Boston and Savannah check out Mass Art’s Love Affair with Textiles, open through December 1, 2012 and SCAD’s Little Black Dress, open through January 27, 2013 then traveling throughout the year.