Degree Details

The Master of Arts in Exhibition and Experience Design is a full-time, 39-credit program completed in 16 months. (Students can also choose to take courses on a part-time basis, but the final semester will be full-time. Please contact the program chair for information.) Most coursework is studio based and is combined with projects that are conducted directly with patron museums, design firms, and trade venues.

You will learn: exhibition and experience design planning; presentation; concept development; audience research; theory; evaluation methods; experiential graphic design; lighting and model making for museums, retail, corporate, nonprofit, and public interior and exterior venues. You will also learn how to incorporate interactive and audiovisual elements into small- and large-scale designs. You will also participate in a variety of master classes and workshops in emerging technologies and integration, prototyping methods, project management, entrepreneurship, international business development, and professional practices in the exhibition and experiential design industry.

class presentation

Students may elect to intern at approved exhibition venues, such as design firms, design and production facilities, retail sites, or museums. Past internship sites include Derse, American Museum of Natural History, Group Delphi, kate spade, Skolnick Architecture & Design Partnership, Local Projects, ESI Design, and Liberty Science Center.

The two-part degree requirement is research-based. Students must conceive and prove in writing an original, theory-based argument. This applied research must then be executed via practical design. Both the written thesis and the capstone project are critiqued by industry leaders.

The ideal candidate has an undergraduate degree in a related discipline, proficiency in a range of design software, and experience in designing environments. Applicants should demonstrate a passion for learning and a determination to enter this multidimensional profession.

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Learn From the Best

Our faculty members include exhibition experience designers, content developers, experiential graphic and lighting designers, emerging technologists and design theorists — all with current industry expertise.

Pedro Motta

Motta is a multidisciplinary designer, with a background in architecture and MA in Exhibition Design from FIT. He joined Coach in 2014 as a 3D designer, helping to reshape the brand’s image through window displays, pop-ups, and store design. In 2020, he joined Kate Spade as Senior Manager and Head of Window Displays. He is also the founder of the design studio Snacks World Wide.

Michelle Washington

Washington is a design critic, writer, and design educator. She has an MFA in design criticism from School of Visual Art and an MFA in communications design from Pratt Institute. Her design consultancy focuses on branding strategy, design, and cross-cultural research; she is the editor of Cultural Boundaries; and she writes a design column for The International Review of African American Art. She currently serves on the advisory board of GLID

Contact Us

If you have questions about this program, please reach out.

Exhibition and Experience Design
School of Graduate Studies
Goodman Center, Room E315
(212) 217-4300

Christina Lyons, Chair

[email protected]