Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators from diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good.
We pursue a just, compassionate, and equitable learning environment.
We cultivate rigorous creative practices by observing, questioning, making and remaking.
We honor courage, honesty, mutual respect, and self-expression.
We believe in the power of art and design to transform our world.
History of Massachusetts College of Art and Design
In the 1860s, civic and business leaders whose families had made fortunes in the China Trade, textile manufacture, railroads, and retailing, sought to influence the long-term development of Massachusetts. To stimulate learning in technology and fine art, they persuaded the state legislature to found several institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1860) and the Museum of Fine Arts (1870). The third of these, founded in 1873 was the Massachusetts Normal Art School. MassArt was created to satisfy two imperatives - a business demand for industrial drawing skills, and the belief of educators that training in drawing could promulgate both manual and intellectual skills, and yield even spiritual benefits. As crafted by its two founders, English art educator Walter Smith and Boston Brahmin arts impresario Charles Callahan Perkins, the new institution would produce drawing teachers required in schools throughout the Commonwealth, while at the same time educating professional artists, designers, architects, and scientists. The goal would be to educate men and women in the creative process, not merely train them to draw. It would “impart knowledge,” Smith wrote, of “how to draw, not how to make drawings.” He explained, “The process of drawing makes ignorance visible; it is a criticism made by ourselves on our perceptions, and gives physical evidence that we either think rightly or wrongly, or even do not think at all.” Its roots in the economic and cultural dimensions of the Commonwealth ensured that the college would evolve with the times.
Size and Scope
Massachusetts College of Art and Design provides state-of-the art facilities and studios housed in nine buildings along Huntington Avenue in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, close by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The college offers twenty-two areas of concentration in fine arts, design and art education, and awards one undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, and graduate degrees including the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Art in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Design Innovation, and the Master of Architecture. The college also offers certificate programs in Communication Design, Fashion Design, Furniture Design, and Industrial Design. The Fall 2019 undergraduate enrollment was 1780, graduate enrollment was 128 and continuing education enrollment was 187. MassArt is a Massachusetts state university and receives support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There are differentiated tuition charges for in-state and out-of-state students. Massachusetts College of Art and Design holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.