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Mission & Values


Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public, independent college of art and design. The college's academic and co-curricular programs prepare students from diverse backgrounds to participate in the creative economy as artists, designers, and educators, and to engage in the well-being of their society. As a national leader in visual art and design education, the college influences contemporary culture through the creative accomplishments of its students, alumni, faculty and staff.  


We base our priorities on a set of shared values:

  • We believe in the inherent value of the arts as a life-enhancing force.
  • We take pride in our unique heritage as the only publicly supported freestanding college of visual arts in the United States and embody the power of art and design in many spheres of public life.
  • We are committed to being an accessible educational, cultural, and economic resource for the diverse range of Massachusetts citizens.
  • We believe that diversity-in background, status, culture, and viewpoint-is essential to a vital and creative community.
  • We respect the roles and views of all members of our college community and operate our institution in a spirit of collegiality and transparent communication.
  • We believe that academic excellence is fundamental to professional education in the visual arts. 
  • We promote social justice, global responsibility, and environmental sustainability in all facets of our institution. 
  • We are committed to rich engagement with our communities.


As artists, designers, and educators, we are committed to the following priorities:

  • We provide rigorous professional programs in the visual arts, grounded in the broader context of liberal learning and designed to encourage individual creativity.
  • We challenge students to develop their talents to their highest potential, questioning the traditional boundaries of disciplines.
  • We work to increase diversity and inclusiveness in our faculty, staff, and student body.
  • We inform institutional decisions by employing current data and best practices.
  • We foster community-building both inside and outside the college.
  • We educate students to critically examine the form and content of art, both their own and others', to understand it in historical, social, and global contexts.
  • We choose faculty who are practicing professionals in their disciplines and whose work reflects the level of excellence we promote for our students.
  • We seek and support students with excellent potential, regardless of limitations in their opportunities for preparation or financial status.
  • We nurture the development of students as artists and as individuals, through services which meet their academic, personal, and social needs.
  • We embrace new technologies as opportunities to advance the creative potentials of our disciplines, and we promote innovative and responsible uses of technology in the realization of artistic concepts.
  • We support life-long learning and are dedicated to serving that need.
  • We continue to expand the role of MassArt in diverse national and international arts communities.