Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Experience Architecture
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About the XA Major


The Bachelor of Arts degree in Experience Architecture (XA) is a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary major in the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. Students studying Experience Architecture are forward-thinkers and are interested in gaining advanced skills in architecting or designing experiences for people in digital and physical environments. The Experience Architecture program gives students exposure to aspects of maneuvering and creating web sites or apps such as designing, coding, writing and digital rhetoric. Due to this well-rounded nature of the major, XA students are prepared for careers in user experience, interaction design, usability, information architecture, design research, content management, project management, and application development. This program may also prepare students for graduate work in information design, rhetoric, and human-computer interaction, writing, and visual design. One of your challenges as a student in the major is to begin to identify a place within XA and make realistic plans regarding the pursuit of individualized goals. Our faculty members are here to help that process in a guided and knowledgable manner.

XA is an interdisciplinary endeavor. Students take coursework that includes writing, design, philosophy, and computer science. Throughout all of the required classes to complete the XA program, students will be given real-world experience in leading teams and collaborating on different projects both in and out of the classroom. To do this, students will learn and practice how to design, develop, and architect user experiences. Students will also learn how experiences emerge across ecosystems--websites, apps, devices, and other spaces and places, as knowledge of current technology encourages creativity and innovation in these areas for the future. XA students learn to create the strategy that delivers these products, services, and policies; Skills that are directly transferable to their potential careers or graduate work.

The XA major expands upon the following concepts:

  • Strategy. Experience Architects in their respective fields are strategists who oversee and partake in the entire creation process of a good or service. Students will gain both a practical and theoretical knowledge in their classes of the strategy required to create products, services and policies through any apparatus or environment, be it physical or digital.
  • Foundation of Humanities. Architecting any kind of experience always begins with the understanding of people and their context for using whatever you are creating. Because of this key factor, XA is a Humanities degree, meaning students will always be focused on building technologies, services and processes with people in mind. We will work from this shared set of values to create valuable systems, helpful processes, and usable and engaging designs for any and all projects throughout the major and in your post-graduate work.
  • Design, Rhetoric and Development. All three of these concepts will be integrated into XA students' required coursework across all subjects of study. It's our hope to promote creativity and interdisciplinary work to provide students with as many experiences as possible to push you out of your comfort zone and prepare you for work in a variety of fields with different people or organizations.

Experience Architecture is a viable and emerging professional field of study. This program capitalizes on a vital need for people-centered experiences across converging technologies, services, and processes. While some know how to code, design, or write, it is quite rare to find someone who can do all three. Through the growth and continual development of the Internet and other digital technologies, Experience Architecture is a newly emerging field of professional study meant to compliment the fast-paced nature of digital environments. Our Experience Architecture program at Michigan State capitalizes on a vital need for people-centered thinking and experiences.