Graduate Programs – Overview

The Department of Media Study is one of the country’s leading programs in experimental and independent media. Our focus area is experimental and radical uses of media in the arts and in society at large. Our methods are diverse: historical, theoretical, practice-led and practice-based. DMS is renowned for its pioneering contributions to experimental film, video and sound art, theory and practice. Today the department is led by an award winning internationally active faculty with expertise in Independent Film and Video, Documentary, Media Archaeology, Public Computational Media (including robotics), Digital Poetics, Locative Media, Critical Spatial Practices, Performance, Story and Games as well as areas yet to receive official designations. Our objective is to prepare students to shape the next generation of critical and experimental media in art and society.

Ph.D. in Media Study
The Department of Media Study’s PhD is one of a small set of doctoral programs in experimental media theory and practice in the United States. This program responds to the rapid development and transformation of media due to advances in information technologies and to the growing number of artist-scholar-researchers working in technology-based art forms. A new community of artist-scholar-researchers has emerged in the spaces between media art practice, the sciences, and the humanities. This work is not easily categorized and often spans disciplines that traditionally have little overlap. Those who wish to operate in this area require a hybrid set of conceptual and technical capabilities.
This program is designed to respond to both conditions by creating a framework for practice-led and scholarly research into media arts. Commensurate with the traditional PhD framework, most of the credits are earned in research and independent study. Consequently, students are free to organize their course of study around specific research trajectories. The dissertation combines both written and production components in a proportion and manner appropriate to the student’s area of research. We only require that the conversation between these two components be substantial and original. This Ph.D. is most obviously appropriate for artists who plan to conduct their research in an academic context. But it is equally appropriate for media artists who want to explore the theoretical implications of their work. Or for ‘scholarly’ researches who want to move from the purely discursive to explore the invention of concepts in other media.

PhD Application  PhD Schedule and Requirements

MFA in Media Arts Production
The Department of Media Study’s MFA in Media Arts is one of the country’s leading programs in experimental and independent media. As a department and as a community we are committed to producing work that challenges and extends conventional forms and representations. Currently, the department has faculty working in Independent Film and Video, Documentary, Media Archaeology, Public Computational Media (including robotics), Digital Poetics, Locative Media, Critical Spatial Practices, Performance, Story and Games as well as areas yet to receive official designations.
This program is most suitable for students whose primary focus is the process of media art making.

MFA Application  MFA Schedule and Requirements

MFA+MS/MArch – Media Arts and Architecture Program (MAAP)
The Media Arts and Architecture Program (MAAP)  offers a dual degree options for emerging practices in media arts and architecture hybrids that require expertise in both architecture and computational media. Working with distinguished faculty in the departments of Architecture and Media Study, students conduct research and creative explorations across a variety of areas, including (but not limited to) responsive architecture, networked performance, physical computing, parametric and generative design, digital fabrication, mobile and locative media, media geography, pervasive gaming, cultural data analytics and ambient informatics. With a focus on providing a critical context for experimental practice, this program provides the advanced skills necessary to engage contemporary confluences of the media arts and architecture.

More info

The MFA in Fine Arts with a focus in Emerging Practices (EP)
This is a joint effort between the departments of Visual Studies and Media Study, which are committed to exploring the interdisciplinary space between emerging technologies and the arts. Emerging Practices students focus on exploring the technical, tactical, cultural and communicative potential of emerging technologies such as interactive multi-media, electronics, robotics, software design and biotechnology. Students in our Ph.D., MFA, and M.Arch/MFA programs are also eligible to participate in the Emerging Practices Program.
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MA in Film and Media Study
The MA in Film and Media Study is an interdisciplinary, 36 credit hour program. Students take 12 credit hours in the Department of Media Study, 12 credit hours in a department or area that complements their core research, six credit hours of electives and complete a 6 credit hour project or written thesis.
This program enables students to develop their interest in film/media theory in a number of possible directions. If they are coming from an academic/scholarly background they can take advantage of courses in Media Study to become more aware of the actual processes of media production. If they are coming from a media arts making background, they can develop a greater understanding of the possible theoretical contexts of their production.
This program is particularly suitable as a pre-Ph.D. program for those transitioning from other fields and, for these students, we offer special advisement on their applications to further graduate study.

This program enables students to develop their interest in film/media theory in a number of possible directions. If they are coming from a academic/scholarly background they can take advantage of courses in Media Study to become more aware of the actual processes of media production. If they are coming from an art/media making background, they can develop a greater understanding of the possible theoretical contexts of their production.

This program is particularly suitable as a pre-Ph.D. program for those transitioning from other fields and, for these students, we offer special advisement on their applications to further graduate study.

MA Application Curriculum Guidelines

New Media Design Certificate

The Certificate in New Media Design is for students seeking the both the basic technical skills and the conceptual understanding to operate in a networked culture. Students take 2 required courses covering both technical and conceptual skills and are free to develop this core with two electives. This is a certificate program and not a degree program. Courses taken as part of your degree are eligible to be electives and the New Media I and II courses can be counted toward your degree when the requirements for your degree allow this.

The New Media Design program is NOT open to international students according to federal law. International students can only be accepted into degree bearing programs, not certificate programs.

 New Media Design Application Curriculum