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 abilities.
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.