Digital Culture, MA

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Are you interested in the computational arts and the intersection of multiple artistic and experiential disciplines? Join us to craft a unique learning experience based on your background and interests, led by globally recognized artists, designers and engineers.

The MA in digital culture program is geared toward practitioners of design and the arts who have an interest in engaging in scholarly knowledge creation at the intersection of computational arts and sciences and seek to enhance their practice through expanded engagement with interactive and embodied media theory and design. The degree program allows artists and designers to explore new avenues for real-time media creation that seek to go beyond current paradigms.

The School of Arts, Media and Engineering educates the next generation of learners and empowers them with technofluency --- its development, application and implications --- and prepares students to be socially aware, critically thinking global citizens who strive to bring about positive change in a society that will be increasingly shaped by new technologies. Its mission is to improve and facilitate learning, creativity and communication; it does this through the integration of human physical experience and computational and digital media practice-based methods.

Students admitted into the MA program in digital culture can explore the intersection of:

  • critical media theory -- philosophical technologies, speculative design
  • engineering -- social and embedded design, system engineering
  • experiential media -- interaction design, responsive environments
  • machine learning -- AI, augmented reality, virtual reality
  • science -- mediated rehabilitation, public participation in science
  • sensory -- food design and sensory science, somatic and movement studies
  • sound design -- digital composition and performance, acoustic ecology
  • sustainability -- sustainability and critical climate studies, urban climate infrastructure

At A Glance

Digital Culture, MA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (12 credit hours)
AME 520 Understanding Activity (3)
AME 530 Experiential Media Studies I (3)
AME 531 Experiential Media Studies II (3)
AME 532 Media Synthesis (3)

Electives or Research (18 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
AME 593 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should check with the academic unit regarding appropriate electives coursework.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in one of the following areas from a regionally accredited institution: arts, humanities, design, media studies, computer science, engineering or a closely related field.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. letters of recommendation
  4. portfolio
  5. statement of purpose
  6. writing sample
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

A portfolio is required; however, submissions will vary depending on the background of each prospective student due to the transdisciplinary nature of the program. Applicants from a wide variety of disciplines are expected to be interested in the master's degree. Key works will be requested from applicants to illustrate the types of skills they wish to develop in the master's degree program. Examples include games they have designed and programmed, interactive installations and performances (submitted as video), websites they have created or programmed, music they have composed digitally or films they have made.

The statement should explain, in a concise and persuasive manner, how the student's educational, professional and personal experiences inform their research and creative interests, and it should elaborate on any aspect of their background that supports candidacy to the School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

Admission Requirements

Degree: A minimum of a bachelor's or master's degree in arts, humanities, design, media studies, computer science, engineering or a closely related field from a regionally accredited college or university is required.

GPA: A minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00=A) in the last 60 credit hours of the student's first bachelor's degree program is required. A minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00=A) in the applicable master's degree is required.

Portfolio: A portfolio is required; however, submissions will vary depending on the background of each prospective student due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program. Applicants from a wide variety of disciplines are expected to be interested in the master's. Key works will be requested from applicants to illustrate the types of skills they wish to develop in the master's program. Examples include games they have designed and programmed, interactive installations and performances (submitted as video), Web sites they have created or programmed, music they have composed digitally, or films they have made.

Foreign Language Exam: No

Required Admission Examination: No

Letters of Recommendation: Yes

Applicants whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Applicants must fulfill both the requirements of Graduate Education and those of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

MADC Deadline: Fall admission, preceding March 7

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