Media Arts and Sciences, PhD

Media, arts and sciences doctoral students train in translating, transporting and combining knowledge across disciplines for the development of innovative, experiential media systems and accompanying theoretical models. The PhD program structure includes transdisciplinary media courses through the School of Arts, Media and Engineering; elective-course credits relating to the student's research interests; and substantial research and dissertation hours devoted to collaborative research within the School of Arts, Media and Engineering network. Active participation in transdisciplinary research teams allows media, arts and sciences doctoral students to gain and contribute expertise in knowledge fusion for digital media.

Arts, media and engineering alumni have pursued job opportunities in:

  • audio and video
  • education
  • graphic design
  • illustration
  • interactive system development
  • iOS development
  • journalism
  • programming
  • software engineering
  • special effects
  • 3D modeling and fabrication
  • visual media

Degree Offered

Media Arts and Sciences, PhD
Design & the Arts, Herberger Institute for


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Admission Requirements

Please see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms.

Applicants will be required to submit:

  1. a Graduate Education online application
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work (if applicable)
  3. official GRE scores
  4. curriculum vitae
  5. statement of purpose
  6. three letters of recommendation and a portfolio of supporting material
  7. writing sample

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

Each applicant must demonstrate entry-level competencies. This can be demonstrated primarily through a portfolio. The portfolio may include previously developed media products, projects or publications demonstrating an understanding of and involvement with digital media and computation. Entry-level competency can also be partially demonstrated through course work and may include such courses as:

  • advanced computer programming
  • computer graphics and animation
  • computer music
  • digital design
  • film theory
  • interactive technologies
  • media authoring tools
  • media theory
  • multimedia systems
  • signal processing

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.

MAS Deadline: fall admission, preceding January 7



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