Media Arts and Sciences, PhD

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Media arts and sciences is a PhD program housed in the transdisciplinary School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

Doctoral students are provided unique opportunities to engage in knowledge creation at the intersection of computational arts and sciences using the most advanced practice-based and theoretical methods. At the core of this program is a commitment to designing curriculum tailored to each student-researcher in conjunction with diverse faculty, labs and centers. This allows the program to facilitate the development of innovative, experiential media systems that can respond to the world's most pressing challenges.

The School of Arts, Media and Engineering is devoted to producing research at the highest scholarly, artistic and technological levels. The opportunity for active participation in transdisciplinary research teams allows media arts and sciences doctoral students to gain valuable experience as both agents of their own research and education, while fostering opportunities for collaborative and embedded research.

Students admitted into the media arts and sciences doctoral program can pursue research at the intersection of any of these and other fields:

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

Program offered

Media Arts and Sciences, PhD

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

Program requirements

The requirements for this program are comprised of 39 course credit hours, which include 30 from the transdisciplinary media courses offered by the School of Arts, Media and Engineering; 33 research credit hours; and 12 dissertation credit hours. All students are required to take a minimum of two courses under each of the five constituting areas of experiential media (30 credit hours).

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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