The emergent technologies and media arts practices (ETMAP) PhD is a practice-led program of scholarly research and exploration of media practices, theories and innovations in art and technology. Students both experiment with and research the media and artistic practices that they study. The ultimate goal is a substantive dissertation and media-based project that situate media art making within broad cultural and art historical perspectives.

Designed to be completed in four years, the program requires 72 credit hours, a first year review, comprehensive exam, prospectus defense and dissertation defense. There is a high degree of flexibility in the curriculum, with students choosing up to 15 credit hours of guided electives and independent study, including courses and independent study with faculty in other departments. After admission to candidacy, students conduct scholarly and creative research over three semesters (30 credit hours), culminating in a dissertation that makes a unique contribution to the field of media arts and technology.

The program takes seriously the balance of theory and practice. The dissertation consists of two equally important components: a written dissertation and a media-based project. Students are expected to be both scholars and creative artists.


Admission Requirements

An overview of admission requirements may be found below. For additional information, view the program page on the department website.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for U.S. and international applicants is December 1.

Application Guidelines and Resources

PhD applicants must:

  • Hold at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university and provide transcripts from every institution attended.
  • Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75.
  • If international, provide TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Provide a statement of purpose.
  • Provide a portfolio of relevant media work, such as video, photographs, sound pieces, websites, and other media art projects. Format preference is Vimeo. Please include a link to your online portfolio in your personal statement.
  • Provide a writing sample of at least 2500 words.

In the online application, select ETMAP-PHD as the academic plan.


For review and decision purposes, applicants are required to upload an unofficial copy of their transcript(s) in the online application. The program requires a copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of another institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance and whether or not courses were completed. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of a student's admission or dismissal from the university.

Candidates will only need to provide official transcripts only after they are recommended for admission.

Program Requirements

The ETMAP PhD is a four-year degree program requiring the successful completion of 72 credit hours of coursework, a first year review, comprehensive exam, prospectus defense and dissertation defense.

In the comprehensive exam, students must demonstrate their proficiency and understanding of the fundamental historical and theoretical concepts explored and developed in prior coursework. Students advance to candidacy after the prospectus defense.

The dissertation must include practical as well as written theoretical components. Students are expected to publicly present their media-based project before the dissertation defense.

Required Courses

ETMAP Fundamentals
CMDP 7100Historical Overview of Media Arts and Technology3
CMDP 7200Research and Methodologies I3
CMDP 7300Theories of the Avant-Garde3
CMDP 7450Comprehensive Exam Seminar3
CMDP 7500Production Methods I (x4)12
Dissertation Development
CMDP 8100Dissertation Development3
Guided Electives and/or Independent Study15
Guided Elective, within or outside DCMP (repeatable)
Independent Study, within or outside DCMP (repeatable)
Doctoral Dissertation
Total Credit Hours72