Ph.D., Media Arts + Practice



The Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice within the School of Cinematic Arts is a unique doctoral program offering a rigorous and creative environment for scholarly innovation as students explore the expanded field of the cinematic arts, with attention to design, media art, emerging technologies and critical thinking. A primary goal for the program is to define new modes of research and scholarship for the 21st century.

Core to the program is its transdisciplinary ethos; after completing foundational coursework, students design their own curricula, drawing on expertise across all six divisions with the School of Cinematic Arts. Students also have access to the School’s state-of-the-art facilities and research labs, and they are encouraged to collaborate with students and faculty across the USC campus; current students have strong ties to the School of Architecture, the Roski School of Fine Art and the Innovation Lab within the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The areas of research investigated by Media Arts + Practice students in pursuit of their critically informed practice is broad, and currently include attention to these core themes: interactive architecture; media activism; database documentary; embodiment and tangible interfaces; games and interactivity; digital historiography; neuro-cinematics; expanded and spatialized cinema; multimodal scholarship; performativity; pervasive/locative media; and immersive journalism.

The Media Arts + Practice program is practice-based, and as such, students are encouraged to be creative and reflective in designing, defining and articulating their research methods. For this reason, the program seeks candidates who are interested in helping define new fields; those willing to combine theory and practice; and those ready to face the challenges of uncharted scholarly territory.

Media Arts + Practice is appropriate for students who are interested in both the theory and practice related to cinematic arts, and the emergence of entirely new forms of scholarship and creativity designated by this very broad term. Graduates of the program might expect join research labs pursuing innovations in media; they might teach in hybrid media/design/culture programs within academia; they might pursue their own creative practice; or they might work across numerous disciplines, lending expertise at the intersection of media, technology and culture.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis in Media Arts + Practice is administered through the Graduate School. The Ph.D. program is tailored to the individual student’s particular needs and interests. The overall course of study will be designated by the student, the student’s designated adviser and, following the screening procedure, the student’s guidance committee chair.

Application Procedures

To obtain general information about the Ph.D, including application procedures, please contact the MA+P advisor, or make an advising appointment (see “Advising” section).

For a full list of course requirements, please refer to the Media Arts + Practice section of the USC Course Catalogue. For the most accurate information, use the catalogue which corresponds to your entrance year at USC (Example: if you entered USC in Fall 2013, please use the 2013-2014 Catalogue. If you entered in Spring 2013, please use the 2012-2013 Catalogue.)

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