Research Labs

The School of Cinematic Arts is home to several research labs, providing students the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research within the field of media arts.

IML 475: Media Arts Research Lab and IML 575: Graduate Media Arts Research Lab are specialized courses that are taught in conjunction with specific research labs and/or initiatives (rotating each semester). Rather than having a traditional course curriculum, the professor builds the curriculum around a current research project. The goal of these courses is to give students exposure to the innovative work being done at SCA.

Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center

The Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center brings together the School of Cinematic Arts and the Keck School of Medicine to create an incubator for innovation in the use of entertainment applications at the intersection of behavioral science, medicine and public health.

Game Innovation Lab

The Game Innovation Lab pursues experimental game design in cultural realms including art, science, politics and learning.

Mobile and Environmental Media Lab

The Mobile and Environmental Media Lab explores context- and location-specific mobile and spatial storytelling. Through the use of ubiquitous technologies, it is the lab’s goal to enhance environmental awareness, augment presence in the physical environment and enable participation in place-making.


The USC MxR Lab pushes the boundaries of immersive experience design and rapidly prototypes and explores techniques to improve the fluency of human-computer interactions to create visceral synthetic experiences.

Scalar Lab

The Scalar Lab explores new forms of scholarly publishing aimed at easing the current economic crisis faced by many university presses while also serving as a model for media-rich digital publication.

Transient Media Lab

The Transient Media Lab supports an eclectic range of fugitive research conducted by faculty and students from across all divisions in the School of Cinematic Arts. The TML emphasizes short-term, high-impact, low-resource experiments that embrace the unstable and transitory nature of media, technology and humanity.

World Building Media Lab

The World Building Media Lab is reimagining cinematic and interactive workflow, transmuting the 20th century linear, industrial model of pre-production, production and post-production into a 21st century nonlinear, iterative, integrated and persistent process that creates a dynamic space for all narrative media, and opens up a new world for cross-media and multi-platform research.