Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Digital Media

The Digital Media PhD was inaugurated in fall 2004 and is one of the first of its kind worldwide. The program educates research-oriented theorists/practitioners who bring the traditions of the humanities and arts to the design of digital media. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in industry, public service, and universities, shaping the emerging digital genres and expanding our understanding and mastery of the representational power of the computer.

Curriculum and Course of Study

Required Courses: (36 hours)

  1. LCC 6310 - The Computer as an Expressive Medium (3 hours)
  2. LCC 6311 - Visual Culture and Design (3 hours)
  3. LCC 6312 - Design, Technology, and Representation (3 hours)
  4. LCC 6313 - Principles of Interactive Design (3 hours)
  5. LCC 6316 - Historical Approaches to New Media (3 hours)
  6. LCC 6650 - Project Studio (3 hours)
  7. LCC 6800 - Master's Project (6 hours)
  8. LCC 8000 Pro-Seminar in Media Theory (3 hours)
  9. LCC 8001 - Pro-Seminar I Pro-Seminar in Digital Media Studies (3 hours)
  10. LCC 9000 Doctoral Thesis (6 hours)

Minor Concentration (9 hours)

Three related courses outside the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. These courses may be in other schools of the Ivan Allen College, or in colleges or in interdisciplinary fields of the Institute. Example of a minor concentration in Computer Science:

  1. CS 6750 - Human Computer Interactions
  2. CS 6460 - Foundations of Educational Technology
  3. CS 6470 - Online Communities

5 Elective Courses (15 hours)

  1. LCC 6213 - Educational Applications of New Media (3 hours)
  2. LCC 6215 - Issues in Media Studies (3 hours)
  3. LCC 6314 - Design of Networked Media (3 hours)
  4. LCC 6315 - Project Production (3 hours)
  5. LCC 6317 - Interactive Fiction (3 hours)
  6. LCC 6318 - Experimental Media (3 hours)
  7. LCC 6319 - Intellectual Property Policy and Law (3 hours)
  8. LCC 6320 - Globalization and New Media (3 hours)
  9. LCC 6321 - Architecture of Responsive Spaces (3 hours)
  10. LCC 6330 - Expressive Virtual Space (3 hours)
  11. LCC 6650 - Project Studio (repeatable) (3 hours)
  12. LCC 7999 - Preparation for Qualifying Examination (variable credit)
  13. LCC 8803 - Special Topics (variable credit)
  14. LCC 8813 - Advanced Issues in Interactive Narrative (New Course)
  15. LCC 8823 - Special Topics in Game Design and Analysis (New Course)
  16. LCC 8910 - Special Problems (variable credit)
  17. LCC 7999 - Preparation for Qualifying Examination (variable credit)
  18. LCC 8999 - Preparation of PhD Dissertation (variable credit)
Courses from other units may be substituted with approval of advisor.

Portfolio Review

  1. Demonstration of programming competency with grounding in foundational principles of software engineering (can be fulfilled with coursework)
  2. Digital media project design and implementation at level of outstanding Digital Media master's project

Comprehensive Examination

  1. Taken only after passing portfolio review
  2. Based on list of works drawn from the Comprehensive Exam List (see Appendix), with additions proposed as appropriate by candidates in consultation with their Advisory Committees
  3. Students must obtain approval of their list by the Graduate Faculty Committee by the end of the semester preceding the semester in which they will be examined.
  4. Examinations include a four-part written component, given over a two-week period, with a two-hour oral to be given within ten days of the last completed written segment.
  5. The four parts of the examination (based on the four-part Exam List) are:
    1. Media Theory and Related Theoretical Contexts
    2. Traditional Media Technologies and Forms
    3. Digital Media Technologies and Forms
    4. A specialty of the student's choosing

PhD Thesis and Defense

After passing the Comprehensive Exam, the student will submit a Thesis Topic Proposal. When the committee chair deems the student is ready, a public oral thesis defense will be scheduled.

Full-time Residency

The program requires a minimum of two semesters in residence with full-time study.

Note: PhD students who choose to can participate in the established internship program of the MS program, which customarily takes place between the first and second year.