Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts

About This Degree

The Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media & Design is a customized, three-year graduate program where students work closely with dedicated faculty in the development of their own independent creative practice. Situated within a top-25 public research university, UConn’s Digital Media & Design Department operates at the intersection of fine art, technology, science, and the humanities. The program is designed for applicants with a demonstrated background in digital media/design who want the opportunity to intensely pursue advanced education and research in their specific area of expertise or in an interdisciplinary capacity drawing from more than one area within the digital media space. Situated in the School of Fine Arts, DMD faculty and students have the opportunity to engage in collaborative projects with both industry partners and top researchers across the university.

The M.F.A. in Digital Media & Design is a terminal degree intended to provide educational and career-training within an experiential learning environment.  The program is structured to develop an in-depth understanding of digital media aesthetics, technology, practice, procedure, design, implementation and/or research techniques employed in the areas of Digital Art, Digital Humanities/Social Sciences, STEM, Business, and Entertainment.  The ideal UConn DMD M.F.A. candidate aspires to innovate, experiment, and develop their unique creative voice. Join us in redefining the norm!

Graduate Assistantships Available: 

Nearly all M.F.A students in Digital Media & Design hold Graduate Assistant positions either within the department or across the university. UConn’s graduate assistantships come with generous stipends, a tuition waiver, and excellent health benefits and offer excellent ways for our candidates to use their diverse skill sets to build their artistic portfolios while earning their degree.

Currently, we have a variety of positions available, including:

DMD Departmental Teaching Assistantships - students who anticipate a university-level teaching career spend the first year assisting and being mentored by senior faculty, learning how to teach and servicing the department in research or design projects. Then in the second and third year, students have the opportunity to become Instructor of Record, teaching the courses they have prepared for in their first year.

Greenhouse Studios - Greenhouse Studios Graduate Assistants provide artistic, design, creative expression, and technical implementation assistance to Greenhouse Studios projects. Working in a dynamic, team environment alongside faculty, library, editor, and student colleagues, graduate assistants contribute to the production of collaborative multimedia research objects. Other responsibilities include supporting day-to-day operations of the Greenhouse Studios, its directors, and its collaborative workspace. This is an exciting opportunity for an aspiring artist or scholar to work in close collaboration with experts from a range of fields and to experiment with new modes of expression and communication. For more info: https://greenhousestudios.uconn.edu/#/

UConn Athletics - In Fall 2021, Digital Media & Design launched a new partnership with UConn Athletics. The DMD Athletics Graduate Assistant will work with a professor in DMD 4040 Agency supporting UConn Athletics-related projects and will teach a sports-related course, as well as oversee student interns and work with the DMD Faculty Internship Supervisor. This is a great opportunity to work on creative projects in film/video, motion graphics, or design to build the fan base and better understand sports marketing for a NCAA Division I school within the Sports Entertainment Capital of the U.S., Connecticut, which is home to giants such as ESPN, WWE, and NBC Sports.

Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) - The IPB graduate assistant is involved with various research projects to support this incredible research facility including: Design - Developing creative, unique, exceptional branding, visual design and displays and wayfinding for IPB, and/or Videography – developing creative, eye-catching video / sizzle reels that highlight IPB’s current research, high tech equipment, and collaboration capabilities. 

Global Affairs - Virtual Aleppo - UConn’s Dodd Center for Human Rights, Office of Global Affairs, and Digital Media & Design Department are partnering to develop a Multicultural Aleppo VR Experience. A collaboration between academics, game developers, and human rights advocates, this three-year project aims to revive the history of communal life - including cultural, religious, educational, and economic practices in Aleppo - by creating a multi-dimensional immersive experience for both laypeople and students of history. This leverages the strengths of UConn’s Abrahamic Programs and goals to foster intercultural communication: https://abrahamicprograms.uconn.edu/ 

Human Rights Institute - The HRI graduate assistant works with UConn’s Human Rights Institute to develop and design graphic content for social media, the website, and print to support the many initiatives and programming for this important department. 

Global Affairs - The Global graduate assistant would work with the Office of Global Affairs to create digital media content to support and promote the various programs and initiatives that help foster a sense of global-mindedness at UConn and beyond. This office creates media for International Student & Scholar Services, Experiential Global Learning, the Global Training & Development Institute, the UConn American English Language Institute, and Global Partnerships and Outreach. This is a great opportunity for a student to apply their skills in motion design & animation in a variety of formats, including promotional and documentary videos and social media campaigns, while working in a highly interdisciplinary office.

 

If you are interested in any of these graduate assistantships, please specify which one(s) in your application letter of intent.

 

M.F.A. Application Requirements: 
Applicants for the M.F.A. degree must complete the online application to the Graduate School.  Competitive teaching and graduate assistantships and fellowship positions that provide tuition remission, stipend, and health insurance are available. Completed applications must be received by January 11, 2022 to be considered for funding for a Fall 2022 start.

In addition to the standard materials, applicants to the MFA degree must submit a digital portfolio through Slideroom showcasing the applicant’s readiness to engage in advanced creative activity and research within one of the DMD specializations: (3D Animation, Digital Culture, Digital Film/Video Production, Digital Media Business Strategies, Game Design, Motion Design & Animation, or Web/Interactive Media Design)  or in an interdisciplinary capacity across the DMD specializations.

 

M.F.A. Degree Requirements: 
The Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media & Design requires a three-year commitment of full-time resident graduate study. A minimum of 60 graduate level credits are required to graduate. Of these 60 credits, required courses are: DMD 5001 Digital Media Graduate Colloquium, DMD 5010 Digital Culture,  ARTH 5570 History + Theory of Digital Art, and 12 credits of DMD 5015 MFA Studio Critique (taken a total of four times). An additional 18 credits are selected from 5000-level DMD common courses, and six credits, approved by the student’s major advisor, are taken outside the department in a coherent field of study. Nine credits are taken in a combination of DMD 5099 Independent Study, which allows the student to pursue an independent project that demonstrates personal strengths and vision within the candidate’s selected area of study, or DMD 4081 Digital Media Internship.

The remaining credits count towards the development and presentation of an M.F.A. thesis project that demonstrates the student’s personal strengths and vision within their specific area of study: Six credits are taken as DMD 5075 MFA Final Thesis Project and three credits are taken as DMD 5900 MFA Degree Exhibition. Students must follow the departmental M.F.A. Final Project Process and Procedures guidelines while developing their M.F.A. Final Project. This includes instructions for: the formation of an M.F.A. Advisory Committee, submission of a project proposal, and development of a final project. The M.F.A. culminates in a major public exhibition that is supported by a written statement and exhibition documentation. The exhibition features the body of work resulting from the M.F.A. final project and courses taken in the final year of study.  Each candidate then participates in an oral defense of the completed body of work and written statement with their advisory committee.   

Photo of graduate students in their natural environment

Our fully-funded M.F.A. students are unionized with tuition waivers and stipends, representing diverse skill sets, backgrounds, and artistic foci.

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