School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) offers multiple degree programs. ATEC merges the innovation processes of artists, scholars, scientists, and engineers and explores experimental models through new technologies and analysis of the uses, impact, and implications of digital technology for communication and culture.
Master of Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
The program leading to the MA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is designed both for individuals engaged in professional practice wishing to enhance their knowledge and skills and for students intending to pursue a doctorate in a related field. It offers advanced studies in digital media studies, interactive media, and computer-based arts that emphasize the fusion of creative with critical thinking and theory with practice. Students must complete 36 semester hours of coursework, including a thesis.
Master of Fine Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
The Master of Fine Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is a terminal degree in emerging artistic practices that focuses primarily on the creative use and critical investigation of technology in artistic practices. The program is designed for both students wishing to teach arts- and technology-related courses at the college level and for those intending to engage in professional studio or design practice. While maintaining a commitment to interdisciplinary education that fuses critical with creative thinking, this program places greater emphasis on the creation and application of computer-based arts and narrative. Students must complete 54 semester hours of course work, including a thesis project.
Doctor of Philosophy in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
The PhD program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is designed for those who wish to engage in deep scholarship or to develop artistic, cultural, or commercial applications of digital technology and emerging media. With a diverse group of faculty and a curriculum that integrates scholarly study with creative practice, ATEC cultivates creative scholars, scholarly practitioners, and interdisciplinary researchers. The PhD in ATEC additionally prepares students to teach arts- and technology-related courses in colleges and universities.
ATEC PhD students have backgrounds in a variety of relevant fields and art grouped into transdisciplinary cohorts for their first year of coursework, where they investigate foundational theories, questions, and methods that underlie the study of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Additional coursework is used to practice methods and explore individual interests, including up to twelve semester credit hours in courses from other Schools at UT Dallas. Students continue to develop expertise through the PhD Qualifying Exams and a Doctoral Dissertation that is poised to make a significant contribution to one or more fields.
ATEC PhD students are expected to participate in the rich intellectual life of the School, including the Dean's Colloquium speaker series, and a vibrant lab and studio culture, including the Public Interactives Research Lab, Social Practice and Community Engagement MediaLab, Narrative Systems Research Lab, ArtSciLab, Fashioning Circuits, and more. PhD students may be funded through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or a combination thereof.
ATEC PhD cohorts are admitted once per year in the fall semester.
The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is committed to interdisciplinary programs that investigate the linkages between the arts, sciences, communication, humanities, and technology by fusing critical with creative thinking and theoretical with practical endeavors. Rather than identifying fixed disciplinary areas, the program emphasizes the interrelationship of broad areas of interest.
Within the Graduate Program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, most courses are offered under the rubric of Arts, Technology, Communication, Media (ATCM), but the degree plan also offers students opportunities to take courses offered in other Schools.
All of our graduate programs are designed to provide students a flexible, interdisciplinary context within which to pursue a program of study built on connections among specific courses and the areas of concentration. Offerings include seminars stressing the interpretation and criticism of specific works and issues, but also ensembles, studios, and workshops in which the activity of creation and/or performance becomes the primary means of knowledge-production.
The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is housed in the Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building. This 155,000 square foot facility includes computer labs, fabrication and maker spaces, faculty research labs, motion capture labs, a usability lab, sound design recording spaces, a games and media library, and a 3D art studio.
Graduate students are expected to participate in Creative Learning Environments, learning through shoulder-to-shoulder collaboration with faculty and peers.
The University's general admission requirements are discussed on the Graduate Admission page.
ATEC only admits graduate students to begin in the Fall semester. For priority consideration for admission and funding in the program in the Fall, completed applications must be received on or before January 1. Completed MA and MFA applications may continue to be accepted after the priority deadline date, but applicants who apply late may not have access to funding, or may be admitted to a later term.
The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication does not require the Graduate Record Examination for admission to graduate programs.
All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can judge the candidate's probability of success in graduate school.
Each application is considered on its individual merits. Normally students applying for admission to the PhD Program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should have a master's degree (MA, MS, MDes, MFA) from an accredited institution; a previous degree or substantive work experience in a relevant field (i.e., Art, Computer Science, Design, Media Studies, and so forth); a grade point average of 3.3 (especially in upper-division undergraduate and graduate work); and evidence of previous coursework and/or expertise in the creative arts and digital technology.
Students applying to the doctoral program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should submit a statement of purpose outlining their previous academic and creative expertise and describing future research interests, including how their interests connect to the curriculum, faculty, labs, or initiatives in ATEC.
Applicants to the PhD program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication must also present a portfolio, including a 10- to 20-page academic writing sample and any other evidence of scholarly or creative endeavor achieved by the applicant. The portfolio should also contain a curriculum vita.
MA and MFA Admissions
Each application is considered on its individual merits. Normally students applying for admission to the MA or MFA Program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should have a bachelor's academic degree (BA or BS) from an accredited institution; a previous degree or substantive work experience in a relevant field (i.e., Art, Computer Science, Design, Media Studies, and so forth); a grade point average of 3.0 (especially in upper-division undergraduate and graduate work); and evidence of previous coursework and/or expertise in the creative arts and digital technology.
Students applying to the MA program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should submit a personal statement describing research experience and interests, a curriculum vitae or resume, and an 8-10 page writing sample that demonstrates the best of their research experience.
Students applying to the MFA program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should submit a 500-700 words essay explaining their creative work or research. The essay will discuss past and present artistic practices as well as future directions or goals for the work, and describe how the Master of Fine Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is particularly suited to their professional goals, including how their interests connect to the curriculum, faculty, labs, or initiatives in ATEC.
Applicants to the MFA program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should also submit a collection of original art work demonstrating their artistic range and skills as evidence of previous course work and/or expertise in the creative arts and digital technology. These samples should be submitted in the form of a link to a digital repository of documents to include texts, still images, animations, films, and/or audio files in a format that is best suited to convey the artistic qualities of the documents.
Full-time and Part-time Students
Students can pursue the graduate degrees on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students normally register for nine or more semester credit hours per term. Although the school takes care to schedule both day and evening classes, thus allowing students some flexibility in organizing their schedules, many core courses and electives are offered during the day.
The University's general degree requirements are discussed on the Graduate Policies and Procedures page.
The approach to graduate education in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is flexible. After completing core courses and within the specific degree requirements listed in the graduate catalog, each student plans a program of studies in consultation with an assigned advisor.
Courses meeting degree requirements are normally chosen from the core courses and the areas of concentration within the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. To have courses taken outside the school applied to one of its degrees, students must seek prior approval from the school's Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. They may also petition to have appropriate transfer courses applied to reduce the required number of semester credit hours for a degree at UT Dallas. The school's Associate Dean for Graduate Studies may require students with background deficiencies to take additional courses at the undergraduate or graduate level to remedy those deficiencies.
ATEC is the newest school at UT Dallas and has a mission to develop transdisciplinary academic programs that span the fields of art, computer science, design, humanities, and social sciences. Faculty have training and expertise in multiple disciplines, including animation and game design, intersectional media studies, visual and 3D arts, computation and data analytics, narrative and cultural theory, media psychology, UX design, public interactives, quantitative media research, and art and science.