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Computational Media, Arts & Cultures

For more information contact

Director of Graduate Studies
Computational Media, Arts & Cultures
Duke University
Box 90766
Durham, NC 27708-0766

Phone: (919) 668-1934


DGS: Victoria Szabo


General Information

Degree offered:
Faculty working with students:
Part time study available:

Program Description

The Computational Media, Arts & Cultures program offers graduate work leading to the PhD degree in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures. The doctoral program is meant to be small, experimental, and interdisciplinary. Its focus is on the intersection of media arts and humanities, sciences, and technology, both in theory and in practice. We are committed to full and equal funding of our students during their time in residence at Duke, up to 5 years. Admission to the program is usually limited to one new student per year.

The PhD program is affiliated with the interdisciplinary arts and humanities media labs led by the CMAC program faculty. Lab emphases include digital archaeology, emergent media arts, information science + studies, digital art history & visual culture, art, law and markets, digital humanities, media theory, and physical computing. At the core of the program is the computational revolution, and its implications for how we live, think, work, create, and communicate within and across various disciplines. Critical engagement with the global, social and cultural impact of computational media is a central feature and value of the program, alongside media affordances and effects within existing and emerging fields. For further information on the PhD program, prospective applicants may visit the program’s website at, or write to the director of graduate studies.

The program also offers a graduate certificate in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures. The purpose of the IS+S graduate certificate in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures is to offer an interdisciplinary program at the graduate level that focuses on the study and creation of new information technologies and the analysis of their impact on art, culture, science, medicine, commerce, society, policy, and the environment. The program is designed for masters’ and doctoral students wishing to complement their primary disciplinary focus with an interdisciplinary certificate in CMAC. The goal of the certificate is to broaden the scope of the typical disciplinary PhD program and to engage the student in related research. The graduate certificate is not intended to provide a disciplinary canon but rather to develop a structured set of transdisciplinary skills and resources for exploring new areas of academic research and teaching. As such, the CMAC graduate certificate does not lead students down an existing path of traditional academic research but rather provides them with the means for expanding the scope of their main disciplinary focus by creating new paths of their own. For further information on the graduate certificate, prospective applicants may visit the Information Science + Studies website at, or write to the director of graduate studies.



Application Information

Application Terms Available

Application Deadline
December 15

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional for 2022)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Writing Sample
A 10-20 page writing sample is required with your application. The writing sample should be a copy of a scholarly essay submitted as an academic requirement. The writing sample should be uploaded in the “writing sample” section of the application and should not exceed 20 pages double-spaced. 

Digital Portfolio
In addition to the writing sample, you must also include a link to a digital/production portfolio that illustrates your knowledge and skill in computational media and/or the arts – theory, implementation, and practice. Please include the URL to your portfolio in your application materials and on your CV. You may also include related items under Additional Materials. 

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance