General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 8 core faculty
  • Students: 6 students per matriculating class
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: None
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadlines: March 5
Application Info


Dr. Mark Olson
Director of Graduate Studies for Digital Art History and Computational Media
Duke University
Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, Room A262A
Box 90766
Durham, NC 27708-0764


Digital Art History:

Computational Media:

Program Description

The Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies offers two types of degrees under the rubric of Digital Art History and Computational Media. The program builds on courses and well-developed strengths at Duke University, and requires ten (10) courses over three or four semesters in addition to summer research.  Students affiliate with an existing faculty research initiative, from which they will develop their own independent research project for the MA thesis, which combines written and digital project-based components.

The Digital Art History track engages digital technologies in the research and presentation of art historical questions.  Common themes that can be explored are visualizing process, representing change over time, contextualizing displaced objects, and creating biographies of objects or databases/collections of materials. The ideal candidate for the Digital Art History track seeks to engage digital tools in historical questions about works of art, buildings and cities.  The MA provides a springboard for advanced study in art history, archaeology, architectural history, and visual or media studies.  It also prepares students for future work in fields such as museums education and exhibition design, cultural heritage and preservation, public history, city planning, and architectural design. For more information see

Funding may be available in the second and third semesters contingent on excellent work in the first semester of study.

The Computational Media track emphasizes the study of visualization technologies in the context of media and technology histories, cultural analytics, and new media forms of expression.  Computational Media topics include the manufacture and dissemination of humanities data and its expression, the social and ethical considerations of digital cultural heritage interventions, and the aesthetic and rhetorical value of computational media forms.  The ideal candidate for the Computational Media track seeks deeper understanding of the intersection of quantitative and qualitative modes of historical and cultural research, is actively engaged with hands-on computational media production, and is interested in productive cross-overs between arts and sciences communities. This MA track prepares students for further graduate study in digital humanities and computational media and for training for jobs in media, design, advertising, and technical industries, among others.  For more information see

The MA program encourages applicants from across the Humanities and Social Sciences whether from established disciplines, such as history, archaeology, and art history, or emerging fields of study, such as spatial history, media arts & sciences, technocultural studies, or cultural geography. See for more information.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadlines: March 5

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)
  • 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: Required (see departmental guidance below)

Writing Sample

Applicants must upload a writing sample electronically via the Departmental Requirements section on the online application.  The writing sample is intended to convey a sense of the applicant’s capacity for scholarly writing. Generally, applicants submit an academic paper that they may have written for an undergraduate course, or an excerpt from a longer work (e.g. an honors thesis), of approximately 10-20 pages.

Optional Components
Applicants are encouraged to upload or link to a representative digital art history/computational media work sample or portfolio. Links to representative works can be placed as an addendum to the statement of purpose. 

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