Earning a Master of Science (MSc) in Media, Art, and Design at UCalgary

Get a grad degree at the nexus where art meets science with UCalgary's unique Computational Media Design program!

Earning a Master of Science (MSc) in Media, Art, and Design at UCalgary

Interested in a thesis-based graduate degree at the meeting point of art and science? The University of Calgary offers an interdisciplinary master's program that sits at the juncture of computer science, design, art, and media. If you're an artist at heart, who wants to make a living in our technological world, the Computational Media Design master's program may be right for you.

What is the Computational Media Design program?

Computational Media Design is a leading-edge program designed for students innovating at the intersection of art, music, dance, drama, design and computer science. This research-based degree is offered jointly through several departments at the University of Calgary:

  • Department of Computer Science
  • School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape
  • Department of Art
  • Department of English
  • School of Creative and Performing Arts

In the expanding world of multimedia and design, there's an increasing need for graduates who are equipped to handle complex projects that combine computing expertise with the creative energies of artists and designers. The CMD program prepares students to answer this emerging need.

Admission is highly competitive, and only the most promising applicants are selected.

What goes into completing the degree?

You'll take several courses from different uCalgary departments and use what you learn to build your research, and ultimately, your thesis.

Research methodology course

This course can be from Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Computer Science, Art, Dance, Drama, English or Music. You'll learn about research methods, and how to conduct meaningful, ethical research in the field.

Computer science course

In addition to the methodology course above, you'll take another grad course in computer science to ensure you've got the digital skills you need.

Additional grad-level courses

You'll choose a few more graduate courses to round out your degree, choosing from a few options in areas like:

  • Architecture, planning, and landscape
  • Art, dance, and drama
  • English
  • Music

What is a thesis, exactly?

Students are required to submit a research proposal, and submit and defend an original research thesis. Thesis-based programs require that you pursue independent and original research culminating in a thesis, which is a long written work describing your research and findings. You will work under the supervision of a faculty member whose expertise matches your research area.

Finding a thesis supervisor

The CMD program makes finding a supervisor easy. Browse the program page to see who's available and what their areas of interest are. If you've got questions, you can contact program staff directly to get answers.

What's required to apply?

Here's what you'll need to apply for the highly competitive master's degree in Computational Media Design:

Grades and background education

Four-year bachelor's degree, preferably in Computer Science, Art, Dance, Drama, Design, or Music. Background in two areas is preferred. Moreover, you'll need at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 system (roughly a 75% average), over the past two years of full-time study in your undergrad.

Portfolio samples and documents

Alongside a one-page statement of interest in an area of interdisciplinary research of computer science alongside art, dance, drama, design, or music, and a copy of your resumé you'll need a portfolio of up to 10 examples of research and creative work. This can be any combination of the following:

  • Academic publications or reports
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Musical scores
  • Documentation of installations
  • Written works

You'll also need two reference letters, and for students who aren't native English speakers, a decent score on an English language test.

Ready to learn more? Check out uCalgary's website for info on grad school applications and procedures. Have fun!

Explore the CMD degree in detail

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