Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Applications open for DANM Fall 2021 - Due Jan 13 2021

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Apply Now! Deadline January 13 2021.

Apply here via UCSC Division of Graduate Studies 

Applications for the Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) MFA Program at UC Santa Cruz for Fall 2021 are now open. Collaborating with faculty and contributing to digital media arts research is a critical component of a student's experience in the DANM MFA program. Prospective students are asked to identify their preference - first and second choices - of research groups and explain the reason for their selection in their Statement of Purpose. Think about your area of practice and research, how you prefer to work and learn, then read through the description of the groups to see what forms of collaboration will take place and how class time and research will be used. We also encourage you to contact the faculty group leaders to discuss your interests and the structure of the group. MFA students entering in Fall 2021 will have the opportunity to join one of the following research groups:

Experimental Play
Faculty mentors: micha cárdenasA.M. DarkeRobin Hunicke, and Elizabeth Swensen

Future Stages
Faculty mentors: Marianne Weems and Michael Chemers

Isaac Julien Lab
Film, Photography, Video Installation and Curating
Faculty mentors: Isaac Julien and Mark Nash


DANM’s two-year MFA program emphasizes collaborative interdisciplinary research that is innovative and socially engaged. With close faculty mentorship, small clusters of students collaborate on artistic, technical, and theoretical projects. In addition, core and elective courses in the theory and practice of digital media arts support the development of individual thesis projects, premiered in our annual MFA Exhibition. 

Financial Assistance
DANM students are guaranteed two years of teaching assistant appointments which provide full tuition remission, a stipend, and some fee remission.

DANM faculty are internationally recognized artists and scholars. Our Principal Faculty come from Theater and Dance, Music, and Art and Design: Games and Playable Media. Our Affiliate Faculty expand our expertise even further, offering students an unparalleled depth and breadth of mentors.

DANM alumni teach at top research universities and art schools, pursue doctoral research, lead community-based organizations, work for major technology and entertainment firms, and have launched successful careers as exhibiting artists and entrepreneurs. The DANM alumni network offers our past and present students valuable professional opportunities and support.

DANM is housed in the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC), a 25,000 ft2 building in the Arts Division quad, overlooking the Monterey Bay. DARC was designed by BCM, whose projects include Pixar Animation Studios and flagship Apple Stores in New York, Palo Alto, and Barcelona. The DANM Grad Lab is a large, open work-space that adjoins the Prototyping Lab. The Dark Lab is a 40’ x 40’ performance space with 30’ ceilings, Dolby 8.1 surround-sound, extensively wired for digital media and rigging. DANM students also have access to a variety of other studios, shops, and labs on campus.

UCSC is nestled between the ancient redwood forests and the legendary surfing beaches of Santa Cruz. We are 45 minutes from Silicon Valley and just over an hour from San Francisco and the East Bay.

Explore the creative potentials and social implications of emerging technologies.
Experiment with ideas, processes, collaborative research, and social action. 
Become a critical thinker, artistic innovator, and responsible leader. 

To Apply
For more information and to apply, please review our websites:
Apply via the UCSC Division of Graduate Studies 

Book an advising appointment:

Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program

Digital Arts Research Center, Suite 302
University of California, Santa Cruz

Image: Isaac Julien, Lessons of the Hour (2019), multiple-screen installation view