Rensselaer Announces New Ph.D. Program in Electronic Arts

Rensselaer Announces New Ph.D. Program in Electronic Arts

Date posted: 2007-04-25 11:50:00

Read article in online magazine Campus Technology
published 4/24/07

Deadline for Intent to Apply: April 13, 2007

Deadline for Applications:  April 27, 2007


Troy, N.Y. – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently garnered approval from the New York State Education Department to offer a doctoral degree in electronic arts. Now one of only a handful of universities in the United States to offer a Ph.D. program in this emerging field, the Institute will begin admitting students in fall 2007.

Grounded in theoretical and historical arts research, the Ph.D. in Electronic Arts will meld Rensselaer's diverse arts offerings — computer music, video, sound arts, performance, and Web-based and installation-based art, among others — with a variety of other disciplinary areas, depending on a student's particular focus. Possible areas of interdisciplinary study could include, but are not limited to: computer science, cultural studies, biology, information technology, engineering, architecture, biotechnology, and cognitive science.

"The digital revolution of the past decade has lowered disciplinary boundaries and facilitated the rapid incorporation of technology into the arts," said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. "This new doctoral degree program will challenge students to combine creative experimentation with research, while preparing them to become the artists, professors, administrators, researchers, and curators of the next generation."

The advanced degree will build on Rensselaer's highly successful Integrated Electronic Arts (iEAR) program, which offers undergraduate and graduate art students total interdisciplinary integration. In the program, electronic music, computer graphics, animation, installation, and video are not taught as separate fields, but as different faces of the same discipline. The constantly evolving curriculum continuously changes to reflect and incorporate new technological breakthroughs and advances.

"At its time of inception, Rensselaer's Integrated Electronic Arts program was one of the first of its kind offered by a research university in the United States," said John Harrington, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. "The Ph.D. program will build on our rich legacy of cutting-edge arts education. Culminating their degree with a dissertation, graduates of the doctoral program will fuse artistic, technological, scientific, and theoretical experimentation and research to produce innovative engagements with — and evaluations of — our ever-increasing technological, global, and networked society."

The new doctoral degree comes at a time when electronic art has begun to saturate contemporary culture. Many museums and art centers in the U.S. have established new departments and collections to house electronic, new media, or "net" art, and a variety of foundations and research centers have joined forces to promote and support the field, according to Kathy High, chair of Rensselaer's Arts Department.

Set to open in 2008, the unsurpassed facilities of Rensselaer's Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) will support new ideas and innovations at the intersection of technology and the arts, creating a distinctive environment for artists, students, researchers, and audiences from across the globe.

"EMPAC's performances, events, and artist residencies, coupled with the Arts Department's community of Ph.D.-level artists, will create a distinctive matrix for research, academic, and cultural synergies on the Rensselaer campus," Harrington said.

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Fall Semester Arts Open Studios
December 15, 2017 9:00 AM
West Hall Floors 1-4

Join first and second year Electronic Arts PhD and MFA students for open studios in West Hall.