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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Program Info

Last Updated 2016-02-24
Emerging Media MFA

Digital Media



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The Digital Media track in the Emerging Media MFA program is a three-year cohort style program (six full-time semesters excluding summers) and students must progress through the program by taking required classes in particular semesters. The program requires a minimum of 66 credit hours including a thesis project. The program requires 48 credit hours of required courses, 6 credit hours of program electives, and 12 credit hours of thesis.

During the first academic year, the student pursues required courses as dictated by the student’s plan of study. Throughout the second year, the student finishes remaining required course work and enrolls in electives approved by his or her thesis chairperson/adviser. During the third year, the student’s focus is on completing his or her thesis work.

Many graduate-level courses in the College of Arts and Humanities can be used as electives, based on an adviser-approved plan of study. In addition, other graduate courses may be used in place of those listed above, with permission of the adviser. These courses must be selected so as to ensure that at least one-half of the courses in the student’s plan of study are taken at the 6000 level. Normally, at least half of the selected electives should be taken with the School of Visual Arts and Design.

A listing of courses offered can be found in the drop-down Catalog Menu at the top of the page under "Courses." 

Curriculum

The Digital Media track in the Emerging Media MFA program is a full-time three-year cohort style program (six full-time semesters excluding summers) and students must progress through the program by taking required classes in particular semesters. The program requires a minimum of 66 credit hours including a thesis project. The program requires 48 credit hours of required courses, 6 credit hours of program electives, and 12 credit hours of thesis.


During the first academic year, the student pursues required courses. Throughout the second year, the student finishes remaining required coursework and enrolls in electives approved by his or her thesis chairperson/adviser. During the third year, the student’s focus is on completing his or her thesis work

Required Courses—48 Credit Hours

  • DIG 5137 Information Architecture (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 5487 Principles of Visual Language (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6136 Design for New Media (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6546 Previsualization and Concept Development (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6551 Applied Interactive Story (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6605 Physical Computing (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6647 Science and Technology of Dynamic Media (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6812 Digital Interaction for Informal Learning (3 credit hours)
  • ARH 5897 Advanced Seminar in Art History (3 credit hours)
  • ART 5280 Serial Content (3 credit hours)
  • ART 5696 Art, Design and Human Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • ART 5941 Graduate Practicum I (1 credit hour)
  • ART 6683C Time Arts (3 credit hours)
  • ART 6930 Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour, taken four times)
  • ART 6942 Graduate Practicum II (1 credit hour)
  • FIL 5800 Research Methods in Film and Digital Media (3 credit hours)
  • FIL 6673 Arts and Media Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours

Students should choose from graduate-level courses within the School of Visual Arts and Design that are not already required for their program. These courses include those with the following prefixes: ARH, ART, DIG and FIL. If approved by the Graduate Program Director, there are many graduate-level courses in the College of Arts and Humanities that can be used as electives in addition to other graduate courses. These courses must be selected so as to ensure that at least one-half of the courses in the student’s plan of study are taken at the 6000 level. Normally, at least half of the selected electives should be taken within the School of Visual Arts and Design.

A listing of courses offered can be found in the drop-down Catalog Menu at the top of the page under "Courses." 

Thesis—12 Credit Hours

  • DIG 6971 Thesis (12 credit hours)

Each candidate for the Master of Fine Arts must submit a thesis proposal and preliminary bibliography on a topic selected in consultation with the adviser. The formal thesis is initiated by the preparation of a proposal that will meet both departmental and university requirements for the thesis. Prior to enrollment into thesis, the adviser, in consultation with the student, will designate a Thesis Committee to be further approved by the Dean of Arts and Humanities or their designee. This committee is chaired by the adviser and includes two or more additional faculty members from the School of Visual Arts and Design.

The members of the student’s thesis committee will judge the proposal as the preliminary step to beginning the thesis. This committee must approve the Thesis Proposal before academic credit can accrue.

The thesis project for the Emerging Media MFA, Digital Media track involves creating innovative applications of digital media to serve artistic, entertainment, commercial, and/or educational needs. The thesis consists of three parts: (1) the creative project (that utilizes digital media); (2) the production journal (documenting the process of developing the project and evaluating its effectiveness); and (3) dissemination (the work is submitted in a juried exhibition, a refereed publication, or other venue that demonstrates development in connection with a professional partner).

The production journal portion of the thesis a formal written document. The introduction cites similar, related, and antecedent work; the body explains the purposes of the project, the method of its production, and any evaluation that was performed; and it concludes with plans for future work. The thesis will also include an archival copy of the resulting creative product. Both the thesis and the creative product must be delivered in a digital form, acceptable by the UCF library according to its standards for digital dissertations and theses.

Thesis Defense

In addition to the creative project, the written thesis, and dissemination of work, the final step in completing the thesis requirement is an oral defense before the thesis committee. Candidates present their creative or research work and explain its creation in an oral defense. These presentations are made to the student’s committee, in a public meeting that other faculty and students may attend.

Course Schedule

The Emerging Media MFA is a full-time 3-year cohort program that requires students to abide by the following course sequence. Students must remain with their cohort in order to remain in good academic standing and graduate.

YEAR 1

Fall—13 Credit Hours
  • ARH 5897 Advanced Seminar in Art History (3 credit hours)
  • ART 5941 Graduate Practicum I (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 5487 Principles of Visual Language (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6647 Science and Technology of Dynamic Media (3 credit hours)
  • FIL 6673 Arts and Media Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)
Spring—13 Credit Hours
  • ART 5280 Serial Content (3 credit hours)
  • ART 6942 Graduate Practicum II (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 5137 Information Architecture (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6136 Design for New Media (3 credit hours)
  • FIL 5800 Research Methods in Film and Digital Media (3 credit hours)

YEAR 2

Fall—10 Credit Hours
  • ART 5696 Art, Design and Human Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • ART 6683C Time Arts (3 credit hours)
  • ART 6930 Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 6546 Previsualization and Concept Development (3 credit hours)
Spring—10 Credit Hours
  • ART 6930 Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 6551 Applied Interactive Story (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6605 Physical Computing (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6812 Digital Interaction for Informal Learning (3 credit hours)

YEAR 3

Fall—10 Credit Hours
  • ART 6930 Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • ART, DIG or FIL Elective (3 credit hours)
Spring—10 Credit Hours
  • ART 6930 Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • ART, DIG or FIL Elective (3 credit hours)

Equipment Fee

Students in the Emerging Media MFA program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.


Thesis Requirements

Each candidate for the Master of Fine Arts must submit a thesis proposal and preliminary bibliography on a topic selected in consultation with the adviser. The formal thesis is initiated by the preparation of a proposal that will meet both departmental and university requirements for the thesis. Prior to enrollment into thesis, the adviser, in consultation with the student, will designate a Thesis Committee to be further approved by the Dean of Arts and Humanities or their designee. This committee is chaired by the adviser and includes two or more additional faculty members from the School of Visual Arts and Design.

The members of the student’s thesis committee will judge the proposal as the preliminary step to beginning the thesis. This committee must approve the Thesis Proposal before academic credit can accrue.

The thesis project for the Emerging Media MFA, Digital Media track involves creating innovative applications of digital media to serve artistic, entertainment, commercial, and/or educational needs. The thesis consists of three parts: (1) the creative project (that utilizes digital media); (2) the production journal (documenting the process of developing the project and evaluating its effectiveness); and (3) dissemination (the work is submitted in a juried exhibition, a refereed publication, or other venue that demonstrates development in connection with a professional partner).

The production journal portion of the thesis is a formal written document. The introduction cites similar, related, and antecedent work; the body explains the purposes of the project, the method of its production, and any evaluation that was performed; and it concludes with plans for future work. The thesis will also include an archival copy of the resulting creative product. Both the thesis and the creative product must be delivered in a digital form, acceptable by the UCF library according to its standards for digital dissertations and theses. 

Thesis Defense

In addition to the creative project, the written thesis, and dissemination of work, the final step in completing the thesis requirement is an oral defense before the thesis committee. Candidates present their creative or research work and explain its creation in an oral defense. These presentations are made to the student’s committee, in a public meeting that other faculty and students may attend. 

University Thesis Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final
submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the  Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis
Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu

Project/Report Requirements

Criteria for Internship

The basic criteria for designation as an internship course at UCF includes student experiential learning which:

  • relates directly to a student’s academic major or major-related career goal
  • occurs in business, industry, non-profit, educational, or governmental agencies
  • involves collaboration between campus and business community that aims to increase students‘ work, personal, and academic competencies
  • provides appropriate supervision both on site through a professional with related training and skills and through guidance from faculty
  • involves structure for learning, including application of classroom content and assignments for reflection that would result in the development of student competencies and go beyond simple assignment of a student completing a set number of hours experience in a setting outside the academic classroom
  • involves a minimum of 45 hours per credit per semester at the participating worksite to provide real-world experience and to promote interaction between students and professionals toward the development of professional attitudes and behavior (more hours may be required; fewer hours may be justified by the concentration of the experience or the learning objectives)

All Directed Research, Independent Study and Internship must be accompanied by a syllabus with expectations and due dates. This document serves as a contract between the instructor of record and the student for the grade is determined.  

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student, as inventor, will, according to this policy, share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu >Policies>General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

Digital Media MFA students are eligible for three kinds of support:

Need-based assistance: The University provides need-based scholarships funded by the federal government. These are based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA form and are awarded in the middle of April. We encourage all students to complete a FAFSA application form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Fellowships

These competitive, merit-based awards are usually reserved for newly admitted students. These awards pay a stipend and/or provide a tuition waiver. To be eligible, students must have their entire application on file by January 15. To view a list of fellowships and the eligibility requirements please visit: www.admissions.graduate.ucf.edu/funding/fellowships.

Assistantships: These merit-based awards may be applied for at any point in a graduate degree program. Different assistantships have different eligibility criteria. For example, graduate teaching assistantships may only be awarded to students who have completed 18 hours of graduate coursework in the discipline and who have completed all mandatory university training.

Different assistantships also have different requirements. Some of these requirements include in-depth professional development activities. Availability of assistantships within the department is subject to change. Assistantship financial support is offered only to full-time degree-seeking students.

Assistantship Opportunities

Graduate students often receive assistantships in their departments or other university offices while pursuing graduate studies. Graduate assistants may teach, conduct research, or perform other tasks that contribute to the student's professional development. Graduate students may become Graduate Teaching Associates, Assistants, or Graders (GTAs), Graduate Research Associates or Assistants (GRAs), or Graduate Assistants (GAs). For eligibility, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. Due to the evolving nature of the assistantship program, please consult the Graduate Studies website for the most current information: www.admissions.graduate.ucf.edu/funding/assistantships/

Teaching Assistantship Resources

If you received a graduate teaching assistantship, you may be assigned teaching responsibilities as part of your stipend. The following information will be useful in fulfilling your teaching duties:

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, it offers several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)

This two-day workshop provides information and resources for students who will be instructors. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program

This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information about GTA Training, see http://fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs.

Graduate Student Associations

Council of Southern Graduate Schools www.csgs.org

Graduate Student Association www.gsa.ucf.edu

Professional Development

Internships / Teaching Opportunities

As part of the Digital Media curriculum, you may have the opportunity to obtain experience as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or teacher-of-record for an undergraduate level art course. We recommend that you take advantage of these opportunities if you are interested in them and as they become available to you.

Travel Support for Research Presentations

All full-time students enrolled in the Emerging Media MFA, Digital Media track or Digital Media MA (thesis-option) Visual Language and Interactive Media program are eligible to receive awards for support of travel expenses for presenting papers at national or international professional meetings or conferences, or for performing or exhibiting original work. The student's presentation must be officially recognized by the sponsoring organization.  The limited funds available for travel support make this a highly competitive program. Travel support funding is contingent on annual budget allocations. Applicants are encouraged to read and follow the guidelines and application requirements.  Applications may be requested from the Digital Media Graduate Administrative Coordinator.

Scholarly Publications

Scholarly publications are not required for the MA degree, but such publications may be professionally even for a studio artist. For more information about how to pursue these opportunities, consult with a faculty member, a member of your thesis committee, or the Program Coordinator or the Graduate Program Director for Art.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.

Departmental Awards via College and University

The university provides several achievement awards:

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, students can submit a portfolio for nomination of College and University level awards of excellence. These are intended to showcase student excellence in academic achievement, teaching, research, leadership, and community service.

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant - This award is intended for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (This award is not intended for students who are teachers of record.)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching - This award is for students who serve as teachers of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student's teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master's Thesis - This award recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as (but not limited to): publications in refereed or peer reviewed journals, the candidates’ juried exhibitions and awards record, recognitions and awards from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For more information about these awards, please see the College of Graduate Studies administrative website: www.graduate.ucf.edu > About Us > Graduate Awards.

For more information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, please see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.

Job Search

Career Services and Experiential Learning

Graduate career development issues are unique and include evaluating academic and non-academic career choices, discussing graduate school effect on career choices, as well as learning, evaluating, and refining networking and interviewing skills. Whatever your needs, the offices of Career Services and Experiential Learning offer services and resources to aid in the career exploration and job search of Master and Doctoral students in every academic discipline. (See www.career.ucf.edu)

Forms

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