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Visual Language and Interactive Media This is a Track

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College : Arts and HumanitiesDegree : MFA
Department : Digital MediaOption : Thesis
Program Websites :


The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art and the Computer offers a Visual Language and Interactive Media track designed to educate the next generation of filmmakers and media entrepreneurs and produce artists, entrepreneurs, educators, engineers, and scientists who use digital technologies to create content in many venues (film, digital media, interactive entertainment, and a host of others), and who will develop and use digital technologies in new ways.

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Total Credit Hours Required:
60 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Visual Language and Interactive Media track in the Art MFA program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours including a thesis project. The program requires 32 credit hours of required courses, 18 credit hours of program electives, and 10 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.

Required Courses—32 Credit Hours

  • DIG 5647 Science and Technology of Dynamic Media (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6825 Digital Media Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6546 Previsualization and Concept Development (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6432 Transmedia Story Creation (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6551 Applied Interactive Story (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6136 Design for Media (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 5137 Information Architecture (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 5487 Principles of Visual Language (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6550 Digital Media Pre-Production (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6918 Directed Research (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 5XXX Digital Media Perspectives Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • DIG 6XXX Digital Media Thesis Preparation (1 credit hour)

Elective Courses—18 Credit Hours

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 Department of Digital Media.

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

Thesis—10 Credit Hours

  • DIG 6971 Thesis (10 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 Department of Digital Media.

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.

A Visual Language and Interactive Media MFA thesis project 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.

Independent Learning

A thesis is required.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Applicants may be asked to attend an admissions interview. The graduate faculty determines final eligibility of applicants. In the case of restricted admission with deficiencies, the graduate committee decides the appropriate courses to be taken to compensate for the deficiencies. The letter of admission will specify the requirements that must be completed for regular admission.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

    • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) for each college/university attended.
    • Competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
    • Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers who can address the applicant’s ability to undertake graduate-level course work.
    • A 500-word essay demonstrating the applicant’s breadth of knowledge, insight, curiosity, vision, voice, and ability to think critically. The applicant should respond to ONE of the following:
      • Discuss the relationship between emerging technologies and creative expression.
      • Discuss the continuing conflict between art and commerce and how its energy might be made to serve the creative process.
      • Discuss the social, political, and cultural role and responsibilities of the artist/creator in a global society.
    • Résumé or a 250-word biography detailing the applicant’s creative and entrepreneurial accomplishments as they relate to a professional and/or educational setting.
    • A personal vision statement identifying the research area you intend to pursue and a compelling vision of how you intend to utilize your acquired knowledge and skills after completing the degree.
    • A creative portfolio.

Please send your creative portfolio directly to the program: UCF Digital Media Graduate Office, 12641 Research Parkway, Suite 500, Orlando, FL 32826-3121.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.

Application Deadlines

All application materials must be submitted by the appropriate deadline listed below.

Visual Language and Interactive Media Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Mar 15

The application deadline for the Fall 2010 term has been extended to July 15.

International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15
International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see Student Finances, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see Fellowships, which includes descriptions of UCF fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.