Develop a critical art practice in digital media. Use a research perspective to explore the relationship between digital media, art and emerging technologies and earn an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice in New York City.

The CCNY Art Department’s new graduate degree program: 
The MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice [DIAP].

Applications for Fall 2015 will be accepted online starting in September, with a February 1st, 2015 admissions deadline.

Competitive tuition based scholarships for 1st and 2nd year students starting Fall 2015.

Possible part-time option for Fall 2015, please inquire about details.

[DIAP] is a research community where students will work both individually and collaboratively on creative projects in, or related to digital media art.
The [DIAP] MFA is a research-oriented community in which students engage with aspects related to digital media art. The program’s central focus is a utilization and critical engagement of digital media that can lead to research into areas as diverse as interactive sculpture, cyber gender, non-narrative motion graphics, online privacy, online/offline interventions, spatial mapping, digital cultures or bio art and is supportive of different models of individual or collaborative art practice.

[DIAP] students will explore art and technology with a range of digital tools, but the focus is on the project not the tool.
[DIAP] enables students to choose from the broadest range of digital tools. Projects are conceptually and thematically driven and students will research tools and processes to fit the project, not the reverse. Wherever appropriate to the project, we encourage integration of traditional media or processes and methodologies from biology, computer science, math, psychology or other areas of potential interdisciplinary connection and exploration.

[DIAP] students will create projects in a range of Themed and Media Workshops as well as work on longer-term First Year and Thesis projects.
Themed Workshops are subject-focused and might include exploration of information architecture, interactive sculpture, socially-based gaming or motion graphics, and can utilize a variety of media.

Media Workshops have a specific medium-based topic, and consist of technical workshops, medium-related exercises, research, and independent and/or collaborative project development. They could include programming for artists, exploration of locative media, kinetics or electronics for artists. Targeted media might include: digital video, animation, image processing, electronics/physical computing, web coding, database or sound.

Past themed and media workshops: “Physical Computing using Arduino, Kinect and Raspberry Pi”, “Writing for Digital Media”, “Performing for the screen”, “Programming for artists”, “Sousveillance”, “Artist in the Anthropocene: Ecological & Biological Practices in Contemporary Art”, “Projects in Video”, “Collection, Archive, Database”, “Database structures and an introduction to programming”.

What is a [DIAP] MFA Themed Workshop? An example of a Themed Workshop: Mapping Space
With the emergence of the internet, digital space is often perceived as open and free. Yet increasingly this “free” space is as competitive, occupied and defended as physical space. How can we create, re-envision and open up digital space? Spatial mapping is a research field that both encourages individual expression and enables artists to question their role in contemporary society with its attendant emphasis on the ownership of space. Mapping Space is broad in concept, tools employed and in connection to other fields of study such as architecture, environmentalism, political science and history. Linear time-based techniques ranging from video to performance and non-linear techniques such as geocaching, augmented reality, data visualization, websites and interactive installations are possible modes of expression. Computer peripherals (mouse, keyboard, camera, microphone, hard drives) and mobile devices may be used to create and occupy non-geographical space. Work might be visualized through code, characters, images or sound. Mapping Space encourages research projects in the field of social media, mapping, performance, locative media, visualization and participatory events to address issues related to the occupation of space and its underlying systems.

What kind of applicants is [DIAP] looking for?
Applicants should have a BA, BS, or BFA degree in the fields of computer art, graphic/communication design, video, photography, computer science, architecture or other related degrees in art, media, design or technology. Applications from students who do not hold traditional studio arts degrees but who have industry or other media arts experience will be considered. Entry is by portfolio evaluation.

Self-motivated work, the ability to research complex technical issues independently, excellent written communication skills, and a commitment to pursuing highly original and critical perspectives related to digital media are crucial for admission to the program.

Cross-disciplinary interests are encouraged: applicants with undergraduate degrees in such diverse disciplines as architecture, biology, geography, mathematics or history or other relevant areas of study who are interested in pursuing their research interests within the context of contemporary art are invited to apply.


[DIAP] offers:

  • An experimental curriculum that emphasizes creative research in art & technology using a broad range of digital and traditional tools
  • The opportunity to work on individual and large-scale collaborative projects in a vibrant creative community
  • A full schedule of lectures, visiting artist studio visits, and extensive interaction with full-time and part-time faculty.
  • Collaborative studio space with individual workspaces and access to shared installation spaces during the two-year residence
  • CUNY’s modest graduate tuition
  • City College’s excellent faculty of nationally and internationally recognized media artists
  • Competitive opportunities for practice teaching, internships and college assistant ships within the Art Department
  • The [DIAP] laptop program in which students receive a fully-loaded Mac laptop that becomes their property upon graduation
  • Competitive tuition based scholarships


[DIAP] Quick Facts:

  • [DIAP] is a full-time program [2 year, 60 credit degree]. But we are reviewing requests for part-time on a case by case. Please get in touch with us if you consider this option.
  • Admissions are for Fall semester only
  • The admissions deadline is February 1st
  • Admission is by portfolio review through the CCNY Graduate Admissions Online Application System
  • Subscribe to our mailing list for events updates here

This website provides an overview of the [DIAP] MFA program, facilities, and faculty. Please email to diap@ccny.cuny.edu if you are interested in scheduling a tour or need additional information.