Virginia Commonwealth University
MATX

Media Art & Text Ph.D program

Program

« MATX handbook

MATX handbook for pre-2010 students

Introduction

Welcome to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Media, Art, and Text, co-sponsored by VCU’s Department of English, School of the Arts and School of Mass Communications. This handbook is designed to give you the information you will need as you progress through the MATX Ph.D. program. It provides general program information as well as details about advising, registration procedures, requirements and examinations.

In addition to this handbook, you will find other important sources of information online. The current Graduate Bulletin (http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/bulletins/) contains information about what the School of Graduate Studies requires of all students, including general academic regulations. You are expected to be familiar with all university regulations and with all rules and regulations in the Graduate Bulletin. The Graduate Bulletin, as well as each semester's Schedule of Classes (http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/scheduleofclasses/), also outlines the academic calendar and gives the dates of registration, add/drop and graduation application deadlines.

The university's annual Resource Guide (http://www.students.vcu.edu/rg/) is published by the Division of Student Affairs and is a directory of university services and policies. In the Resource Guide you'll find a variety of information about topics ranging from grade review procedures to parking services. The Division of Student Affairs is located in Sitterding House, 901 Floyd Avenue, 828-1244.

If you have questions beyond the scope of these materials, please contact Thom N. Didato, Graduate Studies Coordinator (804-828-1329; tndidato@vcu.edu) or Dr. Marcel Cornis-Pope, Director of the MATX Ph.D. program (828-4530; mcornis@vcu.edu). The main departmental phone number is 828-1331. To find contact information for a specific faculty in the program, use the search engine on http://www.vcu.edu/.

Every enrolled Ph.D. student must have a VCU email account. Students can obtain an email account by going to the Customer Service Window (B-9) in the basement of Cabell Library or online at http://www.at.vcu.edu/faq/accts/computing.html. Electronic mail is the primary vehicle for conveying information to you. Course information, examination dates, fellowship announcements, and other professional opportunities are relayed only by email, so failure to have an active email account places you at a significant disadvantage. A number of courses will be conducted in electronic labs that are accessed through your email ID.

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General Program Information

Advising
All new students entering shall be initially advised by the director of the MATX Ph.D. program who will continue to meet with the student regularly during his/her course of study. Additionally, an advising work sheet, devised and reviewed by the graduate studies committee, will be maintained by both the student and the DGS to ensure steady progress through the program. The innovative, interdisciplinary nature of the program requires intensive, careful advising for the candidates to ensure they are capitalizing on the strengths they bring to the program, complementing those areas, and making curricular decisions that fit with the stated intellectual and programmatic goals.

If you need information about requirements, forms, deadlines, or other administrative aspects of your degree, please see the graduate programs coordinator or the director of the MATX program.

Student Status

A graduate student at VCU is considered full time if he or she is enrolled for a minimum of nine and a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester. More than 16 hours is an overload and requires special permission. No more than 12 semester credits may be earned in a summer semester.

MATX students must observe the university continuous enrollment policy. Once admitted to a degree program, a graduate student is expected to comply with the minimum enrollment of one course per semester from the beginning of his/her program. A graduate student who has completed course requirements for a degree must register for at least one credit at VCU each fall and spring semester until the degree is awarded. Students must be enrolled during the semester they plan to graduate. If candidates intend to graduate in August and if they have contact with faculty or use university resources over the summer, they must be enrolled for at least one semester hour in the summer session. Students who, for significant reasons, cannot continue their studies during a particular semester or calendar year, need to apply to the MATX committee for a leave of absence. Failure to maintain a continuous registration will result in dismissal from the program and the student can only be reinstated through formal reapplication.

Graduate Teaching Assistants must register for nine hours each semester, with the exception of the first semester when they need to also enroll in MATX 600 Interdisciplinary Lab, for a total of 10.5 credits. Also, during each academic year (fall and spring semesters), GTA's must complete at least 15 hours that do count toward graduation. This “reasonable progress” toward a degree is required to maintain financial aid.

To graduate, degree applicants must achieve an overall grade-point average of 3.0 (“B”) on a 4.0 scale with a grade of C in no more than two courses. The GPA for graduation will be based on all graduate courses attempted after acceptance into the program.

All work applied toward the degree, including work transferred from other institutions, cannot be more than seven years old when all degree requirements are fulfilled and you apply for graduation. For additional details, please consult the Graduate Bulletin.

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Course Information

Registration

After the initial registration, subsequent registration for most courses can occur by telephone as specified in each semester's advanced registration booklet. You are strongly encouraged to register during advance registration. Please remember that even though the university generates a bill when you register, tuition is not due until the semester begins so do not let that prevent you from registering in advance. Advance registration enables students to enroll in the courses of their choice and provides departments with the information necessary to make accurate determinations about enrollment figures and future course offerings. Students would do well to consult with an adviser prior to each registration.

Credit for Courses
Graduate courses are listed in the Graduate Bulletin. The meeting times and registration information for these classes can be found in the university's Schedule of Classes published each semester. All classes must be at the 500-, 600-, or 700-level. At least half of the required courses for the degree must be numbered 600 or above.

To graduate, degree applicants must achieve an overall grade-point average of 3.0 (“B”) on a 4.0 scale with a grade of C in no more than two courses. The GPA for graduation will be based on all graduate courses attempted after acceptance into the program.

The Graduate Bulletin contains further information about the School of Graduate Studies' regulations including attendance requirements, the grades of "W" (withdrawn) and "I" (incomplete), time limits for completing courses graded "I" and other academic policies.

Course Availability
Not all courses listed in the Graduate Bulletin will be offered every semester. For course availability on a semester-to-semester basis, you should consult the Schedule of Classes for that semester, as well as the relevant departments’ course descriptions.

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Other Curricular Opportunities

Independent Study

Independent studies or directed studies are designed for the student who wishes to pursue a subject beyond the scope a course typically allows; thus, they are intended for students who have developed a specific research interest, theoretical problem, or sustained topic to explore. Prerequisite for all independent study courses are six credits of appropriate graduate course work. Independent study is not available for a course that duplicates courses already being offered. Neither can it be used as thesis hours. A student may take between one to three credits of independent study per semester. After completing their course work, during their preparation for dissertation, students can take up to six credits in graduate directed study. No more than six credits of independent study may be counted toward the degree.

Students must have a member of the graduate faculty direct their independent study. Students must submit a description of the course of study, a bibliography and the anticipated final product (e.g., a long paper, a creative project). Students should be sure the description and bibliography are carefully prepared to give a clear sense of the aim and goals of the project. Independent studies must be approved by the faculty member who will direct the study, and by the director of the MATX program. Once the study is approved, you will be given a special card with which to register.

Dissertation

The requirements for the dissertation are outlined below. In order to sign up for dissertation credits, students need a dissertation committee and an approved prospectus for the dissertation. The MATX director, in consultation with the student's dissertation committee, approves all dissertation proposals. This process is discussed in more detail in subsequent sections of this handbook.

Dissertation Committee

At the beginning of the third semester, the student in consultation with the MATX program director will choose a dissertation adviser, presenting to him/her his Ph.D. concept. The student will work with the adviser to establish a dissertation committee no later than the fourth week of the semester. The committee will have a minimum of four faculty members and no more than five members, including the candidate’s doctoral adviser who will serve as chair of the dissertation committee. The committee must have a least one member from each of the sponsoring units (School of the Arts, School of Mass Communications and Department of English). At least one member should be from a discipline other than those pursued by the candidate. The dissertation director must hold a terminal degree (Ph.D., M.F.A.). The student must gain the consent of all individuals identified for the committee prior to their being named to the committee. The student will submit a request for approval of his/her dissertation committee to the MATX program committee.

Internships

The possibilities for internships exist and change each year. Please consult with the MATX director or the graduate programs coordinator. The internships offer planned experiences approved by the MATX director, under the supervision of professionals and evaluated by them and the MATX director. They involve one to three credits per semester. No more than six credits of internship may be counted toward the degree.

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Other Resources

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The School of Graduate Studies and the participating units in the MATX Program offer a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships each year. Assistantship duties usually involve teaching courses in various departments, working in the computer labs of the English department and Mass Communications, or assisting with the editorial work of Blackbird, the online journal of literature and art. Assignments are made by the director in consultation with the MATX committee. Assistantships are awarded each year on the basis of each applicant's academic records (undergraduate and graduate), GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and professional qualities. All applicants to the MATX Ph.D. program are considered for assistantships (no separate application is required).

Graduate students on twelve-month assistantships will be assigned to teach/assist/or carry out other teaching and service work for 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. During summers, they will be expected to register for six graduate course credits (including directed study or internship) and to focus the rest of their available production time on research and dissertation/thesis preparation or writing. The absence of assigned work during the summer is intended to allow students to concentrate on their studies, on independent projects and conference presentations, or on preliminary dissertation research. Having unencumbered time is essential to their intellectual and scholarly development. It will allow them to advance the progress toward the completion of their degrees, and will enhance their professional accomplishments, thereby contributing to the reputation of our programs.

This policy accords with the Graduate School’s “Policies and procedures on graduate fellowships and assistantships,” in particular the final paragraph in the relevant section that states:

Graduate assistantships are awarded for not longer than one calendar year and are not renewed automatically from year to year unless specifically stated in writing. Graduate program directors generally determine eligibility for renewal of graduate assistantship awards in subsequent academic years. Specific work assignments, scheduling and arrangements relating to vacation and personal leave are determined by the department, program or administrative unit to which the graduate student is assigned.*

*See http://www.graduate.vcu.edu/community/financing/policies.html#assistantships

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Work-Study Opportunities

The English department and other units participating in the program also have a limited number of work-study opportunities available for graduate students. The applications for these positions are handled through the Office of Financial Aid. Contact that office for further information and the appropriate forms.

Computer Labs and Studios
The Department of English maintains a computer center on the third floor of the Hibbs Building. This center is available for use by all English graduate students, including the MATX candidates. Students will have access to other facilities (computer labs, studios) in the other participating units.

Blackbird, the online journal of literature and the arts published in partnership with the New Virginia Review, Inc., offers MATX students opportunities for internships and other editorial participation. This innovative electronic journal, coedited by English faculty Gregory Donovan and Mary Flynn, Executive Director of New Virginia Review, Inc., and managed by Michael Keller, has drawn on the best interdisciplinary expertise available in the Department of English and the School of the Arts. 

Adcenter (School of Mass Communications) provides students with the opportunity to work in a motivated, team-oriented environment, under the guidance of some of the best in the business as faculty, board members, guest lecturers and mentors. Two graduate courses in the School of Mass Communications, both offered at its nationally top-ranked Adcenter, will be available as electives to MATX students: Visual Storytelling and Creative Thinking in Advertising. (Because both classes are required of Adcenter students, enrollment of MATX students must be restricted to two MATX students in each of these classes in any given semester.)

In the Visual Storytelling class, students take a story and translate it successfully to the screen. The class includes lectures and technology sessions. Classes will be divided between discussions about existing films and spots, and classes devoted to learning the use of lights, cameras and software editing. Three short films will be produced. In the Creative Thinking for Advertising class, students focus on developing the creative skills necessary for solving advertising communication problems. The course enables students to maximize and strengthen creative abilities through lectures, brainstorming sessions and team-oriented strategy sessions focusing on real case projects.

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General Requirements for the Degree

Candidates for degrees are eligible for graduation upon completion of all academic requirements in effect at the time of their first registration, provided the students are continuously enrolled and provided the requirements are met within the specified time frame. Degrees are granted at the close of the semester or summer session in which students complete their work.

1. Credit requirements
Students are required to complete 42 credits hours in core and elective courses and to conduct research or produce significant work within the participating disciplines: e.g., scholarly, literary, creative, performative, visual, web based or written. The core coursework will be completed with courses offered through Media, Art, and Text, but the additional elective courses may draw from both seminars offered through Media, Art, and Text, and approved graduate seminars offered in participating units.

2. Grade requirements
To graduate, degree applicants must achieve an overall grade-point average of 3.0 (“B”) on a 4.0 scale with a grade of C in no more than two courses. The GPA for graduation will be based on all graduate courses attempted after acceptance into the program.

3. Transfer and M.S. / M.A. / M.F.A. / M.A.E. credits
Graduate-level coursework completed prior to matriculation into the program, including coursework taken in another program at VCU or at another accredited institution, shall be evaluated to determine whether it can be used to fulfill degree requirements of this program. A limit of six credit hours may be transferred into the program; however, no transfer credits will be applicable towards foundation (core) credit hours. Previously earned credits before entering the program must not have been applied toward a degree and must be on the appropriate graduate level. A minimum grade of B is required for credit to transfer. A syllabus may be requested for determining equivalence rationale. In addition to recognizing transfer credit, there will be three hours available for extensive, professional life experience. All work applied toward the degree, including work transferred from other institutions, cannot be more than seven years old when you apply for graduation.

4. Admission to candidacy for Ph.D. degree
Before admission to candidacy for the Ph.D., students must have completed all required coursework, successfully completed a comprehensive examination, and fulfilled the requirement for demonstrated competencies.

a. Requirement for Demonstrated Competencies

In addition to the core courses and electives selected from the curricular offerings, students must also demonstrate competencies in two areas:

1. Competency in digital media: All students must demonstrate a range of skills in digital media, through an e-portfolio assembled from work created during their first three semesters as MATX students, including work from their core courses. At a minimum, this e-portfolio should include:

  • A Web page created by the student, using the most current web standards available at the time. Within that Web page, students should display multi-modal work (Photoshop images, multi-media work) in addition to more expository (hyper)text papers. The web page may become the template for the presentation of the entire e-portfolio.
  • A short audio piece.
  • A video piece.
  • A multimodal piece in Flash or other code, creating an animated or interactive narrative using also the skills learned from the audio and video.

This portfolio will be accompanied by a theoretical introduction that explains the basis for the work, relating it to the student’s critical studies and placing it in the context of other multimedia work that it builds on. This theoretical introduction should justify the work displayed in the e-portfolio, while also reflecting on some of the technologies used, their creative but also manipulative effects (e.g., the student should show some awareness of the effects of their audio and video editing, of digital photo manipulation, or of mixing media). The e-portfolio will be evaluated at the end of the third semester by two appointed faculty who taught the MATX 600 lab, the MATX 604 Production Workshop or other core courses, the MATX director, and the student's dissertation adviser as a nonvoting member.

2. Students with their dissertation committees will determine a second area of competency and the manner in which it will be fulfilled. This second competency will be integral to the interdisciplinarity of the student’s course work and dissertation project. The second competency might include a foreign language (recommended for students with art history focus), rhetoric, socio-linguistics, statistics, research methods in ethnography or other specializations, or arts administration/management.

These requirements must be met by the time of the qualifying exam.

b. Qualifying Examination

At the beginning of the third semester, as they complete or are close to completing the required 42 credit hours, students will take a written qualifying examination, first part, covering material from the core curriculum. This portion of the qualifying exam will be the same for all students and will be written and evaluated with a pass or fail by two members of the MATX committee or other faculty who taught the core courses, and by the MATX director. A student who does not pass one or both of the questions on the qualifying exam, part one, may take the failed part of the exam a second time within six months of the first attempt. If the examination is failed a second time, the student will be terminated from the program.

At the end of the fourth semester or early in the fifth semester, after they have completed the required number of course credits, candidates will take the second part of the qualifying examination, based on a bibliography compiled at the beginning of the third semester by the candidate[s] and his/her dissertation committee. Reflecting the hybrid interdisciplinary nature of the program and of a particular student's research focus, this bibliography can include -- in addition to print items -- also videos, CDs, tapes, graphics, hypertexts, etc., whatever primary and secondary material the student will base his/her dissertation work on. The focus of this bibliography should be both theoretical and applied, scholarly and creative. The exam based on this bibliography will be written and evaluated by the student’s dissertation committee with a pass or fail. Students will also demonstrate to the dissertation committee their second area of competence in a way previously determined. A student who does not pass the qualifying exam, part two, may take the exam a second time, with the approval of the MATX committee.

6. Time Limit
All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years from the date of admission to the degree program.

Course Requirements

The 42-hour curriculum of the Ph.D. program in Media, Art, and Text is designed to foster an intellectual, creative, and artistic environment in which students from different disciplines can work collaboratively and independently to develop and disseminate knowledge in this emerging field. The curriculum starts with a set of core courses in the first two semesters that provides students with a shared theoretical, methodological, and creative experience (as detailed below), and then enables them to work independently in their seminars, independent studies, and dissertation project. Designed for candidates who enter the program with an M.A., M.S., M.A.E., or M.F.A., the program assumes that students have a strong background in one of the participating disciplines. The coursework is designed both to build on their existing strength, and to compel them to work outside their existing strengths in order to develop new intellectual and creative connections within the multiple media, disciplines, and approaches joined in the program. The capstone experience of the first year, a production workshop, is a model of this kind of multi-disciplinary work. All the students in an entering class will work collaboratively to develop a project, and a product (text, theatrical production, art installation, film, web page—some combination of those things) that draws on the shared strengths and fields of knowledge. 

The curriculum includes a set of core and elective courses, seminar experiences, and a strong interdisciplinary research component. The first year has 13.5 hours of shared coursework that is required of all candidates. This part of the program provides significant grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of the fundamental concepts of the program—theories of textuality, history of interdisplinarity, etc. An additional six hours of “core electives,” a research methods course and a theory course, are also required. The two core electives can be taken within a discipline and are drawn from existing courses in the participating units. Both the didactic coursework and the development of research and creative projects have an emphasis on fostering an interdisciplinary approach. This curriculum can be completed in three years by a full-time student.

Throughout the student’s academic career all coursework, projects, and elective pursuits should provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research. All resources available with VCU (Life Sciences, medical campus, etc.) as well as those resources within Richmond that offer possibilities for many kinds of ‘textual studies’ (e.g. VA Museum of Fine Arts, VA Historical Society, State Library of VA, Valentine Museum, New Millennium Studios, etc.) should aid the student in research.

1. Core Curriculum
The first year has 13.5 hours of shared coursework that is required of all candidates and six hours of core electives. The courses include:

First Year

Fall     

Core course: MATX 600/ENGL 500 Interdisciplinary Lab   
(1.5 credits)  
Core course: MATX 601 Texts and Textuality  
(3 credits)
Core course: MATX 602 History of Media, Art, and Text    
(3 credits)
Elective within the core:
Research method or Theory course from approved list below
(3 credits)

Spring
Core course: MATX 603 History of Multimedia and Interdisciplinarity       (3 credits)
Core Course: MATX 604 Production and Application Workshop              (3 credits)
Elective within the core:
Research methods or Theory course from approved list                       (3 credits)

Approved Electives in the First Year:

The theory course can be selected from:
ARTH 571 Advance Studies in Film Theory
ARTH 555 Advanced Studies in Aesthetics and Art Theory
ENGL 531 Literary Criticism and Theory
ENGL 629 Form and Theory of Poetry
ENGL 630 Form and Theory of Fiction
ENGL 637 Theories of Rhetoric and Composition
THEA 510 Historiography
MASC 612 Mass Communications Theory
MASC 613 Mass Media and Society
PAPR 527, 528 Art and Critical Theory
THEA 603 Dramatic Literature and Theory
THEA 604 Modern Theatre: Theory and Practice

The research methods can be selected from:
ARTE 690 Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education
ARTH 590 Art Historiography and Methodology
ENGL 530 Introduction to Scholarship in English Studies
MASC 611 Research Methods in Mass Communication
THEA 510 Theatre Historiography

Second Year

Fall

Nine hours of graduate electives

Spring

Nine hours of electives and independent study credits to prepare for spring exams and to write a project proposal. By the end of the spring semester, candidates should have completed their comprehensive exams. By the end of the spring semester, candidates should also have their project proposal completed and approved.

2. Elective Courses
Students will be required to take 18 hours in elective courses. A strength of this program is that students will be able to choose from among a wide variety of courses offered on the Monroe Park campus. Building on the core curriculum, these elective courses will allow students to develop a truly multi and inter-disciplinary curriculum that is appropriate to their focal areas. The choice of specific courses will depend on each student’s research and creative interests; the student, working closely with his/her adviser, will determine the appropriate course of study.

We are also offering an MATX 690 Seminar in Media, Art, and Text that enables faculty in participating programs to propose courses reflecting their own research interests and meet the needs of our students. Possible topics: Media and Ideology; Body as Text; History and Theory of Dress; Typography and Meaning; Discourse Analysis; Aestheticism and Decadence: Literature, Art and Textuality at the Fin de Siècle; Rhetoric and Social Change; The Iconic Page: From Manuscript to Hypertext; Rhetoric of Advertising; Literature and Art in the Age of the World Wide Web; The History of the Book as Icon and Medium; Literature and Print Culture. The graduate-level seminars, like the program as a whole, will take advantage of the considerable opportunities for innovative interdisciplinary unions within the University, as well as the archival and media resources within the community of Richmond. As the program grows and develops, we envisage other collaborative, interdisciplinary courses highlighting connections between this program and the Medical School (History of Medical Illustration), the School of Business (Gender and Commercial Websites), or the School of Engineering (The Rhetoric of Nanotechnology).

In addition to the new seminar we propose, existing graduate seminars in other units will also provide the opportunity for exciting courses for our students. Students will choose specific courses to take as electives depending on the focus of their research and creative work. Students must meet the prerequisites for these courses either through their previous coursework, previously earned degrees, or comparable demonstration on mastery needed for the course. These courses include, but are not limited to:

ARTE 501-502 Concepts in Art Education
ARTE 520 Teaching Concepts Through the Arts
ARTE 553 Art and Perceptual Communication
ARTE 600 Seminar: Issues in Art Education
ARTE 611, 612 Literature in Art Education
ARTE 665 Curriculum Development and Evaluation
ARTE 670 Technology in Art Education
ARTE 592, 692 Independent Study in Art Education
ARTE 680 Teaching Laboratory
ARTE 691 Topics in Art Education
ARTH555 Advanced Studies in Aesthetics and Art Theory
ARTH 556 Advanced Studies in Ideas and Criticism in Art
ARTH 571 Advanced Studies in Film Theory
ARTH 574 Advanced Studies in Film
ARTH 581 Museums and Communities
ARTH 582 The Museum as Educational Institution
ARTH 583 Issues in Museum Collections Planning
ARTH 584 Development and Analysis of Museum Exhibitions
ARTH 759 Seminar in Aesthetics, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture
ARTH 761 Seminar in Latin American Renaissance Art and Architecture
ARTH 762 Seminar in Latin American Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
ARTH 789 Problems in Advanced Art History
ARTH 791 Topics in Early Modern Art
CARD 621 Visual Communications Seminar CRAF 690 Graduate Seminar Design
DESI 601 Interdisciplinary Design Seminar
DESI 602 Advanced Design Seminar
DESI 603 Design and Visual Communication Education
DESI 601 Interdisciplinary Design Seminar
DESI 602 Advanced Design Seminar
ENGL 532 Applied Linguistics
ENGL 553 Studies in Linguistics
ENGL 611 Authors
ENGL 614 Cultural Discourses
ENGL 620 Intertextuality
ENGL 624 Texts and Contexts
ENGL 627 Genres
ENGL 652 Studies in Writing and Rhetoric
ENGL 661 Themes in Interdisciplinary Studies
ENGL 670 Literary Editing and Publishing
ENGL 672 Writing Nonfiction
PAPR 690 Graduate Seminar
PHTO 690 Seminar in Photography and Film
MASC 605 Technology in the Classroom
MASC 611 Research Methods in Mass Communications
MASC 612 Mass Communication Theory
MASC 613 Mass Media and Society
MASC 620 Seminar in Mass Communications History
MASC 621 Basic Photojournalism
MASC 623 Ethics in Mass Communications
MASC 691 Topics in Mass Communications
MHIS 615 Seminar in Music Theory
MHIS 650 Seminar in Music History
MUED 600 Seminar in Music Education
SCPT 517 Seminar in Contemporary Sculpture
SCPT 591 Topics in Sculpture
SCPT 690 Graduate Seminar
THEA 603 Dramatic Literature and Theory
THEA 604 Modern Theatre: Theory and Practice
THEA 623 Advanced Studies in Modern Drama
THEA 624 Advanced Studies in Modern Drama
THEA 791Seminar in Special Issues in Theatre

3. Interdisciplinary Research and Creative Work
The student’s third year will be focused on the conceptualization and production of the dissertation project or creative project of excellence. During those semesters, students will be registered for MATX 897 Dissertation Project. Students must take at least six hours of dissertation credit, and may register for one to nine credits per semester.

It is expected that full-time students will satisfy all requirements within three to five years. Part-time students may take the full seven years to complete all courses and the research project.

4. Typical Semester-by-Semester Course Sequence

The innovative, interdisciplinary nature of this program will foster a climate of intellectual and creative experimentation, research, and production. Because the candidates will come from diverse fields and, during their course of study, make new intellectual connections, we anticipate that they will forge courses of study that fit their interests and needs most closely. The program does not have “tracks;” rather, students will design their own curriculum to fit their professional and intellectual needs. The following are sample curricula for students in with various interests.

Sample Curriculum for an Art Education Emphasis
First semester: fall — 10.5 credit hours
MATX 600/ENGL 500 Interdisciplinary Lab                  
MATX 601 Texts and Textuality
MATX 602 History of Media, Art, and Text
ARTE 690: Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education

Second semester: spring — 9 credit hours
MATX 603 History of Multimedia and Interdisciplinarity
MATX 604 Production and Application Workshop
ARTH 555 Advanced Studies in Aesthetics and Art Theory

Summer — 3 credit hours
ARTE 501-502 Concepts in Art Education

Third semester: fall — 9 credit hours
ARTE 670 Technology in Art Education
ART studio course
MASC 613 Mass Media and Society

Fourth semester: spring — 9 credit hours
ARTE 665 Curriculum Development and Evaluation
ENGL 661 Themes in Interdisciplinary Studies
ARTE 692: Independent Study
Comprehensive Exam and Research Proposal Approval

Summer — 3 credit hours
ARTE 600 Seminar: Issues in Art Education

Fifth semester: fall — 3-9 credit hours
PAPR 527 Art and Critical Theory
ARTE 692: Independent Study

Sixth semester: spring — 3-9 credit hours
MATX 897      Dissertation Project

Sample Curriculum for a Textual Studies Emphasis

First semester: fall — 10.5 credit hours
MATX 600/ENGL 500 Interdisciplinary Lab                  
MATX 601 Texts and Textuality
MATX 602 History of Media, Art, and Text
ARTE 690: Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education


Second semester: spring
— 9 credit hours
MATX 603 History of Multimedia and Interdisciplinarity
MATX 604 Production and Application Workshop
ENGL 531 Literary Theory

Summer — 3 credit hours
ENGL 553 Topics in Linguistics

Third semester: fall — 9 credit hours
ENGL 661 Interdisciplinary Studies
ARTH 571 Film Theory
MATX 690  Seminar in Media, Art, and Text 

Fourth semester: spring — 9 credit hours
MASC 612 Mass Communications Theory
ENGL 661 Themes in Interdisciplinary Studies
MATX 791   Directed Study
Comprehensive Exam and Research  Proposal Approval

Summer — 1-3 credit hours
MATX 672 Independent Study

Fifth semester: fall — 3-9 credit hours
ENGL 620       Patterns in Literary Thought
MATX 791     Directed Study

Sixth semester: spring — 3-9 credit hours
MATX 897      Dissertation Project

Sample Curriculum for a Digital Media Focus

First semester: fall — 10.5 credit hours
MATX 600/ENGL 500 Interdisciplinary Lab                  

MATX 601 Texts and Textuality
MATX 602 History of Media, Art, and Text
ARTE 690: Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education

Second semester: spring — 9 credit hours
MATX 603 History of Multimedia and Interdisciplinarity
MATX 604 Production and Application Workshop
MASC 612  Mass Communications Theory


Third semester: fall — 9 credit hours
ARTH Advanced Studies in Film
CARD Visual Communications Seminar
MASC 613 Mass Media and Society

Fourth semester: spring — 9 credit hours
ENGL 661 Themes in Interdisciplinary Studies
MATX 690 Seminar in Media, Art, and Text
MATX 791 Directed Study
Comprehensive Exam and Research Proposal Approval

Fifth semester: fall — 3-9 credit hours
MASC 691 Topics in Mass Communications
ARTE 692: Independent Study

Sixth semester: spring — 3-9 credit hours
MATX 897  Dissertation Project

Sample Curriculum for a Visual Arts and Media Focus

First semester: fall — 10.5 credit hours
MATX 600/ENGL 500 Interdisciplinary Lab                  

MATX 601 Texts and Textuality
MATX 602 History of Media, Art, and Text
ARTE 690: Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education

Second semester: spring — 9 credit hours
MATX 603 History of Multimedia and Interdisciplinarity
MATX 604 Production and Application Workshop
PAPR 527 Art and Critical Theory

Third semester: fall — 9 credit hours
SCPT 500 Graduate Sculpture
DESI 601 Interdisciplinary Design Seminar
MATX 690 Seminar in Media, Art, and Text

Fourth semester: spring — 9 credit hours
SCPT 591 Topics in Sculpture: Virtual Interactive Worlds
ENGL 661 Themes in Interdisciplinary Studies
Comprehensive Exam and Research  Proposal Approval

Fifth semester: fall — 3-9 credit hours
SCPT 690 Graduate Sculpture Seminar
MATX 897 Dissertation Project

Sixth semester: spring — 3-9 credit hours
MATX 897  Dissertation Project

Dissertation Research

a. Dissertation Proposal
Before embarking on the dissertation (project of excellence), the candidate must submit a project proposal. The dissertation proposal is a plan that the candidate develops to serve as a guide in his or her dissertation research. This proposal should include the significance of the research, a short review of relevant literature, the research questions, the proposed methodology and media to be used, an outline of the student's anticipated time/work schedule, and a bibliography (or other appropriate list of texts). Final approval of the project proposal will be part of the student’s oral examination during the fifth Semester of the student’s studies. The candidate is responsible for providing one copy of the proposal to each dissertation committee member at least two weeks prior to the oral presentation. Following that meeting, the committee will decide to accept the proposal, accept the proposal with specified revisions, or reject the proposal. The dissertation proposal will have to be approved also by the MATX director. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal, candidacy for the doctoral degree will be granted. Only after candidacy is granted may a student enroll for dissertation credits.

b. Dissertation Project
The interdisciplinary nature of this program, joining students in traditional academic fields with those in creative or technological fields, means that the student’s final project of excellence should be especially innovative and original in terms of form and content. Students must conduct a substantial original investigation or produce a significant creative project in any number of media (including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, written, electronic). Students submitting a creative dissertation or project of excellence must also produce a substantial written document that provides an intellectual context for, and theoretical interpretation and analysis of the creative product. The committee for the dissertation project consists of a director (who must hold a Ph.D.), and no fewer than two and no more than four other faculty members representing the disciplines addressed in the dissertation. The committee must have a least one member from each of the sponsoring units (School of the Arts, School of Mass Communications, and Department of English).

c. Dissertation Defense
After students complete their dissertation project, an oral defense of the dissertation under the direction of the student’s dissertation project committee and open to all faculty members and other graduate students, shall be scheduled to examine the student’s project, intellectual context (both within the discipline and within the program), and the underlying fundamental knowledge or contribution across the disciplines. An announcement of the oral defense, including the candidate’s name, dissertation project title, and the day, place and time of the defense, shall be made at least 10 working days in advance of the defense.

Following the oral defense of the dissertation, all committee members will vote on the acceptability of the dissertation project. The committee may decide to approve the dissertation as written, request the candidate to make specific changes, or reject the dissertation. A student can pass the oral defense, signifying that the committee has accepted the dissertation project, with no more than one negative vote; the positive votes should include that of the committee chair. Upon successful completion of the defense and dissertation, the student may apply for graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Media, Art, and Text.

Graduation
To graduate, students must complete the requirements for the MATX program and submit a completed graduation application. Graduation applications, available in Founders Hall, Room 104, must be submitted to the student's adviser during the first two weeks of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students must be enrolled the semester they plan to graduate.

Program Organization
The MATX committee, with the director of the MATX program and coordinator of graduate studies as ex-officio members, and faculty representing the three participating units (English department, School of the Arts, and School of Mass Communications), monitors the program. The Committee serves as an admission committee, reviews student requests for special action (including waivers of requirements), and evaluates dissertation proposals. The Committee also meets to consider curricular change and serves as an advisery committee to the Director.

Administration of Participating Units
Fred Hawkridge, Acting Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences
Catherine Ingrassia, Associate Dean College of Humanities and Sciences
F. Douglas Boudinot, Dean, School of Graduate Studies
Richard E. Toscan, Dean of the School of the Arts
Judy V. Turk, Director, School of Mass Communications
Terry Oggel, Chair, Department of English

MATX committee:
Marcel Cornis-Pope, Director MATX Program
Thom Didato, Graduate Studies Coordinator
Michael Keller, Technology Coordinator

Participating Faculty:

Department of English

Katherine Bassard, director M.A. Program
Laura Browder
Tom De Haven
Greg Donovan, Senior Editor of Blackbird
Joshua Eckardt
Richard Fine
Nick Frankel
Les Harrison
Elizabeth Hodges
Jim Kinney, director of undergraduate studies
David Latané
Gretchen Soderlund
David Wojahn, director M.F.A. program

School of the Arts Faculty

Pam Taylor, Art Education
Eric Garberson, Art History
Matt Woolman, Acting Chair Communication Arts and Design
John Demao, Communication Design, Assoc. Dean for Qatar
Bob Kaputof, Area Head Kinetic Imaging
Pam Turner, Kinetic Imaging
Richard Roth, Chair Painting and Printmaking
Peter Baldes, Painting (digital imaging)
Noreen Barnes, Theater

School of Mass Communications

Fenske, Mark, Advertising/Creative
Martin, Ernest F. (Ernie), Public Relations
Otto, Paula, Electronic Media/Television
Ryan, Tracy, Advertising Research
Sherman, Scott, Advertising
Sims, Will, Advertising and Cultural Studies
Thomas, Clarence, Electronic Media/Broadcast History
Wenger, Debora, Media Convergence

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