Female Student, 21, looking for Perfect Digital Humanities Program, 2013
So, if you follow me on Twitter, you would know that my tweets have been peppered with the hash tag “#GradSchoolGrind”, a nice phrase that I have been using to describe the grueling process of taking the next step in one’s academic career. Currently I have applied to three Ph.D. programs and I have two more to go for next year, but I wanted to reflect on some of the schools that have caught my interest due to their affiliation with Digital Humanities based pursuits. I would hope that this post can be taken as a resource for other people who are applying to graduate school and as a basis for other graduate students to chime in about how their programs are embracing the Digital Humanities or to give suggestions to the other HASTAC undergrads pursuing further academic education. Due to my particular background most of these programs have a Communication focus that gives students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies.
Currently NYU offers both a Masters and a Ph.D. program under the heading of Media, Culture, and Communication at the Steinhardt School. What caught my eye about this program was the new addition of obtaining a dual degree at Long Island University in MCLS/MA in Media, Culture, and Communication/Library and Information Science. As many of us know, Librarianship is a great alternative academic career, so NYU is a good program to develop both practical and theoretical skills.
If Washington, D.C. politics are your forte then American University might just be the place for you. This Communication program gives you the option to explore a variety of paths by building an individualized interdisciplinary course of education. A great choice for those that have an interest in the way that media works in conjunction with the government and corporations.
With a host of well-known academics (Henry Jenkins, Tara McPherson, Todd E. Boyd, etc) in a variety of disciplines, the Critical Studies program at USC is housed within the Cinematic Arts department and focuses on the theoretical analysis of media texts. With a great reputation and both an MA and Ph.D. program, this is a great school for those who are interested in the many ways that the media shapes our culture and existence.
Another school that caught my eye due to its focus on theory and the great faculty was MIT, of course (Nick Montfort and Junot Diaz anyone?). With the variety of Labs, such as The Digital Humanities Lab and The Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab, this school is on the cutting edge of utilizing and analyzing new media technology. And who doesn’t want to live in Boston for a few years.
One of the more practice based Ph.D./Masters programs on the list, Digital Media at Georgia Tech (as well as Human-Computer Interaction) are both great programs for those that want to produce and analyze texts. With professors like Janet Murray and Ian Bogost, as well as a host of labs and media projects this is definitely the place for those who are interested in both Computer Science and Humanities based learning.
While this is an English based Ph.D. program, it is also incredibly interdisciplinary, with a half and half approach to combining English with the student’s other interests. Students that enter into this program can choose from a variety of other programs and professors within the school to shape their course of study and dissertation project.
This list is by no means the extent of schools that I have researched but it’s a concise list of some key places that I think other HASTAC scholars and participants would be interested in. Feel free to research them for yourself and to add your comments below. Happy Grad School Hunting!