New Media

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) is an interdisciplinary research center that studies and shapes media transition and emergence from diverse perspectives. Through critical thinking and making, we cultivate technological equity and fairness in our classrooms, in our communities, and on the internet. BCNM offers two programs for graduate students at UC Berkeley, a Designated Emphasis in New Media and a Graduate Certificate.

Designated Emphasis

BCNM's designated emphasis is for selected students from any Berkeley doctoral program. It provides enhanced skills in analyzing and/or designing future media with an awareness of historical, social, cultural, and other perspectives that might not be visible from any single disciplinary point of view. Students completing the PhD program receive the designation "in New Media" on their diplomas. New Media Designated Emphasis students are also eligible for a variety of fellowships and graduate student instructor positions through BCNM.

Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in New Media is an addition to existing master’s degree-granting programs. Students receive a certificate with the designation “Graduate Certificate Program in New Media,” which certifies their successful completion of the New Media requirements. The award is posted to students’ transcripts. Designed to enhance interdisciplinary graduate studies at UC Berkeley, the graduate certificate program emphasizes a critical understanding of the nature and implications of new media, broadly conceived, drawing on theories and methodologies from across the disciplinary spectrum—the arts, the humanities and social sciences, and science and engineering. The Graduate Certificate in New Media provides students with a competitive edge for some of the most desirable jobs in industry and academia and may enhance opportunities for innovative and collaborative research.

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Admissions

Admission to the Designated Emphasis

Any UC Berkeley PhD student in good standing may apply. Admission to the BCNM Designated Emphasis program is determined by the BCNM DE Academic Programs Committee. To apply, students must send a letter of intent, their curriculum vitae, a letter of recommendation from their UC Berkeley faculty adviser, their Berkeley course transcript, BCNM course requirements worksheet, along with the BCNM cover form to the Center for New Media. Applications are accepted twice a year, with deadlines for admission on March 1 and November 1.

Admission to the Masters Certificate Program

Any UC Berkeley master's student in good standing may apply. To apply, students should send a letter of intent, their curriculum vitae, a letter of recommendation from their UC Berkeley faculty adviser, their Berkeley course transcript, BCNM course requirements worksheet, along with the BCNM cover form to the Center for New Media. Additionally, applicants may supplement their portfolio with their own research publications and creative productions, which pertain to the critical study of new media, in the form of DVDs, websites, and so on. Submitting a creative portfolio is optional. Applications are accepted twice a year, with deadlines for admission on March 1 and November 1.

Designated Emphasis Requirements

Curriculum/Coursework

Core courses
NWMEDIA 200History and Theory of New Media4
AND
NWMEDIA 201Questioning New Media3
Tech course
NWMEDIA 202New Media Methods3
OR
NWMEDIA C203Critical Making4
OR
NWMEDIA 204Critical Practices: People, Places, Participation4
OR
NWMEDIA C262Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces4
OR
NWMEDIA C263Technologies for Creativity and Learning3
OR
NWMEDIA C265Interface Aesthetics3
Electives
Select at least two additional 3-4 unit courses that significantly deal with new media, approved by the BCNM graduate adviser. All NWMEDIA courses automatically count towards the elective requirement.

It is possible to provide evidence of equivalent level of experience/skill in an area and request a waiver of a core course by writing a petition to the DE academic program committee, endorsed by your program adviser, describing how the requirement has been met with a previous course (include a copy of your transcript to confirm completion) or provide evidence of equivalent experience. Questions about the core requirements may be addressed to the BCNM graduate adviser, Kimiko Ryokai, at kimiko@berkeley.edu.

Qualifying Examination

Your PhD qualifying exam committee must include at least one member of the BCNM Graduate Group/Affiliated Faculty who will evaluate your knowledge related to the designated emphasis.

Dissertation

Your PhD dissertation topic must be related to New Media and your PhD dissertation committee must include at least one member of the BCNM Graduate Group/Affiliated Faculty who can evaluate it from that perspective.

Certificate Requirements

Curriculum/Coursework

Core Classes

Certificate students must take one of the following core seminars offered each year by BCNM:

Core course
NWMEDIA 200History and Theory of New Media4
OR
NWMEDIA 201Questioning New Media3
Electives
Students should take two 3-4 unit graduate courses that substantially deal with new media and are approved by the Graduate Advisor. Each elective should represent a different field of the following three fields: humanities, arts/design, technology.
The following courses are pre-approved to count for electives:
NWMEDIA 202New Media Methods3
NWMEDIA C203Critical Making4
NWMEDIA 204Critical Practices: People, Places, Participation4
NWMEDIA C262Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces4
NWMEDIA C263Technologies for Creativity and Learning3
NWMEDIA C265Interface Aesthetics3
NWMEDIA 290Special Topics in New Media1-4
NWMEDIA 299Individual Study or Research1-4

Research Resources

Lyman Fellowship

The Peter Lyman Graduate Fellowship in new media, established in the memory of esteemed UC Berkeley Professor Peter Lyman, provides a stipend to a UC Berkeley PhD candidate to support the writing of his or her PhD dissertation on a topic related to new media. The fellowship is supported by donations from Professor Barrie Thorne, Sage Publications and many individual friends and faculty. Funds total approximately $6,000 each year. More information can be found here.

Summer Research Fellowships

The Center for New Media offers summer research fellowships of $1,000 to support its graduate students’ research agendas. More information can be found here.

Conference Fellowships

We’re proud to support our students as they share their scholarship across the globe. Each semester, the BCNM is able to offer a small subsidy for students attending the premiere conferences in their fields. To be eligible to apply, students must be presenting a paper or poster on their research at a professional conference. Grant amounts depend on the location of the conference and the number of applications received. More information can be found here.

Undergraduate Research Support.

Each year, graduate students have the opportunity to apply for undergraduate research assistance. We select two-three projects and fund a research assistant to support the graduate's work. The graduate student also receives $500 for their mentoring.  More information can be found here.

Additional Conference and Research Support

Each year, BCNM provides seed funding for student-led conferences. These awards are available by petition to the director and program officer.

Space

Cubicles are available by application on the fourth floor of Sutardja Dai Hall. The BCNM also administers 340 Moffitt, which can be booked for classes, office hours, seminars, and meetings.

Community

  • We are affiliated with several working groups across campus, including the New Media Working Group and the Color of New Media Working Group
  • We offer our Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, and History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series each year, as well as additional symposia. Our graduate students receive reserved seats and are invited to attend speaker dinners.
  • Our faculty cross schools and divisions across campus and are available to offer interdisciplinary advice and mentoring.

Teaching Opportunities

The BCNM strives to provide its graduate students with opportunities for teaching experience. Each year, the center employs three to six GSIs (graduate student instructors) to staff small discussions or assist with grading its three core courses.

The BCNM seeks to offer summer session courses and encourages its students to apply for these positions.

For more information, visit the Berkeley Center for New Media website.

Courses

New Media

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Dor Abrahamson, Associate Professor. Education.
Research Profile

David Bamman, Assistant Professor. School of Information.
Research Profile

Ed Campion, Professor. Music.
Research Profile

Coye Cheshire, Professor. School of Information.
Research Profile

Abigail De Kosnik, Associate Professor. Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Research Profile

Paul Duguid, Adjunct Full Professor. School of Information.
Research Profile

Laurent El Ghaoui, Professor. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Research Profile

Keith Feldman, Associate Professor. Ethnic Studies.
Research Profile

Jacob Gaboury, Assistant Professor. Film & Media.
Research Profile

Ken Goldberg, Professor. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Research Profile

Björn Hartmann, Associate Professor. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Research Profile

Richard Koci Hernandez, Associate Professor. Journalism.
Research Profile

Shannon Jackson, Professor. Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Research Profile

Sonia Katyal, Professor. Law.
Research Profile

Asma Kazmi, Assistant Professor. Art Practice.
Research Profile

Celeste Kidd, Assistant Professor. Psychology.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies.
Research Profile

Tom McEnaney, Associate Professor. Comparative Literature and Spanish & Portuguese.
Research Profile

Jill Miller, Assistant Professor. Art Practice.
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Greg Niemeyer, Professor. Art Practice.
Research Profile

Eric Paulos, Associate Professor. Computer Science.
Research Profile

Jeremy Rue, Adjunct Associate Professor. Journalism.
Research Profile

Kimiko Ryokai, Associate Professor. School of Information.
Research Profile

Alex Saum-Pascual, Associate Professor. Spanish & Portuguese.
Research Profile

Neyran Turan, Associate Professor. Architecture.
Research Profile

Kristen Whissel, Professor. Film & Media.
Research Profile

Clancy Wilmott, Assistant Professor. Geography.
Research Profile

Damon Young, Associate Professor. Film & Media and French.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Center for New Media

426 Sutardja Dai Hall

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Director

Abigail De Kosnik (Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies)

adekosnik@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Advisor

Kimiko Ryokai (Information)

kimiko@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Lara Wolfe

lara@berkeley.edu

Events Coordinator & Office Manager

Sophia Hussain

shussain@berkeley.edu

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