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Can I Earn a PhD in Multimedia Design?

Multimedia design is used in various media, and doctorate programs in multimedia design tend to take an interdisciplinary approach. Although a doctoral degree program specifically in multimedia design is rare, there are other doctoral degree programs that may be suitable. Continuing reading for more information about this degree program.

Earning a PhD in Multimedia Design

Multimedia design degrees often combine computer science, art and design courses to prepare students to work in a variety of careers. Degrees in multimedia design are offered by many schools at the undergraduate level, awarding students with associate's or bachelor's degrees. However, these degree programs are extremely rare at the graduate level. However, if you wish to continue your education in this field, there are some other related degree programs that may meet your goals. Since multimedia design is a very collaborative and inclusive field, you might consider other doctoral degree programs in digital arts and experimental media, design science, or even computer science with an emphasis in arts, media and engineering.

Important Facts About These Programs

Prerequisites Masters degree, strong mathematical/analytical skills, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and work portfolio
Programs Study abroad opportunities are available
Online Availability Though none of these programs are fully available online, hybrid programs in visual arts are available
Possible Careers Web developer, graphic designer, cartoonist, video game designer, advertising agent coordinator
Median Salary (2018) $72,520 (for all multimedia artists and animators)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (for all multimedia artists and animators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science: Arts, Media and Engineering

This program emphasizes human interaction with digital media, while exploring ways to improve that interaction using computer science methodology. Programs in this area may be included as part of a computer science degree, or on its own. You will research and create experiential media systems that aid in education and scientific research, provide services for the disabled or bring general conveniences to users. You should expect to devote 3-4 years to the completion of the program. Some of the essential topics covered include:

  • Hardware design languages
  • Data mining
  • Database management
  • Applied cryptography
  • Advanced computer networks
  • Distributed database systems

Doctor of Philosophy in Design Science

A doctoral program in design science provides you with the opportunity to explore multimedia design using a scientific approach. You will learn to recognize a design problem, formulate theories and hypothesis, collect data and conduct experiments to come up with potential solutions. The program encourages an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating theories and methods from diverse fields, such as computer science, engineering and art. You will gain vital skills and comprehensive knowledge of key topics, such as:

  • Design science
  • Design process models
  • Analytical product design

Doctor of Philosophy in Digital Arts and Experimental Media

This research-oriented doctoral program in digital arts and experimental media encourages students to pursue both creative and technical research in this field. The program explores innovations in experimental media. You have the flexibility to focus on a specific area such as digital media art, mechatronics and design computing or a combination of several areas, even bringing in creative research from outside these media. The program typically requires the completion of a specified number of hours, a final project and a 2-part examination. Some of the core concepts explored include:

  • Digital sound processing
  • Telematic art
  • Real-time digital image processing
  • Advanced topics in digital video
  • Mechatronic art, design and fabrication