DMI Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dynamic Media Institute (DMI)?
The Dynamic Media Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a 60-credit MFA graduate program that focuses specifically on the role of dynamic media in communication design.

Is DMI a full-time graduate program?
DMI offers both full and part-time MFA tracks. To accommodate various individual schedules and allow working professionals to participate in the program, DMI offers students three tracks: full-time in four semesters and part-time in five or six semesters. The only difference between tracks is the distribution of elective credits. DMI also offers a one-year fellowship "non-matriculating track” to which candidates are accepted based on specific project proposals. For more information about our MFA program, click here.

DMI also offers a one-year, 24-credit post-baccalaureate program for professionals from outside the design field that will prepare them for new opportunities in dynamic media design or continuation in the Dynamic Media Institute's MFA program. Candidates work directly with DMI faculty to create a customized curriculum focusing upon principles of communication design and dynamic media. (The post-baccalaureate program is not recommended for those who are primarily interested in traditional print design.) For more information about our post-baccalaureate program, click here.

What types of educational and work experiences do DMI students bring to the program?
DMI welcomes students from diverse educational backgrounds and disciplines. Our students have included architects, industrial designers, programmers, engineers, filmmakers, musicians, anthropologists, photographers, fine artists, and graphic designers. Our student body reflects our cross-disciplinary approach to dynamic media design.

Is DMI an international program?
Yes, DMI students and alumni hail from all over the world including Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, and Yugoslavia.

Who should apply to DMI?
We encourage anyone with a passion for exploring the potential of dynamic media in communication design to apply. Candidates have varying educational backgrounds and work experiences. DMI counts graphic designers, programmers, industrial designers, architects, journalists, social scientists, biologists, dancers, and writers among its graduates. We believe that diversity enriches our program and, in turn, the dynamic media field as a whole.

How many students are typically admitted to the DMI program?
DMI enrolls between eight and ten students annually. DMI values small group interaction and a high student teacher ratio.

Does MassArt offer a traditional graphic design graduate program?
No, DMI is the only graduate communication design program offered at MassArt.

What are the admission requirements for the DMI MFA program?
Click here for complete admission and application information.

When are DMI classes held?
All required and many elective DMI classes are held in the evening, usually from 6:00 or 6:30 to 9:00 or 9:30.

Do I need programming skills to apply to DMI?
While helpful, DMI does not require that incoming students have programming experience. Several classes are offered at DMI that will help students develop their technical and programming skills. General fluency with one or more of the following technologies is strongly encouraged: HTML, digital video and sound editing, AfterEffects, Processing, and database development.

When are admission materials due?
Deadlines for the current admissions period can be found here.

What happens after I've submitted my admission materials?
Each application is carefully reviewed by a panel of DMI faculty. The panel tries to be flexible, using both objective and subjective criteria with emphasis on your portfolio, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and the ability to articulate your interests, influences, and methods of practice. A small group of finalists are invited to interview, preferably in person, with faculty, administration, and current DMI students. Interviews provide the opportunity to learn more about you, your work, and your educational goals. Finally, DMI faculty and MassArt Graduate Program administrators work together to select a group of students who can bring varied and complimentary experiences, backgrounds, and skills to the program.

Are assistantships available to DMI students?
MassArt awards three different types of assistantships to graduate students: technical, administrative and teaching. All assistantships are assigned as either quarter, half, or full assistantships; the award amount is based on the number of hours worked per week. All assistantships are determined by student need and ability, departmental needs, and budgetary allotments. Although most graduate students receive at least one assistantship for which they are qualified, there is no guarantee that a student will be awarded an assistantship.

Can I visit DMI?
Yes, visits to DMI are strongly encouraged and provide prospective students the opportunity to speak with faculty, students, and administrators as well as sit-in on classes. To make an appointment, contact Assistant Professor Joseph Quackenbush at joseph.quackenbush@massart.edu.

Is it possible to speak to DMI students or alumni?
Yes, we can arrange for you to speak to current DMI students or alumni. Contact Assistant Professor Joseph Quackenbush at joseph.quackenbush@massart.edu for more information.

Is it possible to take courses in other MassArt departments?
Yes, DMI students are eligible to take courses in other MassArt graduate and undergraduate departments. MassArt is also a member of the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium which allows students to enroll in courses in other area colleges including Simmons and Emmanual. For more information on Colleges of the Fenway, click here.

Is financial aid available to DMI students?
Yes, DMI students are eligible for financial aid. The amount of aid available varies for each student based upon any number of factors. Upon acceptance into the program, students work with MassArt’s graduate department and financial aid office to determine the best financial aid package.

What is the tuition for the DMI program?
Click here for the latest news on tuition and fees at MassArt.

Does DMI require students to complete a thesis?
Yes. All DMI students are expected to develop a thesis. From our point-of-view, a thesis is a coherent body of work that investigates deeply one subject area within the field of dynamic media design. A thesis will include research, project work, and a written document. Project work can be in the form of multiple small projects or one large project.

What types thesis projects do DMI students develop?
DMI encourages its students to pursue their own passions within the field of dynamic media design. As a result, our students produce thesis on a wide variety of topics including interface design, data visualization, interactive narrative, physical interfaces, learning tools, multimedia installations, and dynamic information environments. A short list of thesis projects will give you some idea of the range of work our students produce:

Click here for a complete list of DMI projects.

Does DMI require a written thesis document?
Yes, DMI requires students to produce a written thesis that documents their research, project, and theoretical work in the program. Students participate in two required writing seminars designed to develop the final written and designed thesis document.

What do DMI students do after graduation?
Many DMI students go into college and university-level teaching positions. DMI alumni teach in institutions throughout the US and Europe. Other DMI students enter the commercial design field typically working in senior-level creative positions in all types of agencies and firms throughout the US, Europe, and Far East. Some DMI students go on to develop their thesis projects into commercial endeavors or start their own design firms.

Who teaches in the DMI program?
There are four core faculty members for the DMI program, all of who also teach in the undergraduate communication design program at MassArt. Students also work regularly with outside critics, visiting lecturers, and adjunct faculty who represent a diverse group of theorists, designers, technology specialists, and media historians. Click here to learn more about our faculty, advisors, and visiting critics.

Are there opportunities for collaboration?
Yes! Students frequently collaborate on class and thesis projects. Students and faculty work together to develop exhibits such as the recent [if/then] of dynamic media, conferences such as the 2008 AIGA Massaging Media 2 Design Educator Conference, lectures such as the DMI/Media Tech Tonic series, publications such as The Language of Dynamic Media: Works from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art, and to continually update the DMI web site.

More Questions?
Contact our graduate programs office at gradadmissions@massart.edu or (617) 879-7166.

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