Bachelor of Arts in Emerging Media and Communication

The changing nature of communication in a technologically sophisticated, message-saturated global economy has created a fast-growing need for graduates with the ability to communicate effectively in a wide range and mix of media.

In the Emerging Media and Communication (EMAC) degree program, students learn to combine critical thinking with creative production to become engaged digital citizens.

The EMAC degree addresses the importance of understanding the social and cultural implications of an “always on” world. Through a range of disciplines including media studies, communication, psychology, art, history, writing, philosophy and sociology, students will discover the impact of digital media on our major social structures and cultural institutions, working to understand how this affects what it means to be a citizen in the digital world.

High School Preparation

Students who wish to major in Emerging Media and Communication should complete:

  • Four units of language arts, including at least one unit of writing skills.
  • Two units of a single foreign language.
  • Four units of math.
  • Four units of science.
  • Three units of social science.
  • One unit of fine arts.

Emerging Media and Communication at UT Dallas

The BA in Emerging Media and Communication reflects a commitment to the concept of applied humanities, as the curriculum balances theoretical understanding drawn from media studies, communication, psychology and humanities with opportunities for practical application. These diverse perspectives will help students majoring in EMAC develop the critical skills and technological expertise to become a communicator for the 21st century. EMAC students will be prepared to succeed in the shifting media landscape by using critical, creative and collaborative skills to:

  • Develop creative ways to use emerging technology to express ideas and solve problems.
  • Analyze communication opportunities to determine appropriate media and rhetorical strategies when creating content for existing and/or emerging media platforms.
  • Adapt messages to audiences and technological constraints while retaining, and amplifying, the benefits provided by emerging media.
  • Anticipate the ethical implications of emerging media and their power to shape public opinion.

Careers in Emerging Media and Communication

EMAC’s interdisciplinary foundations help students develop analytical skills to assess the roles and impacts of emerging media and communication. This analytical — rather than pre-professional — focus produces graduates that enter a wide range of fields. Many students gravitate toward careers in digital/social media strategy, user experience and interaction, digital journalism, web development and media production. Students’ abilities to wed analytical skills with digital production also prepare them for careers in education and training, community engagement, digital organizer/campaigner, grant writer, public relations and marketing.

The University’s Career Center is an important resource for students pursuing postgraduate employment. Licensed counselors are available to provide strategies for mastering job interviews, writing professional cover letters and resumes and connecting with campus recruiters, among other services.

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The University of Texas at Dallas

School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Students in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication are encouraged to explore the boundaries and the interrelationships of the major fields of study within the school. Consistent with its focus on the integration of the arts, sciences, humanities, communications and technology and a commitment to interdisciplinary education, the school has no conventional departments. Its curriculum is designed to allow study that crosses and transforms traditional disciplinary lines.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts: Arts and technology, emerging media and communication

Master of Arts: Arts and technology, emerging media and communication

Master of Fine Arts: Arts and technology

Doctor of Philosophy: Arts and technology


The Creative Automata Lab exists to explore how abstract foundation computing artifacts are represented. Representations include functions, equations, dynamic models and formal automata as well as the control and data involved in them.

The ArtSciLab exists to support transdisciplinary innovation that involves art, scientific research, technology development and education. Research includes collaboration between artists and scientists who seek to investigate problems of cultural timeliness and societal urgency.

antÉ— the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems, which is open to all UT Dallas researchers, exists to prepare scientists, particularly those who seek to quantify anticipatory capabilities in high-performance physical and mental activities, aging and illness.

The Arts and Technology Sound Design Research Initiative is developing two deeply interrelated axes of research, production and teaching focusing on rendition of immersive auditory environments and sonification.

The Narrative Systems Research Lab pursues models of understanding, structural research and the creation of new work in the fields of narrative and interactive media.

The Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) Lab performs research on state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) systems and 3D user interfaces (3DUIs). Researchers investigate the effects of system fidelity through user studies focused on performance, experience, learning and training.

The Sensing, Robotics, Vision, Control and Estimation (SeRViCE) Lab focuses on topics of control and estimation with applications in robotics, autonomous vehicles and sensor management. Researchers have expertise in vision-based control and estimation and nonlinear control.

The Visual Computing Laboratory focuses on VESTIGE - Visual Engineering for Specification, Transformation Integration, Generation and Evolution of digital information. The primary aim of this project framework is to develop visual programming and visual language technology and apply such technology to multimedia and web authoring and presentation, software engineering, digital document interchange, data mining and parallel and distributed programming.

The Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is housed in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, a 155,000-square-foot facility. Inside are rooms for games, animation and sound design, a recording studio, a digital fabrication studio, a motion capture lab, anechoic chamber and a photography lab, as well as a 1,200-seat lecture hall.