Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) is home to artists, scientists, designers, scholars, and researchers who collaborate to create an exciting and dynamic academic program. Faculty, students, and researchers explore cutting-edge topics through the study of emerging media, artistic production and experimentation with new technologies, and critical engagement with pressing social issues.

Careers in ATEC

Students earning an Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication degree can enter into a wide range of fields across many industries. Graduates gravitate to careers in the fields of media studies, emerging media, user experience and interaction, digital journalism, game design, animation, education, and the medical and science industries.

High School Preparation

Preparation in computer science, communication, digital arts and visual design-related fields is beneficial for students considering a degree in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. As collaboration is a critical component of ATEC, excellent communication skills are important. ATEC students must demonstrate a successful portfolio of work for acceptance into a specialized concentration/pathway. To prepare for this rigor, high school students could begin taking steps toward creating and maintaining a successful portfolio of work.

Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at UT Dallas

Students who complete a BA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication receive a thorough grounding in the mutually productive interaction of technology with the arts, with specific emphasis on the interplay of visual art, music and narrative with the new modes of expression and communication that have emerged from the convergence of computing and media technologies.

All undergraduate students start their studies under the design and production umbrella, which provides a solid foundation in applied design while giving students the flexibility to pursue coursework in any of the areas of study within ATEC. Students interested in pursuing advanced work in a particular area may apply for one of the following specialized pathways/concentrations, which require a portfolio review:

  • Animation
  • Critical Media Studies
  • Games

The Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building

Housed in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology building near the center of the UT Dallas campus, ATEC provides multiple creative labs that feature leading-edge technologies and high performance workstations. ATEC students also have access to a games and media library that holds over 1,000 digital and analog games spanning multiple game platforms including both classics and new releases, and a 24-node, 288-core render farm used by game and animation students.

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication merges the innovation processes of artists, scientists and engineers and explores experimental models through new technologies and the uses, impact and implications of digital technology for communication, culture and commerce.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts: Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Master of Arts: Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Master of Fine Arts: Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Doctor of Philosophy: Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Labs and Studios

The ArtSciLab is a interdisciplinary research lab that carries out national and international investigations on the hybridization of art and science, data visualization and experimental publishing. ArtSciLab exists to support 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.

The Emerging Gizmology Lab researches design, media and culture by studying the exponential proliferation of gizmos (products being built on new technologies). Gizmos are the leading-edge result of the technological imagination at work. The lab tracks, deconstructs and reconstructs gizmos to understand the culture that built them as well as the potential for repurposing them as materials for ATEC research and creative projects.

The Fashioning Circuits Lab is a public humanities project that combines scholarship, university coursework and community engagement. The goal of the project is to explore the ways in which fashion and emerging media intersect and to work with community partners to introduce beginners to making and coding through the arts and humanities. In Fashioning Circuits, “fashion” functions not just as a noun to describe cultural trends, but also as a verb, “to fashion,” to indicate the experiential and problem-based learning strategies of the project and the potential for a diverse range of students to fashion themselves as members of the publics and counter publics of the future.

The Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) Lab performs research on state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) systems and 3-D user interfaces (3DUIs). FIVE Lab researches using immersive VR technologies to promote learning and to provide training solutions that are better than real-world exercises. Researchers investigate the effects of system fidelity through user studies focused on performance, experience, learning and training.

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. Research includes making connections between narrative, new media, digital games, the fine arts, engineering, literature and the humanities through independent research, collaborative projects, and serious game development.

The Public Interactives Research Lab investigates how emerging technologies will transform urban media landscapes. Researchers create new technologies that draw on developments in ubiquitous computing, public art and environmental design to create new interactive public experiences.

The Social Practice and Community Engagement Media Lab (SP&CE Media Lab), fosters knowledge exchange among diverse communities, creates visibility for existing projects that focus on social awareness and community engagement, and facilitates the development of new community-focused projects and collaborations within the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication and with other disciplines at UT Dallas.