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


The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in ATEC is a terminal degree for those who wish to teach arts and technology-related courses at the college level, as well as for those who intend to engage in professional studio or design practice. Students participate in a culture of community and critique, while focusing on developing their own creative use and critical investigation of technology in artistic practices. They learn to present their work, incorporate feedback, and situate their practice within aesthetic, historical, and cultural contexts. After completing their interdisciplinary coursework, students develop a thesis project that includes a public presentation.
Students are admitted to one of three pathways within the ATEC MFA:
Animation: In the ATEC with Animation MFA pathway, students explore the history and cultural contexts of animation and produce animated content for storytelling, aesthetic, problem-solving, or experimental purposes.
Creative Practice: In the ATEC with Creative Practice MFA pathway, students explore and produce art and technology as collaborators, creative opportunists, critical researchers, project developers, boundary transgressors, and experimenters who aren’t afraid to fail.
Game Development: In the ATEC with Game Development MFA pathway, students study the structure, content, and design of games and engage in game design practices suitable for academic, educational, experimental, independent, and commercial applications.

Program Information

School: School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Program: Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Catalog page: MFA

Other program information:

Pathways: Animation, Creative Practice, Game Development

MFA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication Fact Sheet

MFA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication Fact Sheet

Application Requirements

Degree requirements: Previous academic degree (BA or BS, MA or MFA) in an appropriate field (i.e., Art, Computer Science).

GPA: 3.3 (especially in upper-division undergraduate and graduate work).

Letters of recommendation: 3

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can judge the candidate's probability of success in graduate school.

Admissions essay required: Yes

Students applying to the MFA program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should submit a 500-700 words essay explaining their work or research. The essay will discuss past and present artistic practices as well as future directions or goals for the work, and describe how the Master of Fine Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication is particularly suited to their professional goals.


For priority consideration for admission and funding, completed applications to the MFA program must be received on or before December 1. If space remains, applications will continue to be accepted in accordance with university deadlines. Students are accepted for the fall semester only.

ATEC is not currently accepting applications to the Game Development pathway. Applicants with an interest in Game Development are encouraged to review the other pathways to evaluate how they might intersect with their interests.

Other application requirements:

Evidence of previous course work and/or expertise in the creative arts and digital technology is required. Applicants to the MFA program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication should also submit a collection of original art work demonstrating their artistic range and skills as evidence of previous course work and/or expertise in the creative arts and digital technology. These samples should be submitted in the form of a link to an online repository or portfolio of digital documents, which may include texts, still images, animations, films, or audio files in a format that is best suited to convey the artistic qualities of the documents without specialized software.


ATEC Advising
800 W. Campbell Rd, ATC 10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

Possible Careers

Career opportunities include, but are not limited to, the application of 3-D computer animation, modeling and simulation, data visualization, virtual environments, sound design, digital fabrication, interactive narrative, and/or game design in studio arts, creative industries, cultural institutions, or education.

Salary Information

See Bureau of Labor Statistics for detailed salary information on these careers. Another great resource is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


The University of Texas at Dallas | Office of Admission and Enrollment 1-972-883-2270
Student Services Bldg | 800 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021 1-800-889-2443