The MATX program at Virginia Commonwealth University is designed for those who hold a master’s degree (MA, MFA or MS) in a relevant field. Emphasizing original scholarship and cross-disciplinary interaction, the program trains students to do innovative work at the intersections of media, art and text.
The degree requirements are those of a traditional research PhD in the humanities or communications. Although the core curriculum emphasizes research and writing in discussion-based seminars, electives and independent study offer opportunities for creative studio work for those with the requisite background. The dissertation, an original, scholarly examination of some aspect of media, art and/or text, may include work in media other than text as approved by the dissertation committee.
For those whose backgrounds are primarily creative, the MATX program offers an opportunity to conduct historical and/or theoretical research that extends or enriches their established studio or writing practice. The flexible interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to develop their own understanding of the relation between research and creative practice and to demonstrate that understanding in a dissertation combining scholarship and studio work. Although the program provides some work spaces for students, these are not studios and cannot be used for working with most non-electronic media.