Students in Digital Art History/Computational Media follow the same general course of required study, but specialize at the thesis level. Digital Art History focused students tend to be most interested in how new technologies and digital humanities methods may be applied to historical and critical questions in art history and visual culture. The Computational Media track emphasizes the affordances, and critique of the technologies themselves in the context of media, information, communication studies, and with an eye towards engaging and critiquing computational media forms of expression. 

The ideal candidate for the MA seeks deeper understanding of the intersection of quantitative and qualitative modes of historical and cultural research, is actively engaged with hands-on computational media production, and is interested in productive cross-overs between arts and sciences communities.  Both tracks prepare students for further graduate study in digital humanities and computational media and for training for jobs in museums and cultural heritage institutions, as well as media, design, advertising, and technical industries, among others.

Students interested in this program should apply to the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media on the Duke Graduate School website. Applications will be vetted by a committee comprised of AAHVS Faculty and the Lab Directors, who will select students based on their qualifications and on the Lab’s ability to take on new students in a given year.

Applications for Fall 2024 admission are due March 5, 2024

To apply, prospective students must submit an online application through the Duke University Graduate School. Applications must include a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, as well as transcripts. For the 2023 application cycle, scores from the GRE General exam are optional. International applicants must submit English language proficiency test scores if English is not their first language.

The statement of purpose should convey an applicant’s interests in our program and their reasons for wanting to pursue master’s level graduate study in digital art history.  The personal statement can and should be written from a first-person perspective, highlighting the applicant’s strengths and relevant background/experience.

The writing sample is intended to convey a sense of the applicant’s capacity for scholarly writing. Generally applicants submit a paper that they may have written for an undergraduate course, 10-20 pages.  In the case of longer written materials, applicants submit a sample of 10-20 pages, with a paragraph explaining how the selection fits within the longer work.  The topics vary depending on the academic background of the applicant, but ideally they relate in some way to -- and reflect the student’s  interest and prior training in -- digital art history.

More information on application requirements can be found at the Graduate School’s Online Application FAQ.

Please note that Duke University does not provide financial support for master’s-level graduate study, but applicants are urged to compete for national and foundation awards or seek student loans. Questions about financial aid should be directed to the Graduate School’s financial aid coordinator. In addition, many MA students take on teaching and research assistant positions, or other jobs on campus, after they arrive. Limited funds to support thesis-related research may also be available.