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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Computational Media Design CMD
Computational Media Design CMD
Contact Information

Location: Information and Communications Technology Building, Room 602
Program number: 403.220.7495
Fax: 403.284.4707
Email address: cmd@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: cmd.ucalgary.ca

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based

These degrees are offered jointly through the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science; Faculty of Environmental Design; and Department of Art and School of Creative and Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts.

Students may register in the MSc and PhD programs as part-time students only with permission from the CMD Steering Committee.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements, the CMD program requires two reference letters dated within twelve months of the date of application and:

Master of Science

a) While applicants from any discipline will be considered, undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Art, Dance, Drama, Design or Music are favoured. Starting CMD with a background in one area is possible, but background in two areas is preferred.

b) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 105 (internet-based test), or an IELTS score of 7.5, or a minimum MELAB score of 86 or above is required.

c) A single page statement of interest. This is not a proposal but a declaration of interest in interdisciplinary research in art, dance, drama, design or music and computer science.

d) Applicants must submit a portfolio that provides up to ten examples of their research and creative work. This may include any combination of academic publications and reports, images, video, audio recordings, musical scores, documentation of installations, and written works. Applicants may provide a URL to portfolio items that cannot be uploaded through the application system.

e) A demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary research in art, dance, drama, design or music and computer science.

f) A curriculum vitae.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) All the admission requirements for a Master of Science (above).

b) A master’s degree from a recognized institution. For exceptional students applying directly to the PhD program with a bachelor degree, all the requirements for a Master of Science (above) apply, plus demonstrated exceptional research and/or creative ability. These direct entry students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for the submission of complete applications:

1 February for September admission

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

Graduate courses must be chosen in consultation with the supervisor(s) and approved by the CMD Director.

Students are required to achieve a grade of at least "B" in all courses taken to fulfill CMD course requirements.

Seminar Requirement: Students are required to give a CMD seminar presentation on a topic related to their graduate research/creative practice.

Master of Science

a) Course Requirement:

  • One research methodology course from Computer Science, Environmental Design, Art, Dance, Drama or Music (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent).
  • One Computer Science graduate-level course (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent).
  • One graduate-level course from Art, Dance, Drama, Environmental Design or Music (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent), and
  • Two additional graduate-level courses (6 units or 1.0 full-course equivalent), for a total of 15 units (2.5 full-course equivalents).
  • Additional courses can be required on a case-by-case basis.

b) Supervision as specified in section 9.

c) A Master’s Thesis Proposal as specified in section 11.

d) Master's Thesis.

e) Master's Thesis Oral Examination as specified in section 10.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Course Requirements: At least three graduate-level courses (9 units or 1.5 full-course equivalents) must be taken while the student is enrolled as a PhD student in Computational Media Design at the University of Calgary.

b) Breadth Requirements:

  • One research methodology course from Computer Science, Environmental Design, Art, Dance, Drama or Music (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent)
  • Two Computer Science graduate-level courses (6 units or 1.0 full-course equivalent)
  • Two graduate-level courses (6 units or 1.0 full-course equivalent) from Art, Dance, Drama, Environmental Design and/or Music, and
  • Three additional graduate-level courses (9 units or 1.5 full-course equivalents), for a total of 24 units (4.0 full-course equivalents).

c) An alternative breadth program that satisfies the student, the supervisor(s), the supervisory committee, and the CMD Director may be proposed in special cases.

d) Supervision as specified in Section 9.

e) PhD Candidacy examination as specified in Section 10.

f) PhD Thesis.

g) PhD Thesis oral examination as specified in Section 10.

Exit requirements: MSc students

a) CMD MSc course requirements (see above).

b) Original research and/or creative practice body of work, appropriately scoped for an interdisciplinary MSc.

c) A seminar on the research and/or creative practice body of work conducted during the CMD MSc.

d) CMD MSc thesis and thesis defence (see sections 10 and 11 below).

Exit requirements: PhD students

a) CMD PhD course requirements (see above).

b) CMD PhD candidacy exam (see section 10 below).

c) Original research and/or creative practice body of work, appropriately scoped for an interdisciplinary PhD.

d) A seminar on the research and/or creative practice body of work conducted during the CMD PhD.

e) CMD PhD thesis and thesis defence (see sections 10 and 11 below).

6. Additional Requirements

None.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses will not be considered for advanced standing in the CMD program. Permission that at most 3 units (0.5 full-course equivalent) at the 500 level be included as part of the course work requirement must be sought. This must be recommended by the supervisor(s) and approved by the CMD Director on the appropriate form.

8. Time Limit

MSc maximum time: 4 years; expected completion time 2 years.

PhD maximum time: 6 years: expected completion time 4 years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

For simplifying the explanations in this document and for the purposes of CMD requirements, Art, Dance, Drama, Music and Environmental Design are jointly referred to as Arts and Design. Generally, students are admitted to a specific research area and supervisor. Sometimes students are admitted to a specific lab or research area only, and are assigned an interim advisor.

Appointment of the Supervisor(s): CMD students will have a supervisor and a co-supervisor appointed on their acceptance letter. Between the supervisor and the co-supervisor the disciplines of Computer Science and Arts and Design will be covered. Students may seek a change in research area or supervisor after admission. The student must find a permanent supervisor and a permanent co-supervisor within six months of the start of the program. Such a change must be satisfactory to the student, and supported by the supervisors and must be approved by the CMD Director. The role of the supervisor is to take responsibility for overall guidance, instruction, and research/creative practice supervision. The role of the co-supervisor in this case is to provide supplementary guidance, instruction and research stimulation on a regular and extensive basis.

Doctoral Supervisory Committee: Composition of the Doctoral Supervisory Committee. The Doctoral Supervisory Committee should be constituted by the supervisor and co-supervisor in consultation with the student and must be approved by the CMD Director and sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for confirmation. It will consist of the supervisor and co-supervisor, and two additional members. The two additional committee members may be external to the student's program. At least one of the members of the Supervisory Committee should have had supervisory experience at the doctoral level. Exceptions to this will be considered on an individual basis.

10. Required Examinations

In addition to the general Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis and Thesis Examination Regulations, the following program policies apply:

Final thesis oral examinations are open examinations.

Master’s Thesis Examination

This exam will be conducted as specified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. A thesis component that describes research conducted and/or body of creative work completed is required to complete the program. Graduating students will have to demonstrate skills and expertise in Computer Science and Arts and Design. CMD encourages research and creative work that incorporates aspects of both Computer Science and Arts and Design, thus there is recognition for and appreciation of a thesis that represents an interdisciplinary balance between the fields.

Scheduling of the Examination

The Supervisor and Co-Supervisor must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Examination Committee

The Internal Examiner may be internal to the CMD program. The CMD program membership includes the set of faculty members actively engaged in the program and the supervisor/co-supervisor's academic units (i.e., the Department of Computer Science within the Faculty of Science, Department of Art and School of Creative and Performing Arts within the Faculty of Arts, or Faculty of Environmental Design).

An additional examiner will be from the CMD faculty membership.

PhD Thesis Oral Examination

This exam will be conducted as specified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. A thesis that describes the research conducted and/or the body of creative work completed is required to complete the PhD in the CMD program. The thesis will set the research/work in its literary and new media context and present evidence that the work is worthy of either publication or external recognition. Graduating students will have to have demonstrated skills and expertise in Computer Science and Arts and Design. CMD encourages research and creative work that incorporates aspects of both Computer Science and Arts and Design, thus there is recognition for and appreciation of a thesis that represents an interdisciplinary balance between the fields.

Scheduling of the Examination

All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Examination Committee

The Internal Examiner may be internal to the CMD program. The CMD program membership includes the set of faculty members actively engaged in the program and the supervisor/co-supervisor's academic units (i.e., the Department of Computer Science within the Faculty of Science, Department of Art and School of Creative and Performing Arts within the Faculty of Arts, or Faculty of Environmental Design).

PhD Candidacy Examination

The CMD PhD Candidacy Examination is composed of:

a) A Reading List: The scope of the candidacy exam is defined by a reading list. This reading list is prepared by the student and the student's supervisor(s) in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. This reading list must be approved at least two months before the written and oral candidacy examinations. The reading list may contain, but is not limited to, relevant literature, musical scores, performances, and works of art.

b) A Research Proposal (see section 11).

c) A Written Exam: The CMD written examinations are taken by the candidate after course work is completed, and after approval of the doctoral proposal, and before the oral candidacy examination. The CMD written exam must be approved by the CMD Director, and consists of a take-home examination (normally 6-10 days).

d) A Candidacy Oral Exam: The candidate's reading list, completed written exam, together with research proposal, must be submitted to the examination committee at least 10 working days in advance of the candidacy oral exam. These documents form the basis for the candidacy oral exam. The examination committee consists of the supervisory committee, plus one examiner from the CMD faculty membership, that is the set of faculty members actively engaged in the CMD program, and one examiner from outside the CMD membership and the supervisor/co-supervisor's academic units (i.e., the Department of Computer Science within the Faculty of Science, Department of Art and School of Creative and Performing Arts within the Faculty of Arts, or Faculty of Environmental Design).

The CMD PhD student's External Examiner will be an international expert in the research/creative practice area of the student's research. Faculty of Graduate Studies Conflict of Interest Policy applies (see grad.ucalgary.ca/current/policies-forms/conflict-interest).

Revised candidacy requirements will be posted in the 2017-2018 academic year.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

A research proposal is required for master’s students. The proposal must be approved by both the supervisor and co-supervisor no later than twelve months after starting the program.

At the doctoral level, a research proposal, approved by the student's supervisory committee, must be submitted to the CMD Director at least one week before the departmental written exam begins. The research proposal will contain an abstract, a literature survey (including an analysis of the literature), an overview of the proposed research and creative work, a plan for completing the proposed research and creative work, and references.

12. Special Registration Information

None.

13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of the calendar. Successful applicants may be offered departmental teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships in their offer letter.

Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications as appropriate according to the requirements of the scholarships.

14. Other Information

None.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Information on faculty research interests may be found at: ucalgary.ca/cmd/people.

Registration in all graduate courses requires the approval of the Computational Media Design Director. CMD students are eligible to take any course in Computer Science, Art, Dance, Drama, Environmental Design and Music, provided they have the necessary prerequisites.