Are you ready to become a Banana Slug?  Apply now to the Computational Media Masters and PhD program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Undergraduate Preparation for Admission

For the Computational Media MS and PhD, students should have strength in at least one of the areas that will be important to their work. This could be a background in artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, graphics and visualization, software engineering, or some other area of computing. Or it could be strength in game design, in cultural interpretation, in an application area of serious games (such as wellness or learning), or in literary, visual, or auditory arts. 

The minimum background for consideration for admission to both the MS and PhD program is:

  • A BS or BA in either:
    • An interdisciplinary area related to computational media, such as Game Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Art, or Informatics OR
    • A disciplinary area that can be applied to computational media, such as Computer Science, Media Studies, Creative Writing, or Psychology
  • A portfolio containing at least one project in the student’s planned area of graduate study (e.g., a physical or digital game, a paper critically analyzing works of computational media, a media-oriented technical project, a report of a human subjects study of media or interaction).

To be considered for admission to the PhD program, we prefer to see applicants having already completed a significant project that has resulted in publication, exhibition, and/or other professional-level review and dissemination.

Note that while many students do enter the Computational Media department's degrees with strong computing backgrounds, students with strength in other areas are encouraged to apply. Our programs are designed to accommodate students who come in with limited formal computing backgrounds, as well as those for whom computing is a strength. We do still recommend that all students develop at least basic knowledge of computer programming before beginning these programs

Application Materials

Application Fee (Domestic):  $120
Application Fee (International):  $140

Application Instructions & FAQ



For more information, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at