Designated Emphases

Designated Emphases are the equivalent of a graduate minor, providing complementary training that is typically not available from the student's home program. 

Graduate students at UCSC are usually free to take courses from across campus departments and to embark on interdisciplinary research. Designated emphases provide a mechanism through which these efforts can be formally recognized.  As such, DEs are annotations on your graduate degree.  This means that your diploma will include the information on any DE you might complete in addition to the information about the main degree you will be pursuing.  For example, a Ph.D. student in Astronomy and Astrophysics who meets the requirements for the Statistics Designated Emphases would get a diploma that reads "Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics with an Emphasis in Statistics".

The requirements for each designated emphasis are slightly different, but they usually involve a combination of three to five required and/or elective courses, participation seminars, completion of a significant writing, research, teaching, presentation, or production in the discipline of the emphases (usually, as part of the student's dissertation or capstone requirement) and/or faculty membership on qualifying or thesis committee.

The graduate designated emphasis (DE) leading to the degree notation “with an emphasis in Computational Media” provides specialization in the theory, principles, and practices of the field of computational media. This DE is administered by the Department of Computational Media. Students wishing to complete an M.F.A. or Ph.D. degree with an emphasis in this area must satisfy the degree requirements of a primary program as well as of the DE. The DE is most suitable for students pursuing degrees in computer science and engineering, digital art and new media, film and digital media, literature, and psychology. However, students from any area may work in this interdisciplinary field as long as they meet all requirements, including progress, within the primary degree program. It is intended for students in terminal degree programs (e.g., Ph.D., M.F.A.) rather than non-terminal master’s or certificate programs.

You can find more information about the Computational Media Designated Emphases on the UCSC Catalog

The graduate designated emphasis (DE) leading to the degree notation “with an emphasis in Human-Language Media and Modeling” (HLMM) is a collaboration of faculty from the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering, Computational Media, and Linguistics. This DE is administered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Students wishing to complete a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation in this area must satisfy the degree requirements of a primary program as well as of the DE. The DE is most suitable for students pursuing degrees in linguistics, computational media, computer science and engineering, and psychology. However, students from any area may work in this interdisciplinary field as long as they meet all requirements, including progress, within the primary degree program. 

You can find more information about the Human Language and Media Modeling Designated Emphasis on the UCSC Catalog

The graduate designated emphasis (DE) leading to the degree notation “with an emphasis in Robotics and Control” is a collaboration of faculty from several Baskin School of Engineering programs and is administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students wishing to complete a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation in this area must satisfy the degree requirements of a primary program as well as of the DE. The DE is most suitable for students pursuing degrees in Applied Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Statistics, but students from any area may work in this interdisciplinary field so long as they meet all requirements, including progress, within the primary degree program.

You can find more information about the Robotics and Control Designated Emphasis on the UCSC Catalog

Students from another degree program who meet certain requirements can have the designated emphasis of “Scientific Computing” annotated to their degree title. For example, a M.S. or Ph.D. student in physics who meets the requirements would get a certification that reads “M.S. Physics with an emphasis in Scientific Computing" or “Ph.D. Physics with an emphasis in Scientific Computing”.

Upon electing to pursue a designated emphasis (DE) in scientific computing, students must choose a DE faculty adviser in the Department of Applied Mathematics. A list of eligible DE advisers is maintained online. The student must organize a preliminary meeting with the DE adviser, and agree on a plan for completion of the requirements. Once this plan has been designed, the student and the adviser must complete the DE application form available online. The completed application form should then be signed by the Applied Mathematics graduate director, and then filed with the BSOE Graduate Advising Office (bsoe-ga@rt.ucsc.edu). This should ideally be done before the student’s advancement to candidacy (for Ph.D. students), and no later than three months before the planned date for the oral presentation completion requirement.

You can find more information about the Scientific Computing Designated Emphasis on the UCSC Catalog

Students from another degree program who meet the following requirements can have the designated emphasis of "Statistics" annotated to their degree title. In the past, the designated emphases has been popular with students from Computer Science, Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Upon electing to pursue a designated emphasis (DE) in Statistics, students must choose a DE faculty adviser in the Statistics Department. A list of eligible DE advisers is maintained online. The student must organize a preliminary meeting with the DE adviser, and agree on a plan for completion of the requirements. Once this plan has been designated, the student and the DE adviser must complete the Application for a Designated Emphasis in Statistics form. The completed application form should be signed by the student's home department adviser, the DE adviser, and the Statistics Graduate Director, and then filed with the BSOE Graduate Advising Office (bsoe-ga@rt.ucsc.edu). This should be done before the student's advancement to candidacy (for Ph.D. students).

You can find more information about the Statistics Designated Emphases on the UCSC Catalog