Emerging Media Program

Development of specialized skills coupled with interdisciplinary knowledge fusion and problem solving in emerging media

Carnegie Mellon University’s Emerging Media Program offers collaborative masters degrees in the College of Fine Arts (CFA), School of Computer Science (SCS), and the College of Engineering (CIT). The Emerging Media program is based in Pittsburgh with semester/year residency opportunities in Silicon Valley.

The program prepares students to tackle complex challenges in emerging media and produce outcomes with potential for societal impact. Where the "how" and the "why" are addressed in tandem and where quality of experience, growth of cultural capital, societal change, technological advance and economic benefit are integrally connected.

The two-year program consists of a first-year experience that builds fundamental specialized skills, coupled with a second year that focuses on interdisciplinary knowledge fusion and problem solving.

Emerging Media Program students who enter through the College of Fine Arts receive a Masters in Arts in Emerging Media.  Those entering through SCS, will receive a Masters in Science in Emerging Media. For CIT degrees, students will receive a Master of Science in Emerging Media, with the title including the specialization path (i.e. Master of Science in Emerging Media - Mobility).


The Emerging Media degree titles are:


Master of Arts in Emerging Media

Part of the College of Fine Arts (CFA), School of Architecture

Concentration areas in:

Sound, Listening, Computation, and Culture

Tangible Interaction Design

Experiential and Immersive Media

Computation, Visualization, Fabrication


Master of Science in Emerging Media

Part of the School of Computer Science (SCS), Human Computer Interaction Institute

Specialization paths in:

Visual Computing

Multimedia Data Science

Interactions in Media

Sound and Music Computing


Master of Science in Emerging Media - Mobility

Part of the College of Engineering (CIT), Information Networking Institute


Master of Science in Emerging Media – Sensor Networks and Multimodal Signals

Part of the College of Engineering (CIT), Department of Electronic Computer Engineering


Master of Science in Emerging Media – Mechatronics and Controls

Part of the College of Engineering (CIT), Department of Mechanical Engineering


For details on the curriculum and suggested course-flow, please visit Degree Completion Requirements.


In the first year students take at least four courses in their specialization or concentration area. Please view the specialization course options.


Incoming students are required to take 48-717 Emerging Media Professional Seminar during their first semester to expose them to the key components of the Emerging Media Program within and outside of their chosen theme.


In their second year, students participate as developers in two fusion studios. Fusion studios bring together students from many specialization paths and many studios include industry and community participation.  Students have the option of replacing the degree sponsored fusion studios with a thesis and a related independent studio supervised by at least two faculty mentors from different schools.


There are over 15 studios to choose from and they are loosely organized under overarching themes:  

  • Responsive Environments and Human Centered Adaptation
  • Media for Daily Living
  • Mediated Performance and New Content Systems


Students have access to the facilities and graduate student spaces of their admitting College and Department (based on their chosen specialization path) and access to the new IDeATe collaborative making facility in Hunt Library. It includes a digital fabrication shop, a physical computing lab, an interactive media black box, traditional fabrication facilities, and collaborative design studios that also serve as classrooms for the studio-based fusion courses.

Residencies in Silicon Valley

Students may choose to do one year or one semester of fusion studios at the CMU Silicon Valley Campus. Fusion studios in SV will focus on strengths that CMU has in SV (mobility (CIT-SV), games (ETC)) and on opportunities for networked studios across Pittsburgh and SV.

Apply and Contact

To apply please visit our admissions page. If you have any questions please write to Gretchen Graff at ggraff@andrew.cmu.edu or call 412-268-1083.