VCU’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in Media, Art, & Text is a joint endeavor of the Department of English, the School of the Arts and the Robertson School of Media and Culture. The program prepares students primarily to teach at the college or university level, although some pursue careers in related media fields. MATX emphasizes the historical and theoretical foundations essential to the scholarly study of media, both old and new, broadly defined. It provides an intellectually stimulating environment that encourages students to work both collaboratively and independently, as well as across and between disciplines and media. Students maintain a base in their primary area of research, which is usually but not always the field in which they have done prior graduate work.
The degree requirements are those of a traditional research PhD in the humanities or communications. Although the core curriculum emphasizes research and writing in discussion-based seminars, electives and independent study offer opportunities for creative studio work for those with the requisite background. The dissertation, an original, scholarly examination of some aspect of media, art and/or text, may include work in media other than text as approved by the dissertation committee. For those whose backgrounds are primarily creative, the MATX program offers an opportunity to conduct historical and/or theoretical research that extends and enriches their established studio or writing practice. The flexible interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to develop their own understanding of the relation between research and creative practice and to demonstrate that understanding in a dissertation combining scholarship and studio work.