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The MAT program is intended for students who have a strong background in the arts, science, or engineering (for example, visual arts, film/video, music, computer science, material science, mechanical engineering, or electrical and computer engineering), and who wish to earn a degree that integrates art and engineering. Prospective students should be ambitious and curious about intermedia art and should be interested in working on group projects and research.

An undergraduate degree (major discipline) in art, music, computer science, engineering, or another relevant field is required. Students are expected to have basic preparation including calculus-level mathematics. UCSB graduate students already enrolled in other degree programs may petition to add the MAT degree as a second degree objective.

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a basic level of proficiency in a MAT cross-discipline. For example, a student's major discipline is in the creative arts, their cross-discipline may be science or engineering. If a student's major discipline is in science or engineering, their cross-discipline may be one of the creative arts.

Applications will be evaluated by MAT faculty members from engineering and the arts. Students who are admitted to the program may be required to complete coursework to reinforce their cross-disciplinary competence during the first year. The department's admission policy is based on intellectual potentials and promise, academic records and programmatic fit. Graduate admission is an academic decision involving factors beyond scores and grades.

MAT offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Media Arts and Technology. For a list of MAT faculty and researchers, visit the Faculty and Researchers page. For more information on the primary areas of research, visit the Research in MAT page.

Students may be admitted to the MAT PhD program in one of three ways:

  1. With an MS degree in Media Arts and Technology. Current MAT MS students may petition for entry into the PhD program. The petition should consist of a new statement of purpose and new letters of reference. Former MAT students must apply via the regular application process.
  2. With an MS or MA degree in a related field (e.g., art, architecture, music, computer science, or electrical and computer engineering). These students must complete or place out of the MAT core courses, or complete other coursework as determined by the MAT faculty.
  3. With a Bachelor's degree, for outstanding well-prepared students. These students must meet the requirements for the MAT Master's degree along the way, including a thesis or project, and will receive an MS degree in the process.

For a student entering with a Master's degree, the time to PhD is typically three to four years. Starting with a Bachelor's degree, the requirements for the PhD are typically completed within four to six years.

Applying for Fall 2017

The deadline for applying to MAT for the Fall 2017 quarter is December 14, 2016 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time).

Applicants are required to complete and submit an application to UC Santa Barbara using the Graduate Division's Online Application Website.

To apply, visit:

To apply to the Media Arts and Technology Program, applicants are required to:

Complete and submit an application to UC Santa Barbara using the Graduate Division's Online Application Website.

In the Graduate Division's electronic application website, you are required to upload the following documents:

In the statement of purpose, applicants should describe their motivations for entering an interdisciplinary graduate program, their general areas of research interest, and how these relate to the interests and directions of MAT. ( Moved from the bottom up to here ).

General Application Requirements:

  1. 3.0 GPA
  2. $90 fee for domestic applicants, $110 for non-domestic applicants
  3. Programming Experience
  4. Portfolio Website (see below)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. GRE scores
  7. International Students must take TOEFL with a minimum score of 550

GRE and TOEFL Tests

The University of California requires that all graduate students take the standard GRE test before they can attend classes. For details see the Graduate Division web site. In addition, international students whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. Students are strongly urged to take GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS tests before applying to the program. If this is not possible, students should explain their situation in their Statement of Purpose and indicate when they will take required tests.

Note that in order to qualify for a University of California graduate fellowship, test scores must be received by UCSB by December 15.

Test scores should be sent to the MAT Program office. The address is:

Attn: Graduate Program Assistant
Media Arts and Technology Program
University of California, Santa Barbara
3315 Phelps Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6065 USA

Online Portfolio Website

The portfolio is submitted as a link to a website, or part of a website, that is designed by the applicant, that documents the applicant’s accomplishments. Portfolios will differ according to the applicant’s background and interests; an ideal portfolio will exhibit both depth and interdisciplinary breath. Examples of portfolio content include:

Portfolio Link Visibility: Please note that, in the interest of openness and transparency in the admissions process, applicant portfolio links will be made visible to current MAT faculty and students. If an applicant wishes to provide confidential portfolio materials for review by the Admissions Committee only, then the applicant must state this clearly and must provide separate, confidential links for this purpose. This issue only pertains to portfolio links. All other application materials are confidential and will only be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.