Degree Requirements

ITP is a two-year graduate program whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of new media — how they might augment, improve, and bring meaning and delight into people’s lives. The program brings together smart, passionate people from different disciplines, provokes them with the skills and conceptual understanding necessary to manipulate new media and then supports the applications students dream up. It is sometimes described as an art school for engineers and at the same time an engineering school for artists. Perhaps the best way to describe us is as a Center for the Recently Possible.

ITP is a two-year program of full-time study leading to the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree. The degree requires completion of a minimum of 60 graduate credits within a three-tier structure. Ours is an experimental undertaking — new classes are regularly added to the curriculum — students joining the program should be prepared to join in the spirit of this experimentation and realize that they are inventing this new field along with their peers and the faculty of ITP.

First Tier – Foundation Courses (16 points)

Foundation classes provide a baseline of technical skills, conceptual understanding and creative process to support and catalyze student projects. Each foundation course will be offered at least once a year. Generally, students will be expected to complete these foundation courses before moving to Tier Two or Tier Three. Sixteen credits in foundation courses are required for completion of the degree program. Due to previous studies or work experience, some students may consider themselves already proficient in a field covered by a foundation course. They may apply to a faculty advisor for permission to waive it. Waiver of a foundation course does not in itself reduce the 60-point requirement for graduation; it means a student will increase the number of elective studies or fieldwork courses taken.

Second Tier – Workshops and Seminars (40 points)

The second tier classes provide students with contexts in which to develop their creative thinking, problem solving and technical abilities. The second tier curriculum changes in response new developments in the field, student interests, opportunities to bring interesting practitioners as teachers and the outcomes of previous semesters. It is a mixture of seminar classes where students read, discuss and write about the implications of new media and production classes where they make things. Students are encouraged to maintain a balance of three production classes and one seminar every semester. Though most classes run for many years, as many as 20% may be experimental. Because failure is a natural outcome of experimentation, students must be prepared to derive value from unexpected outcomes.

Students may also arrange for internship credits. See course listings for more ideas about the types of classes that we have run in the past. The majority of classes are 4 points and students typically take 4 courses each semester. There are a few 2 point classes as well.

Third Tier – Final Thesis Project (4 points)

Students register for a final project seminar that is designed to help them define and execute their final projects. It is structured as a series of critique and presentation sessions in which various aspects of individual projects are discussed. Critique sessions are a combination of internal sessions (i.e., the class only) and reviews by external guest critics. Students are expected to complete and present a fully articulated thesis project and related documentation by the end of their last semester.

Transfer of Credits

Applications for a transfer of credits based on comparable graduate-level courses may be submitted only after three courses have been completed within the program. A maximum of 8 points may be transferred. Applications require the approval of the faculty.

Ownership Policy

The creative works produced by students at the Tisch School of the Arts in fulfillment of class assignments, or as individual study projects, whether made on Tisch School of the Arts premises or elsewhere, with or without Tisch School of the Arts equipment, and with or without extra funds, are subject to certain restrictions until the educational experience associated with such works has been completed. These restrictions are spelled out in the Ownership Policy section in the Tisch School of the Arts Bulletin.