The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Transmedia Design

The Transmedia Design program, a merger of the Graphic Design and 4D graduate programs within the School of Art, is seeking interested applicants for its inaugural year. The three-year MFA encourages critical research and investigation into contemporary issues informing Design and Time-Based media. Students are encouraged to make lasting connections between traditional and emerging practices, collaborative modes of expression, and alternative problem-solving methods. Studio work spans many areas including interaction design, design strategy, social change, video, film, performance, gaming, storytelling, identity and branding, sound art, information design and motion. Advanced research into theories of systems, sequencing and space are undertaken in upper division courses.

The first two years of study includes coursework within Transmedia Design and electives in the School of Art and across the University as well. In the third year of study, students are responsible for developing, executing and defending a project of their own design. Along with other School of Art MFA candidates, these projects culminate in an exhibit and/or presentation at either the School of Art's Ewing Gallery or UT Downtown Gallery.

The Transmedia Design faculty provide expertise across design and time-based media, serving as a critical backdrop for student investigations. This plays out within a collaborative studio environment exploring and experimenting with issues of the personal, political, cultural and technological. Faculty teaching in the program include:

bivens Emily Bivens / performance, installation, video
magden Norman Magden / performance, projected media
shmerler Deb Shmerler / identity, social cause design
staples Cary Staples / new technologies, interdisciplinary communications
wilson David Wilson / drawing, video
  Paul Harrill / narrative filmmaking, storytelling
  Sarah Lowe / interaction design, digital storytelling

The School of Art is a vibrant studio community offering a host of facilities for use by graduate students throughout the school. Students have access to individual studio space and opportunities to show their work at several local galleries including Gallery 1010, the student art gallery in downtown Knoxville.

Applicants will be considered who possess a BFA or other undergraduate degrees in media, design, art or related disciplines and are willing to commit to a program of integrated studies in Transmedia Design. Depending on background and experience, applicants may be asked to do some proficiency coursework as part of their program. For more information on the application process, including Graduate Assistantships and financial assistance, please visit the Graduate section of the School of Art website.

For specific inquiries into the Transmedia Program, please contact David Wilson at


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System