Computational Media: Interdepartmental Major in Computer Science and Visual and Media Studies

Interdepartmental Major (IDM) and Minor in Computer Science + Visual and Media Studies

The Departments of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Computer Science sponsor an interdepartmental major (IDM) and minor in Computational Media. This IDM is designed for students who want to combine deep theoretical and critical engagement with art, computation, and culture with substantive engagement with core computer science concepts and principles, undertaken alongside hands-on experience with computational media practice. Students interested in areas such as digital humanities, digital media and algorithmic arts, computer interface and experience design, game studies, digital storytelling and data journalism, information aesthetics, computational media ethics, global media studies and related topics will find the program of interest. The major also encourages participation in collaborative, interdisciplinary projects through the required Technical Project Experience, which may be fulfilled through coursework or participation in a variety of related programs, such as the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures labs, as well as Data+Story+Bass ConnectionsCode+CS+, or another approved project experience. The major is managed by Art, Art History & Visual Studies, in coordination with Computer Science.


The Major in Computational Media

Major Requirements. The major includes 14 courses, 7 from Computer Science and 7 from Visual and Media Studies. On the Computer Science side, students must take 4 core courses from COMPSCI 201, 230 or 330, 210 or 250, and a course on computer systems or 370 (Artificial Intelligence) or 371 (Machine Learning).  In addition, 3 electives, which may consist of any COMPSCI course at the 200 level or above, with at most two Research Independent Studies. At least two of the 7 Computer Science courses (core or elective) must be 300-level or above. Prerequisites include COMPSCI 101/102/116, MATH 111, MATH 112, or 100-level STA or higher. On the Visual and Media Studies side, requirements include VMS 202D: Introduction to Visual Culture; one Theories course, 327S: Theories of Visual Studies or LIT 328S: Media Theory, or an approved alternative; two AAHVS practice-based courses or approved alternatives at the 200-level or above; 3 additional 200+ VMS electives, including approved cross-lists; and one approved Technical Project Experience. All majors are also required to submit a Major Portfolio documenting their work.


Students in the Computational Media Major and Minor become members of the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures (CMAC) community, and are encouraged to participate in related workshops, events, and labs. For more information, visit the CMAC website ( and follow us on Twitter (@duke_cmac).

Learn More on the CMAC Website