Certificate in New Media

Certificate in New Media

Next deadline – November 1, 2024

The Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) offers a Graduate Certificate in New Media as a coursework certification for Master’s students.

Designed to enhance interdisciplinary graduate studies at UC Berkeley, the Graduate Certificate Program emphasizes critical understanding of the nature and implications of new media, broadly conceived, drawing on theories and methodologies from across the disciplinary spectrum—the arts, the humanities and social sciences, and science and engineering. The Graduate Certificate in New Media provides students with an introduction to the different facets of new media research and an ensuing competitive edge for some of the most desirable jobs in industry and academia. Affiliation with the New Media faculty and student community may enhance opportunities for innovative and collaborative research.

The Graduate Certificate in New Media serves as an adjunct to existing master’s degree-granting programs. Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will receive a certificate with the designation: “Graduate Certificate Program in New Media.” This designation certifies that you have participated in, and successfully completed, a Certificate Program in New Media in addition to your home department’s requirements for the master’s degree. The award of the certificate will also be posted to your transcript.

Application Process

The Graduate Certificate is designed for first-year master’s degree candidates in all terminal master’s programs associated with the Berkeley Center for New Media, including, but not limited to, Anthropology, Art Practice, Architecture, International and Area Studies, Music, and the Schools of Engineering, Education, Information, Journalism, and Law.

Students pursuing a Ph.D. who are interested in new media must pursue the Designated Emphasis (D.E.) in New Media, completion of which requires additional coursework.

Admission Criteria

The admission process is competitive—only six to ten students will be admitted to the program each year. Candidates must submit an application portfolio for review prior to completing 50% of their graduate curriculum. Admission to the BCNM Designated Emphasis program is determined by the BCNM DE Academic Programs Committee. Applications are accepted twice a year, for Fall and Spring admittance to the program. Applications for Spring 2024 admission are now closed. Applications for Fall 2024 are due on November 1, 2024.

To apply, please fill in this form and upload the following documents:

  • Letter of intent summarizing your research interests and background in new media (1 page).
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of recommendation from your UC Berkeley faculty advisor
  • Course transcript from Berkeley
  • Proposed study plan to fulfill the program’s course requirements. Courses do not need to be completed by the time of application. This form does not need to be signed.

Additionally, your faculty advisor should send a letter of recommendation to lara [​at​]

Finally, applicants have the option to supplement their portfolio with their own research publications and creative productions, which pertain to the critical study of new media, in the form of DVDs, websites, and so on. Applicants should have at least a 3.0 grade-point average in their work at Berkeley and no “Incomplete” grades on their record.

Submitting a creative portfolio is optional. It is meant for applicants who feel that they have something creative to share with the admissions committee. Please note that it will not reflect negatively on applicants if they choose not to submit a portfolio. Please also note that BCNM cannot be held responsible for any creative materials lost or damaged while in our possession or in transit. Please do not send us original work. Applicants who would like portfolios returned must include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the portfolio.

Course Requirements

Certificate students must take at minimum 3 courses (9-12 units) in order to be awarded the certificate. Courses must be taken for a Letter Grade (LG), not Pass/No Pass (P/NP).

1) Core Courses

Certificate students must take one of the following core seminars offered each year by BCNM:

  • NWMEDIA 200, History and Theory of New Media (4 units) This lecture/seminar course provides a broad historical and theoretical background for new media production and practice. The class will map out theoretical approaches from different disciplines and allow graduate students to discuss and apply them to their own research projects.
  • NWMEDIA 201, Questioning New Media (3 units) This seminar is held in conjunction with the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, a lecture series which brings internationally known speakers to campus to present their work on advanced topics in new media. Students will enhance skills in “questioning” new media: how to think critically about advanced topics in new media, how to use new media resources such as the internet to research pioneering work in new media, how to formulate incisive questions about new media, and how to evaluate and create effective presentations on topics in new media.

2) Breadth Courses

Students must complete new media-related breadth courses in at least two of the following three areas: technology, art/design, and humanities. The two courses must be approved by the BCNM graduate advisor. Breadth courses must be taken at Berkeley (transfer credit will not be accepted). To see courses that have been approved in the past, check out this list here.


What student research projects are currently being conducted at BCNM?
Please see our website for current Research projects.

What if I don’t have a technical or design background?
Candidates do not need to have prior experience with technology or design. BCNM invites students from different educational and professional backgrounds to apply.

How can I find out more about BCNM?
Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the program before applying. Each semester, BCNM holds an Open House for potential applicants who are interested in learning more about the DE and the Certificate Program.

In addition, BCNM hosts workshops and student showcases throughout the year where we discuss student projects and feature multimedia installations including physical and virtual interaction design demonstrations as well as sound and video design projects.

What kind of professors or what departments are affiliated with the program?
BCNM has a core group of exceptional faculty, augmented by a wide-ranging community of affiliated faculty members drawn from such areas as architecture, art history/practice, computer science, engineering, film, literary studies, media theory, music, rhetoric, performance studies, among others. For a list of core and affiliated faculty members, see People.

How does BCNM keep in touch with the larger new media industry?
BCNM hosts special Events that are open to current students, alumni and faculty of Berkeley. Guest speakers are invited regularly to present on various topics related to the industry. Past speakers have included new media entrepreneurs, multimedia artists, educators and alumni.

Where do BCNM alumni work after graduation?
BCNM alumni tend to find jobs in interdisciplinary teaching/research positions as well as in a variety of industries doing many different kinds of work. For a list of academic positions and job titles held by BCNM alumni, see People.

Masters’ Programs (UC Berkeley)


  • M.A. in Folklore


  • M.A. in Architecture
  • M.A. in Arts in Design
  • M.S. in Architecture
  • M.Arch in Architecture
  • M.F.A. program in Art Practice
  • M.A., Group in Asian Studies
  • M.A. in International and Area Studies
  • M.A. in Latin American Studies
  • M.A. in South and Southeast Asian Studies
  • Engineering and Computer Science (M.S.)
  • Haas (M.B.A.)
  • Education (M.A. in Language, Literacy and Culture)
  • M.I.M.S. School of Information (Master in Information Management & Systems)
  • M.A. in Journalism
  • Boalt Hall Law School (J.D. and M.A. programs)

School of Public Health

  • M.P.H., Masters of Public Health
  • M.A. in Biostatistics
  • M.S. in Public Health

Goldman School of Public Policy

  • M.P.P., Master’s of Public Policy

School of Social Welfare

  • M.S.W., Master’s of Social Welfare

College of Natural Resources

  • M.S. in Forestry
  • M.S. in Range Management
  • Master’s of Development Practice
  • M.A. in Statistics