Digital Arts & Humanities

Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Using digital technologies to explore questions central to the arts and humanities; applying arts and humanities frameworks to digital tools and technologies

Graduate Program Overview

Program Components Expected Duration
MA Coursework and thesis 24 months
PhD Coursework and dissertation 48 months

Digital Humanities, broadly speaking, refers to “the nexus of fields within which scholars use computing technologies to investigate the kinds of questions that are traditional to the humanities…or ask traditional humanities-oriented questions about computing technologies” (Fitzpatrick).

Similarly, Digital Arts is a highly integrated practice combining strong theoretical frameworks with specific acts of making in graphic design, digital photography, digital video and audio editing, web design, 2D and 3D animation, digital writing, and mobile application development. Combining the two fields in one degree facilitates dialogue between creative and humanistic studies — a conversation that is central to the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Research undertaken in this graduate program brings together the Humanities, aspects of the Social Sciences, and the Creative Arts. It employs computing technologies and makerspace methods to address such topics as social justice, access, sustainability, heritage, ethics, labour, ecology, creativity, curation, collaboration, interaction, making, pedagogy, and reading, while posing vital questions about computing technologies themselves.

Applications for the program open September 1st with a deadline of Jan. 15th each year.  Keep up to date on events and information on our DAHU Facebook page and on our DAHU Instagram page

The MA interdisciplinary degree in digital arts and humanities draws upon a well-established network of researchers as the foundation for this program. Graduate students have access to the expertise of diverse, nationally and internationally recognized researchers from a variety of faculties and disciplines in a coherent, thematic framework.

Program milestones
  • establishing a faculty supervisory committee
  • completing coursework
  • preparing, presenting and defending a thesis research proposal
  • completing thesis research and writing, and defending the work
Coursework requirements

18 credits of coursework are required, including:

  • Proseminar in Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS 524)
  • Theme Seminar in Digital Arts and Humanities (IGS 502)
  • One research methods course, (IGS 501 or IGS 506, or another methods course approved by the supervisory committee)
  • Additional coursework, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisor (9 credits)

Students are required to submit a Thesis Proposal of 2,500 words with a four-page bibliography to the Graduate Programs and Planning Committee; it is developed in consultation with your supervisor. The thesis requires an oral defense administered by the College of Graduate Studies.

The PhD degree is centered on participating faculty and students convening on a regular basis to share ideas, learn about each other’s work, identify opportunities for collaboration, and broaden their interdisciplinary expertise. Faculty scholars all have experience with digital arts and humanities research, and are committed to the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

Program milestones
  • establishing a faculty supervisory committee
  • selecting and completing coursework
  • preparing, presenting and defending a thesis research proposal
  • passing an oral candidacy exam
  • completing thesis research and writing, and defending the work.

12 credits are required for the PhD degree, including:

  • Proseminar in Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS 524)
  • Theme Seminar in Digital Arts and Humanities (IGS 502)
  • One research methods course, (IGS 501 or IGS 506, or another methods course approved by the supervisory committee)
  • Additional coursework, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisor (3 credits)

Students must also complete a dissertation after passing an oral candidacy exam. Students are required to submit a Doctoral Planning Report with a four-page bibliography to the Graduate Programs and Planning Committee; it is developed in consultation with your the student’s supervisor.

Career Possibilities

Our MA students will gain a host of skills that prepare them for careers in education, consulting, governmental and non-governmental organizations, industrial sectors, and more. With the research, teaching, making, and analytical skills they gain in the Digital Arts and Humanities theme, our PhD students will be prepared to pursue academic and alternative academic career paths.

Research & Supervisors

This IGS degree draws on the expertise of nationally and internationally recognized faculty researchers with experience with interdisciplinary digital arts and humanities research.

Our research focus includes:

  • Creative Writing
  • Cultural Studies
  • Data Visualization
  • Digital Humanities
  • Digital Media
  • Indigenous Media Arts
  • Media Studies
  • Visual Arts

Please contact a potential faculty supervisor before you start the application process. We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.

Ifeoma Adaji | Computer Science |
Research interests: Designing and developing behavior change systems and persuasive technologies such as serious games and mobile/web applications; modelling the behaviour of online users in social networks and e-commerce systems; data science; social computing; ethics and trust in persuasive technologies.

Diana Carter | Spanish |
Research interests: Digital corpus linguistics; bilingual code-switching; sociolinguistics; the relationship between language, gender identity and education.

Jodey Castricano | Cultural Studies, English |
Research interests: 19th-century studies, including gothic studies and psychoanalysis (Freud/Jung); critical animal studies; ecofeminism; critical and literary theory, film and media studies; feminist and queer theory; ethics; social activism.

Jonathan Cinnamon | Geography |
Research interests: digital geographies; data studies; GIS and society; science and technology studies; urban studies; surveillance; digital/visual methods; alternative urbanisms

Aleksandra Dulic | Visual Art |
Research interests: Visual Art, New media, video, drawing 2D; Media for Social Change; Climate Change; Interactive Art; Experience Design

Liane Gabora | Psychology |
Research interests: Creativity; concepts, especially how they combine and adapt to new contexts; origins of modern cognition; cultural evolution; computer models of the above.

Suzanne Gott | Creative Studies, Art History |
Research interests: African art and visual culture; African women and popular culture; African museums and tangible/intangible cultural heritage.

Neha Gupta | Anthropology |
Research interests: Archaeology; Post-colonial and Indigenous studies of cultural heritage; Digital and Geospatial Methods and Practice; Landscape and Settlement Archaeology; Canada and India.

Hussein Keshani | Art History and Visual Culture |
Research interests: Art History & Visual Culture; South Asia and the Islamic World; Islamic Art History; South Asian art and architecture, Islamic history.

Daniel Keyes | Cultural Studies, English |
Research interests: Film, television and media studies; critical whiteness studies; critical and literary theory; cultural studies; studies in the suburban culture of North America; cultural studies in music; postcolonial and decolonization studies; drama and theatre studies; digital culture; Canadian literature.

Sarah Kraeutner | Psychology |

Research interests: Neuroplasticity, Imagery, and Motor Behaviour

Francis Langevin | French, Languages and World Literatures |
Research interests: Plurilingual, Pluricultural Pedagogy; Contemporary French, French Canadian & Québécois Culture, Literature & Society (régionalité); Literary Theory (Values, Narratology, Style); Inclusive Language

Patricia Lasserre | Computer Science |
Research interests: Active learning techniques for computer science; developing tools for learning, computational thinking and design thinking; application of HCI tools and techniques to improve teaching and learning.

Fiona McDonald | Anthropology |
Research interests: Visual anthropology; anthropology of art; sensory ethnography; material culture; curatorial studies; museum studies; textiles; oral history; contemporary Indigenous art; informal science learning and the environment; anthropocene; water rights; open access and digital publishing; North America & Aotearoa New Zealand.

Emily Murphy | Digital Humanities |
Research interests: Digital Humanities; text encoding; digital editing; actor-network theory; feminist and intersectional DH; critical and creative making; digital pedagogy; the body and digital culture; twentieth-century literature and culture; high, middlebrow, and popular modernisms; literature of the Spanish Civil War; women’s writing; adaptation and media-specificity; dance, movement, and physical culture; history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis; celebrity culture; little magazines and the slicks; life writing.

Elena Nicoladis l Psychology l
Research interests: Bilingual first language learning; second language learning; gestures

Francisco Peña | World Literatures, Spanish |
Research interests: Spanish Literature, Literary Studies, Biblical Studies, Religious Studies, History of Ideas, literary study of the Bible, the influence of the Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature, and Jewish/Christian relations in Medieval Iberia.

Christine Schreyer | Anthropology |
Research interests: linguistic anthropology; First Nations language and culture; land claims and Aboriginal Title; ethnolinguistics, ethnohistory, social memory, oral history, landscape and traditional land use studies; works with First Nations communities on language issues such as language maintenance and revitalization of endangered languages.

Karis Shearer | English |
Research interests: Canadian poetry; literary audio; cultural studies; critical pedagogy; feminist and gender theory; American poetry; modernism; performance and theatre studies; digital culture; creativity; social activism.

Megan Smith | Media Studies |
Research interests: New media art, virtual reality, physical computing, critical design, geo-location.

Miles Thorogood | Media Studies |
Research interests: Visual Art, Digital Media; interactive sound art; technology-based art; creative coding

Bryce Traister | English |
Research interests: American Literature, especially the colonial and antebellum periods; religious studies; American Cultural Studies; science fiction.

Michael Treschow | English and Cultural Studies |
Research interests: Old English Language and Literature. Paleography and the digital editing of texts. Mystical Theology and suffering. Tolkien.

Annie Wan | Creative Studies, Media Studies |

Research interests: Innovating Artistic and Socially Motivated Design through Creative Media by means of Gamification in Digital Heritage Preservation, Museums Archives and Digital Conservation; Employing Creative Media for the Socially Disadvantaged by means of Adopting Extended Realities and Intelligence Technologies for well- being.

Tania Willard | Creative Studies, Visual Arts |
Research interests: Visual Arts, Indigenous contemporary art, Indigenous languages, contemporary art, relational aesthetics, socially engaged practice, curatorial.

Kyong Yoon | Cultural Studies | 
Research interests: Social network sites; Race, Ethnicity, Reputation on Internet; Smartphones & Youth; Virtual Ethnography.

Students & Thesis

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) cares about the experiential learning and well-being of our students, and about fostering their academic and research excellence.

In fact, FCCS is a significant generator of artistic and cultural events with one of the most active and robust communities on campus and off—in Kelowna, the Okanagan Valley and beyond. Follow our DAHU program on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on events and connect with our community on campus and beyond.

As a domain of scholarship, creative activity, and teaching, Digital Arts & Humanities is wide-ranging and interdisciplinary in nature. FCCS encourages graduate students to become well-rounded scholars, educators, and public intellectuals. During their degree, students will have the opportunity to conduct original research, learn to become effective educators, and work as Teaching Assistants, as well as acquire knowledge in the professional practices of writing for publication, academic CV development, grant writing, networking, and community-engaged research skills.

Students have participated in initiatives on our campus such as the SSHRC funded Textual Editing and Modernism in Canada Summer Institute and the Summer Indigenous Art Intensive, learning valuable skills and receiving the opportunity to connect with colleagues from around the world.

There are opportunities for experiential graduate courses that move outside the traditional classroom, be it in the local area or be it in remote locations such as the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on Vancouver Island.

FCCS engages in and supports research and creative activity, ensuring that our students and faculty members are given the necessary support to make significant scholarly contributions to the academy and society as a whole. The Digital Arts and Humanities theme draws upon a robust, interdisciplinary network of faculty experts in research and pedagogy to support, mentor, and train graduate students in the pursuit of research and research-creation.

We have a strong commitment to innovation and interdisciplinarity and to actively seeking opportunities to build interdisciplinary capacity that can connect with the growing tech and cultural industry sector in the Valley.

To examine the work of previous UBC Okanagan graduate students, search on cIRcle, the University’s digital repository for research and teaching materials.

Meet Our Students

The Digital Arts and Humanities theme currently includes students at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Our students have provided profiles for you to discover more about them and their research.

Current Students

Ahlam Bavi

PhD Candidate 

Ahlam Bavi is a conceptual artist, industrial Ahlam Bavidesigner, and a digital humanist. She has studied and researched at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland and the University of Calgary, where her digital sculpture work was recognized by an award. She is trained in the Reggio Emilia Educational approach, as well as in VR and AR and digital technologies.

Ahlam’s visual artworks consist of conceptual sonic sculptures, digital remediate artworks, 3D calligraphy, and algorithmic 3D printed sculptures. She also collaborates with museums to improve the experience of low vision visitors and to re-imagine of artworks through digital technology.

Jon Michael Corbett

PhD Candidate Jon Michael Corbett

Jon Corbett has a well-established career in technology as a web programmer. He completed his BFA at the University of Alberta, and his MFA at UBCO in 2015, merging his technology skills with his artistic practice. He is currently pursuing his PhD, continuing this exploration. His research proposal focuses on the lack of cultural representation in programming languages, and he is building an Indigenous computer programming language based on the Cree language and syllabary.

Tara Nicholson

PhD Candidate 

Tara NicholsonTara Nicholson incorporates photography and installation within her research creation. She has travelled throughout the Arctic to document climatology sometimes with a blurred line between sci-fi and actual science to render new experiences of northern landscape. Nicholson has exhibited across Canada, teaches at the University of Victoria and holds an MFA from Concordia University. Recently she attended ‘Earthed’ a climate-centered residency at the Banff Centre and has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council.

Her PhD research will produce a connected body of exploratory landscape studies linking escalating changes within the Anthropocene. Examining rewilding, resurrection biology and extinction studies while witnessing connected waves of Indigenous and setter-allied land activism, Nicholson will explore the role of art within activism and how the interpretation of climate research can affect its outcomes.

Sepideh Saffari

PhD Candidate 

Sepideh Saffari is an award-winning artist and Sepideh Saffariarchitect currently pursuing her IGS Ph.D. in Digital Arts & Humanities at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. She is also a graduate research associate of the AMP lab and a member of the Centre for Culture and Technology. In these affiliated research centers of the university, she has been collaborating on projects such as Aga Khan Garden web app and Water Ways. In 2006, she started her academic education in Architectural Engineering in which she ranked third and first among students in her BA and MA programs respectively. Since then she has held artistic and architectural positions, namely teaching at universities, designing constructed buildings, and working at game and animation companies.

Najam Ul-Assar

PhD Student

Najam Ul Assar (b.1992) is a creative entrepreneur from Lahore, Pakistan. He has also worked with cultural and public organizations including the United Nations, British Council, Alliance Française, and Prince Claus Fund. As the founder of the Lahore Digital Arts Festival (LDF), he is committed to nurturing dialogue around art accessibility, creative exchange, and experimental expression. He holds an Erasmus Mundus Master of Arts in Media Arts Cultures and is interested in archiving, ethics, and historical outlook of digital arts in South Asia. Follow him on X: @najamulassar


Kaytlyn Barkved

MA alumni

Kaytlyn Barkved is a queer disabled digital Kaytlyn Barkved artist building a practice of generative art methods framed by Critical Disability Studies.  Fueled by passions for feminism, social justice, and activist art, she completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Gender and Women’s Studies and a minor in Visual Arts.  She has participated in many drawing projects, most recently, completing a 100 day drawing project, exploring the interconnected nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder, mental illness, and queer identity.  Visit her on Instagram to see her entire digital body of work and drawn responses to readings from her graduate coursework: @kaytlynbarkvedart.

Judith Burr

MA alumni

Judith BurrJudith Burr is an interdisciplinary feminist scholar of the challenging socio-ecological entanglements and power-laden histories of environmental management that shape local land relations. She brings public scholarship and plural traditions of feminist philosophy into dialogue with critical environmental history and feminist science and technology studies. Her MA thesis in digital arts and humanities used creative audio storytelling techniques to create a multi-vocal narration of regional fire history, taking the form of the public audio documentary podcast “Listening to Fire Knowledges in and around the Okanagan Valley.”

Admission Requirements

Admission to UBC graduate programs is competitive. Applicants must meet the following criteria.


Applicants to the master’s program are expected to hold:

  • the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC, with a B+ (76%) average or better in their third- or fourth-year classes, or
  • at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study, with an A (80%) or better average.

Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.


PhD applicants will normally have a master’s degree in a related field, with a B+ (76%) average or better, and clear evidence of research ability or potential. Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information. The calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 


Applicants to the master’s program are expected to:

  • hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC
  • demonstrate superior academic standing

Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.

Applicants from a university outside Canada at which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are listed in the Academic Calendar.


PhD applicants are expected to hold the academic equivalent of a two-year master’s degree from UBC in a related field and to demonstrate superior academic standing. Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.

Applicants from a university outside Canada at which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are listed in the Academic Calendar.


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information. The calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Required Grades and Credential Guide

Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide—a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.

International Advisors

An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance and the transition to UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC. Visit the Global Engagement Office’s website to meet the team.

Tuition & Funding


Tuition amounts presented here are estimates only and all fees are subject to change. For official tuition amounts and fee information, visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar*, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MSc/MA Full-time $5,407.56 $9,500.19
PhD Full-time $5,407.56 $9,500.19

Tuition is paid three times a year at the beginning of each term, as per the Academic Calendar: Winter Term 1, Winter Term 2, and Summer Term.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 

Funding Opportunities

Graduate student stipends are funded through a combination of internal and external funding awards, Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships.

Although funding and stipend amounts are not guaranteed, UBC’s Okanagan campus has a number of assistantships available for qualified students. Talk to your potential supervisor about funding opportunities.

Students are expected whenever possible to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Paid TA positions allow graduate students to develop skills in teaching, supervision, facilitation, and student assessment. Teaching assistants may lead seminars, help teach undergraduate courses, or assist in student evaluations and marking. Teaching assistants are mentored by their supervisor and via the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Research Assistantships (RA)

As paid research assistants, graduate students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student’s thesis. RAs are typically funded by the supervisor’s external grants, contracts, and sometimes, other sources of funding.

UBC Awards

The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards

All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).

How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact prospective supervisors before starting an application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor, as well as meeting program-specific criteria for admission requirements.

Please note: Interested applicants are encouraged to begin contacting potential supervisors.

A complete application package will contain:

  • Online application and application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended are required for the application package, however, if admitted, students are required to submit official transcripts to the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Statement of Intent
  • English language test (for non-native speakers of English)
  • CV or resumé
  • Two letters of reference (applicants may submit the online application form at any time during the call for applications – doing so triggers the invitation to referees – and continue to upload supporting documents until the deadline.)
  • Please provide one example of your scholarly writing, such as a term paper or a substantial scholarly paper AND/OR submit electronic portfolio of artistic work (3-5 samples of artistic production and/or links to digital work).

Applying takes time. Students are advised to start the application process two months in advance of the application deadline.

For full consideration, students should submit all application materials by the following deadlines:

Intake Application Deadline
Domestic applicants
September January 15
International applicants
September January 15

Applicants who wish to enter the program in the second semester of the academic year or in the summer semester should consult with the theme coordinator to determine if accommodation is possible.

UBC's Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.


UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.


A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above (best viewed using desktop Chrome or Firefox or YouTube’s mobile app).


Full-time UBC Okanagan students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.


* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.

College of Graduate Studies: CoGS offers orientation events to support you in your first steps as a graduate student at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Stay active: Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.

Relax: The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.

College of Graduate Studies: Your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation.

Centre for Scholarly Communication: Supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty in disseminating their research. The Library’s CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles, and grant proposals.

Centre for Teaching and Learning: Provides support related to teaching, TA training, and use of technology in educational programming.