Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between the MFA and the MS in Emergent Media?

A: The MS in Emergent Media (MSEM) is a production-focused degree designed for those interested to understand emergent media for the purpose of managing, shaping and guiding their own media creation or that of others. This curriculum is composed of the first half of the Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Media (MFA), and is also appropriate for individuals whose creative work is already advanced and who wish to get ahead of emerging technologies. The MFA is a terminal degree as is often required to teach in an art or media program. It is designed for practicing artists and aspiring teachers.

Q: I don’t have a BFA degree. Can I still be admitted to an MFA program?

A: Yes. Succeeding in the MFA or MS in Emergent Media programs at Champlain College will depend mostly on your ability to creatively problem-solve and collaboratively develop solutions for a wide range of projects. Your success in the program will depend on your ability to innovate and your deep desire to learn. Students who demonstrate appropriate qualifications may be admitted from a wide range of bachelor’s degrees.

Q: What's the structure of the MFA and MS in Emergent programs? How much will I be learning hard skills vs. theory?

A: The Master of Science in Emergent Media (MSEM), which is the first half of the Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Media (MFA), focuses more on theory and the collaborative production process. The program provides you foundational information and theory on which to build — this learning remains relevant no matter what technological advances are made. In the full MFA program, electives provide you the opportunity to dig deeper into hard skills in your area of interest (ex. programming, video or graphic design) where you'll learn specific pieces of software and techniques to be deployed in the media project which is part of the MFA thesis.

Q: Do I need to take a GMAT or GRE to apply?

A: No. If you have taken the GRE, the GMAT, the Miller Analogies Test or any other standardized test, we will accept those scores as part of your application.

Q: When will I be notified about admissions decisions?

A: Champlain has a rolling admissions process, so admissions decisions will be made and communicated with applicants within 1-2 weeks of receipt of completed applications. Financial aid and scholarships granted on a funds-available basis.

Q: If I’m attending the program full-time, how long will it take me to complete?

A: The MS in Emergent Media can be completed in two semesters (fall and spring) within a single year, while the MFA can be completed in five consecutive semesters (under 2 years). 

Q: How many hours each week should I expect to be putting towards the program?

A: Emergent media graduate students (full time) can expect to spend 40 or more hours per week.

Q: Must I attend the MFA program full-time?

A: While full-time enrollment is encouraged to maximize immersion and collaboration, a part-time path is available. The first 30 credits of the MFA in Emergent Media (which comprised the MS in Emergent Media), is designed to be completed full or part time, depending on each student’s preferred pace and schedule.

Q: Are there any assistantships, scholarships or other types of financial aid available?

A: We have several forms of financial support available for MFA and MS in Emergent Media students:

    Federal direct loans (students must submit FAFSA) Merit scholarships Teaching opportunities (available for those with teaching experience or professional experience that meets our undergraduate staffing needs) Fellowships (project management positions available for those with skills and experience that match the management needs of the Emergent Media Center's current and upcoming portfolio of projects)

To be considered for these opportunities, please indicate so on your application, and apply as early as possible.

Q: What kinds of jobs can I get with an MFA or MS in Emergent Media?

A: The opportunities for skilled creators, collaborators and innovators continue to explode as the creative industries, driven in part by the continued increase in digital media and network access, become a larger and larger part of the economy in the U.S. and abroad. More and more companies and organizations of all types are using emergent media, and this growth will continue. The program also will strengthen your entrepreneurial skills and can lead to success as a new media entrepreneur. And as a terminal degree, the MFA will prepare those seeking to become college/university faculty members at a time when higher education hiring in related programs continues to grow. A small sampling of titles recent MFA grads currently hold: Interactive Manager, Emerging Media Strategist, Assistant Professor, Digital Media Director, Marketing Information Manager, Design Director, Search Implementation Specialist, among others who have started their own businesses.

Q: Am I required to bring/use my own computer?

A: Yes. While we have excellent facilities to support a wide variety of work in emergent media, it is vitally important for all students to start the program with their own portable computer and appropriate software (contact Robin Perlah, Program Director for more information: .

Q: Is Champlain housing available for MFA and MS in Emergent Media students?

A: Champlain does not provide on-campus housing for Graduate students. Links to apartment search sites and other resources can be found on our Life in Burlington page.

Q: As an Emergent Media graduate student, where will I be doing most of my coursework and team project work?

A: Most coursework and team project work will take place at the Emergent Media Center and throughout Champlain's Miller Center building at the Lakeside campus at 175 Lakeside Avenue in Burlington. Some courses are offered on the main campus.

Q: With the emphasis on collaborative projects, will I be able to work on my personal projects?

A: Yes! In particular, the two Senior Thesis courses in the MFA program are geared toward expanding, building and refining your personal project ideas. Within the structure of the degree, you may build these independently or assemble a team to help you reach your goals.

Q: What is the Project Analysis document that is required for my application and why do you require it instead of a traditional portfolio?

A: The Project Analysis requirement is designed to provide you with the opportunity to show and/or describe past work from a variety of activities and a variety of perspectives. Whether it’s an individual creative project or a team project you’ve done in a recent job, the analysis asks you to provide contextual information about the work, a description of your role (if it was part of a team effort), samples from the project, and a critical analysis of what could have been improved. This approach gives us a more complete picture of how your strengths as an evolving creator, collaborator and innovator match with our program design.

Q: Are the MFA and MS in Emergent Media programs accredited?

A: Yes. Champlain College is accredited by the Vermont State Board of Education and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). To learn more about NEASC, go to

Q: How can I find out more?

A: Please contact Champlain’s Graduate Admissions office at or (866) 282-7259 with any questions you may have.

Take the next step