This concentration examines the impact of Immersive media (IM), augmented reality (AR), transmedia storytelling, and how they have the potential to create tremendous media disruption – and tremendous opportunity. As we rapidly move toward a future where wireless is embedded in everything around us, these media innovations, combined with the modern tablets and smart phones, empower the user with extraordinary capabilities.

This increased transparency leads to reduced privacy, timely access to information breeds constant access to entertainment and we can trust product marketers to use and abuse the medium. Can these developments be used to increase the cognitive understanding of social concerns? Can location based information (GIS) and spatial psychology be used to increase our cognitive relationship to physical place? What is the social impact of real time data delivery? This seminar recasts Marshal McLuhan’s famous axiom where the device becomes the message. Public and private organizations as well as foundations and NGOs are adding GIS competence and functions.

This development, combined with a layer of real time information accessed through immersive media and augmented reality, addresses the demand for media strategists rather than technologists. In this concentration, these new innovations are brought to life drawing on the foundations of psychology that lead to effective data visualization, application design, increased human understanding and most importantly mobile advocacy.

Choose one from:

  • PSY-685 Research Practicum: Media Psychology 0.5-4 semester credits
    • This would be designed to focus research on a specific research or dissertation question. This may be taken concurrent with the Media Qualifying Exam (QE) or in the first term of dissertation research.
  • PSY-766 Special Topics in Media Psychology 4 semester credits
    • This would include an approved project or paper where the student, individually or as a group, examines a particular area of interest in depth. Requires a contract with faculty.

Dissertation Topic

A dissertation focused on immersive media, media advocacy, mobile augmented reality, cognitive or neuroscience applied to visual media, real time information or a related topic is required.


  • First Tuesday. Asynchronous interest group focused on product design, production and applied immersive media research. Meets the first Tuesday of each month via web conferencing.
  • Clusters. A minimum of two face-to-face meetings, known as clusters, will be held each year, generally in association with major conferences and events. These are strongly suggested but not required for completion of this concentration.
  • Additional Recommended Curriculum for Media Students:
    • Psychology Shared Core: The doctoral program requires three courses (12 credits) selected from the psychology core sciences. It is suggested, but not required, that these courses for students in this concentration include:
      • PSY-703
      • PSY-706
    • General Electives: Media Psychology doctoral students may take a maximum of two courses (8 credits) from selected MSC curriculum. It is suggested, but not required, that for students in this concentration that these electives include:
      • MSC-568
      • MSC-569