Because the project lasts so long and delves extensively into its topic, the student should select a topic that is interesting and engaging. The creative student may, upon beginning research, discover that the chosen topic presents such a new idea to the field that no directly relevant research currently exists. In that case, the student must create the research from scratch. He or she should begin research by reading everything available that relates even indirectly to the field of study; for example, if the student is studying a Mesopotamian text upon which no one else has written, he or she may read journal articles and books that deal with other ancient texts from that location, language, or time period. This is called secondary research, and it aids the student in developing a voice of credibility. Secondary research provides an education in the terms, issues, history, and research authorities that belong specifically to that field of study, and the student who becomes conversant in all these areas can begin to write a masters thesis that can sway the opinions of experts in the field.
Film/Video/Interdisciplinary is not a formal area of study in the School of Art; however, a number of students work primarily in film/video or interdisciplinary while enrolled in other areas. The School offers graduate video courses taught by practicing video artists. These classes address fundamental technical issues as well as the far more challenging questions of the contemporary practice of video by artists and this medium’s relation to other forms of art practice. Classes in video are taught in a variety of locations throughout the School of Art and are attended by students from all areas of study.