About ATEC

Intentional Future-Making

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) is a recognized multidisciplinary academic research school with leading-edge STEAM programs that build upon the creative disciplines of science, technology, art, engineering, and management.

ATEC students and faculty collaborate on Intentional Future-Making every day by exploring the possibilities of the future and the way those possibilities emerge from the present. We create the future in our imagination, research, and creative practice.

The school originated from the Arts and Technology program and the Emerging Communications program. Embraced by students and faculty alike, the dynamic growth of ATEC enrollment led to the creation of the new school in February of 2015, making it the first comprehensive academic program designed to merge computer science and engineering with creative arts and humanities.

ATEC enrolls more than 1,800 students in Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs.

ATEC Dean Anne Balsamo

Dean's Vision

A message from ATEC Dean Anne Balsamo

About Technological Imagination

Intentional Future-Making

Future-Making begins in the imagination

It’s not what you think…It’s HOW you think…and WHAT you do.

Steve Jobs said in 2011 that Apple’s understanding that “technology, married with liberal arts, married with the humanities” is what helped make the iPhone a hit. This way of cross-disciplinary thinking is the foundation for learning at ATEC.

At ATEC, we grow and shape the Technological Imagination. As a community of learners, we think seamlessly across multiple disciplines and expand our understanding of the theories, concepts, and “languages” common to each area. We apply critical analysis, creative thinking, collaboration, and ethical reasoning and add skills in coding and design to create new media.

We are makers who learn through doing. We believe that making is a method, a process, a way of thinking, and a way of doing.  The ATEC maker-culture blends art, technology, the humanities, science, robotics, and programming to design Future-Making projects and technological experiences that transform how people work, live, and play.

Identifying new horizons.

A new era of emerging technologies is exploding at an exponential pace and shaping our approach to living. Every day there is a better, faster, more efficient way to do things. New advances in AI, robotics, UX/UI design, and virtual, augmented, and mixed realities are disrupting the global industries of agriculture, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, banking, tourism, and more. ATEC Future-Makers are at the forefront of this Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Faculty in our Research Labs and Creative Practice Studios work with community and industry leaders to understand marketplace challenges and consumer demands. Our initiatives foster these collaborations to create new knowledge that engages critical issues. We identify new horizons of research and creative practice and collaborate to supply a pipeline of intellectual property and talent that address this constant change.

The Intersection of Art and Science

ATEC Labs and Studios

Our research and creative practice identifies new horizons.

ACTS Presentation

ATEC Faculty

Creative thinkers cultivate the technological imagination.

Connecting the dots between what exists and the innovation that comes next.

The need for creative thinking has led to new “hybrid” jobs that require thinkers who have the ability to work across domains: digital tools and data analysis, technology and culture, as well as creativity and design. Today’s industry leaders are seeking talent whose mindset can connect the dots, synthesize information across disciplines, and transcend technological trends.

ATEC alums are Future-Makers that demonstrate this type of deep expertise and intellectual flexibility. They ask difficult questions and produce new knowledge on topics relating to the emergence of technologies and their effect on ways of living. ATEC graduates find employment with start-ups, cutting-edge studios, and Fortune 500 industry giants like Apple, Capital One, Disney, DreamWorks, Google, Pixar, and Toyota using their talents in animation, design, virtual and augmented reality, game design, and critical media studies.

Learn more about ATEC

About ATEC Degrees

ATEC Degrees

Learn how to create the future.

Student Life

Student Life and Diversity

Comets can always find someone who shares the same interests


Facilities and Workspaces

The Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building

Living In Dallas

Living in Dallas, TX

Say YES to Dallas, y’all