The University of Pittsburgh took a giant step forward today with the announcement that groundbreaking has commenced for its new Graduate School For Meme Science (GSMS). Recently appointed Chancellor Patrick Gallagher is confident that Pitt, as it is colloquially known, will soon leapfrog its academic neighbor that in the past has been more closely associated with cutting edge internet-related technology.
“We may have been in the shadow of Carnegie Mellon when it comes to trendy fields of research like robotics and computer science, but not anymore.”
Gallagher says he is looking to the future where the real movers and shakers will be people who made their name uploading hauling videos or sarcastically live tweeting major award events instead of wasting their time learning to code or build spidery automatons of questionable utility. He is wasting no time and has already begun seeking faculty on craigslist and Ello. He has also instructed the Department of Virology in the School of Medicine to rename itself, so as not to be confused with the Department of Viral Studies that is soon to appear on lower campus.
Change is also being felt at nearby Pittsburgh Filmmakers (which cross-lists courses with Pitt), where students enrolled in classes like Selfies 101 are now being taught the traditional method of composing a properly-framed well-focused image as an example of what not to do. Filmmaking classes have also changed to reflect a heavier emphasis on producing content suitable for Vine. Enrollees are now expected to provide their own film equipment, which can be either an iPhone or an Android device. Gallagher says these changes are only the beginning in an exciting new era of higher education.
“I intend this to be the first step in a radical overhaul to prepare students for the modern world, with frumpy departments like English and Language Studies being broken up into the Department of Blogging and a new Institute For SEO Research in partnership with Google.”
GSMS students may complete a masters degree or terminal PhD degree and there will be opportunities to conduct independent study for credit under the mentorship of local faculty members, startup entrepreneurs in Bakery Square, and, for the lucky few, @JohnJudeBFG of a basement apartment somewhere in Highland Park who claims to have over three million followers on his other Instagram account.
The program has already been operating in a pilot version for some time under the auspices of the School of Information Sciences, and it will therefore be able to hit the ground running once the construction of a dedicated building on the Oakland campus is complete. Those enrolled in the pilot program have already written an number of groundbreaking theses that prospective applicants are encouraged to review, including:
Feminist ontology and epistemology in an era of ‘Girls be like…’
When Impact is not enough – new fonts on the horizon.
The Fat Jew – a case study in the limitations of copyright law.
Graduates of the University of Pittsburgh School of Meme Sciences can expect to go on to a diverse range of careers, ranging from smoking a lot of weed, to smoking a lot of weed and accumulating minor charge records, to smoking a lot of weed and making a shitload of money through Adsense and Youtube revenue sharing.
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