Masters Degree in New Media: Program Overview

Oct 11, 2019

Students who are artistic and tech-savvy may be interested in a pursuing a master's degree in new media. Learn more about application materials, program requirements, and career options for graduates.

Essential Information

New media refers to all forms of digitized or computerized media products. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines studies in computer technology, communications, production, art and design. By earning a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in New Media, students can gain the skills they need for success in the field. Over the course of these programs, students fulfill core curriculum requirements and develop a specialization area. At the end, they must submit a thesis.

In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in a technological or artistic field, and submit a portfolio of digital artwork of designs. These examples must demonstrate a basic grasp of computer technology, design and artistic techniques.

Master's Degree in New Media

MFA programs in New Media offer both practical and theoretical courses. The practical courses are usually studio-based and train students in current computer and digital techniques. The theoretical courses cover digital concepts as well as the roles of multimedia and design in society. Common courses include:

  • Web technology
  • Interactive design and concepts
  • Digital audio and visual production
  • Visual expression
  • Digital typography
  • Multimedia methods

After completing the core courses, students can take elective courses in subjects such as gaming design, computer graphics and computer animation. Before finishing the program, a thesis must be completed in a chosen specialization. The thesis can be either a research/document-based paper or a production/design project.

Popular Career Options

A degree in new media is specifically designed to prepare students for success in some of the following occupations:

  • Computer animator
  • Web and software designer
  • Graphic designer
  • File and database manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted job growth of 4% for multimedia artists and animators from 2018 to 2028 - about as fast as average for all occupations. As of May 2018, the median annual salary for these professionals was $72,520.

The BLS projected job growth of 10% for systems software developers from 2018 to 2028. As of May 2018, these developers earned a median of $110,000 per year. For the same time periods, graphic designers could expect slower than average job growth by 3% and a median annual salary of $50,370, according to the BLS.

A master's degree in new media help students build the artistic and computer skills they need for success in careers related to design and technology.

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