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Digital Media Schools in Boston, MA with Degree Descriptions

Dec 24, 2018

Those hoping to study digital media in the Boston, MA, area are in luck: there are more than 15 schools that offer degree programs in the field. To find out which one is right for you, read about the admission and program requirements for three colleges located within five miles of the city center.

Digital Media Degrees in Boston

Students interested in digital media programs in the greater Boston area can enroll in programs that cover various skills, from graphic arts to animation to digital communication. Depending on the focus of a particular program, it can prepare learners for careers in advertising, corporate communications, interactive media and/or digital production. This article shines a spotlight on the programs and coursework at three institutions. Also included is a table of school stats, including tuition and fees, as well as information on other area colleges.

  • Bunker Hill Community College, a 2-year institution located less than two miles from downtown Boston, has associate's degree programs in its visual and media arts department.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a 4-year school, offers a bachelor's program in writing with a digital media concentration. Located about two miles from downtown, it's situated just over the river from Boston in Cambridge, MA.
  • The third option is Northeastern University, which is also about two miles from central Boston. The school offers a professional master's degree program and a post-baccalaureate certificate program in digital media.

Comparison of Schools

The table below displays additional information on the profiled schools, including details on enrollment figures, acceptance rates, graduation rates and more. Use it to help you make a more informed decision about your education.

Bunker Hill Community College Massachusetts Institute of Technology Northeastern University
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 11,881* 11,466* 21,489*
Campus Setting Large city Midsized city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $4,224 in-state; $9,168 out-of-state (undergraduate)* $49,892 (undergraduate)* $23,688 (graduate)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 66%* 84%* 75%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions* 7%* 27%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 64% (full-time students)* 99% (full-time students)* 97%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 14% (students who began Fall 2014)* 94% (students who began Fall 2011)* 87% (students who began Fall 2011)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College is situated in historic Charlestown near downtown Boston. The school's Visual and Media Arts Department has an associate's program through which students can select from visual design and integrated media design options.

Associate in Science - Visual Design Option

In this concentration, students take courses in digital image-making, interactive design and typography and study the history of graphic design. Two visual design labs and completion of a portfolio are also part of the curriculum.

Associate in Science - Integrated Media Design Option

Students who choose this option will take courses in digital photography, media in motion, video concepts and the moving image in addition to some of the same courses in the visual design option. Skills are developed in areas of video, storytelling and social media strategy.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is located in Cambridge, about two miles from Boston. The school offers a bachelor's program with a digital media major through its Comparative Media Studies/Writing Department.

Bachelor of Science in Writing

The Bachelor of Science in Writing program allows students to select a major in digital media. The core program focuses on writing and trains students for careers developing computer games, websites and other forms of interactive media. Students who select the digital media major take courses in the digital word, Web-based media and interactive narrative, to name a few. To graduate, students must earn 180 quarter-credits and complete science and laboratory requirements.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private non-profit institution in Boston. The professional studies division offers a master's program with six concentration options, as well as a digital media certificate program with five possible specializations.

Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media

This master's degree program trains students to use digital information, narrative and moving images to enhance communication methods. Available concentration areas include digital media management, interactive design, 3-D animation, social media, game design and digital video. Some of the required core courses are digital storytelling, information technology and web creation. Students also complete a thesis.

Graduate Certificates in Digital Media and related areas

Students with a bachelor's degree might consider a post-baccalaureate certificate program in digital media. Certificates range from 18-22 credits in length, and specialization areas include 3-D animation, game design, digital video, and interactive design. The animation program focuses on 3-D modeling and compositing, while the game design program emphasizes programming and digital storytelling. The digital video program covers lighting, editing and content delivery, and the program in interactive design trains students in interfacing and prototyping for the Web and other screen-based media. Digital media management students take courses in interactive marketing, project management for digital media and creative practices in information technology. If certificate students decide they want to pursue the master's degree, the courses will translate to the digital media program.

Other Schools

In addition to the three profiled schools, there are additional educational institutions offering digital media programs in the Boston area. Emerson College is a 4-year, private non-profit college located in Boston that has a non-credit certificate program in digital media production. Through five consecutive courses, students can learn about the creation and production of digital art, animation and Web-based portfolio development, among other areas.

Situated roughly 15 miles away from Boston in Danvers, MA, North Shore Community College has an Associate of Science program in graphic design and integrated media, offered through its Digital Graphic Design Department. The program emphasizes the use of graphic design in marketing and promotional communications.

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