New York City Schools with Interactive Media Design Programs
In New York City, there are two private institutions and one public college that offer formal degree programs in interactive media, which can help students acquire the creative and digital skills needed to work in the field. Check out the program summaries and school comparison table below, as well as the paragraph about other educational options, before finalizing your school choice.
- The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan's garment district is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It currently offers one of the most wide-ranging programs in animation and interactive media in the United States, which leads to a bachelor's degree.
- Parsons The New School for Design in Greenwich Village, also located in downtown Manhattan, has been in existence for over 100 years. Its five schools offer more than two dozen interdisciplinary and professional training programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including two Bachelor of Fine Arts programs that include training in interactive media design.
- In 2012, the Pratt Institute earned international recognition for its undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, art, design and information studies. At its downtown Manhattan campus, students can earn an associate degree in digital design and interactive media; a bachelor's degree program in digital arts is available at the Brooklyn campus, about four miles from downtown Manhattan.
Comparison of Schools
Use this table to determine the cost of an undergraduate education in interactive media design. Compare the financial aid prospects for first-year students at the three schools, as well as some other important figures.
|Fashion Institute of Technology (State University of New York)||Parsons The New School for Design||Pratt Institute|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; private not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,846*||10,389*||5,035*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)||$5,740 in-state; $15,520 out-of-state*||$49,064*||$51,870*|
|% of First-Year, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||73%*||86%*||84%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||47%*||62%*||57%*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||89% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students*||81% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students*||88% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students who enrolled in Fall 2011)||77%*||67%*||66%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)
The School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology offers around 17 undergraduate majors, and more than 3,300 students are currently enrolled in these career-oriented programs. The faculty consists of working professionals, and, in addition to receiving hands-on instruction, students have the opportunity to go on industry-related field trips and pursue internships.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation and Interactive Media
The undergraduate program in animation and interactive media is designed to provide students with a background in 3D animation and modeling and to help them acquire advanced production skills. To be accepted into the program, students must have earned an accredited associate's degree or 60 credits of college coursework. A portfolio and four prerequisite courses in computer-aided design are also required.
The curriculum includes topics in animation production, animation principles, music, sound, motion graphics, storyboarding and drawing. Students can also become acquainted with drawing concepts, programming and interface design. The program culminates in a music production and animation thesis and a senior project, which include the planning and production of a short animated feature with an accompanying soundtrack.
Parsons The New School for Design
The School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons offers a unified approach to the fields of art and design, and undergraduate areas of study include communications, fine and graphic arts, illustration, photography and technology. In addition to individual studio time, students are encouraged to pursue collaborative and interdisciplinary partnerships.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design
This communication and design program includes a combination of coursework, internships and projects that offer students exposure to information design, publication and Web design, advertising, motion graphics and typography. Admissions materials are submitted online and include an artist's statement, a creative assignment and a portfolio.
The undergraduate program includes labs, lectures and studio classes in design history, drawing/imaging and typography, as well as a studio course and a lab in interactive design. The degree program culminates in a senior thesis.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technology
This design and technology program integrates activities, classes and internships. As design and technology majors, students have the chance to become comfortable with animation, game design, interactive media and motion graphics. In addition to the general education requirements, the curriculum includes courses in creative computing, prototyping and global issues in design. Students also have the opportunity to study the history of design and its related technologies. A pathway in either game design or creative technologies can be pursued. Similar to the communication and design major, this program culminates in a senior thesis.
The School of Art and Design offers 2- and 4-year degrees in a variety of digital and traditional disciplines, including fashion, fine arts, interactive media and photography. Faculty members include award-winning academics and artists, and programs are designed to help students acquire the professional and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in a professional creative environment. The associate's degree program is offered at the school's Manhattan campus on 14th Street, while the bachelor's degree program is offered in Brooklyn. Both programs require applicants to submit a portfolio to gain admission.
Associate of Occupational Studies in Game Design and Interactive Media
This 2-year career program is targeted towards both high school graduates and adult students, including those without prior college experience. In contrast to the Associate of Applied Science program that allows qualified students to transfer into a relevant Bachelor of Fine Arts program, the Associate of Occupational Studies is designed for students interested in immediately entering the workforce upon graduation.
This 66-credit hour program can provide aspiring professionals with a strong background in art, design and visual language and train them in the use of current technology. The curriculum includes introductory classes in drawing, animation and motion graphics. Students do not have to take any liberal arts classes. Coursework specific to the major includes two sequential courses in interactive media and three in game production. The program culminates in the completion of an interactive media portfolio.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts
This program is designed to introduce aspiring professionals to the history, practice and theory associated with new media. Students can specialize in 3D animation and motion arts, 2D animation or interactive arts. All three concentrations culminate in a senior project.
Requirements include courses in art history and liberal studies, as well as related classes in communication or film. During the first two semesters, students take foundational courses in 3D and 4D design, light and color, drawing and art history. Coursework for the major begins in the sophomore year and includes 3D computer graphics, graphics programming and interactive media.
Other School Options
In addition to the schools listed above, Queens College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design with concentrations in animation and illustration, communication design and interaction design. At Lehman College in the Bronx, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics and Imaging. Both schools are part of the City University of New York system and are approximately ten miles away from Manhattan.