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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Multimedia

Majors Overview July 11, 2015

This article talks about different graduate degree programs in multimedia and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Multimedia Programs

The focus of master’s programs in multimedia communications is on content creation, including images, films, and interactive media. Concentrations are usually available to students who have to complete group and individual projects as critical components of the coursework. Schools require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; some schools insist on a background either in the arts or design.

There’s a greater focus on research in doctoral programs in digital media than in master’s programs. Admission criteria for Ph.D. programs may require applicants to have a master’s degree, in addition to a portfolio.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Multimedia

Aspiring interactive content developers could benefit from earning a master’s degree in multimedia communications. This program is project-based, and students are allowed to select a media specialty and build a multimedia project wherein they will meet industry standards. A board will then evaluate the project on the basis of its interactivity, professionalism, and quality.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Many schools prefer applicants who have a certain amount of experience with the technologies related to multimedia work. Some others may insist on a certain amount of credits in technology, multimedia or design-related courses.


In a multimedia graduate degree program, there is an emphasis on creative expression, teamwork, and technical skills. In this advanced program, students have to involve themselves in a substantial amount of research and conceptual thinking aimed at completing a major capstone project. Students learn about presenting themselves professionally on camera, in addition to directing camera work at locations and in studios.

A foundation in interactive technology theories is gained initially by students who are later required to create a large-scale art project. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Business strategies
•Creating interactive content
•Multimedia equipment
•Multimedia technologies
•Multimedia text
•Forecasting media trends
•Visual communication
•Web design
•Advanced audio and video

Job and Wage outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of six percent has been predicted for multimedia artists and animators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these workers brought in an average annual wage of $61,370 (BLS). Higher-level positions such as art director are more likely to go to individuals with advanced degrees in multimedia. In May 2012, art directors earned $80,880 per annum, on average (BLS).

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs in Digital Media

Students enrolled in a doctoral level degree program in digital media gain a more theoretical and in-depth grasp of multimedia. They also learn about new forms of information, artistic exploration, and communication of knowledge.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a master’s degree in a related field. They must also submit a proposal for a major digital art project, a portfolio of their work, and a statement of purpose.


Coursework strongly emphasizes technology aspects of art and artistic theories. The main accent of the program is on proposing, preparing and executing a final doctoral project, and subsequently defending it. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Policy and law
•Design of networked media
•Visual culture
•Computer medium
•Media studies
•New media
•Experimental media
•Interactive design
•Interactive fiction

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek employment with various possible employers such as public relations firms, video or film production companies, companies involved in developing and marketing software, and other industries related to computer design (BLS). Graduates may also seek an assistantship opportunity with universities that will allow them to earn some money while they are pursuing the degree. In some cases, universities waive tuition for students engaged in assistantships.

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