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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Media Design

Majors Overview June 28, 2015

Students interested in media design programs should look into master’s degree programs in digital media arts. Students will gain hands-on experience with the creation of imagery across a variety of digital platforms, including video, interactive gaming, and computers. They will also gain theoretical knowledge in computer imagery.

Information on Media Design Programs

Master’s degree programs in digital media arts are available through many schools to train graduates for careers in the digital media field in entertainment, education, and business. One of these fields is specifically aimed at in some programs while a general education is in others. Most programs take about two years to complete.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in digital design or a related major, although students with degrees in other areas may be at some schools. A portfolio of their work is often required to be presented by students as part of their application.

Students take two years to complete most of these master’s programs. A student’s career goals may determine the nature of coursework that may include studio design, Web design, and media technology. In specialized courses, topics such as game design for educational purposes may be included. In order to gain hands-on job experience most programs require students to participate in internships. Schools also require students to complete a thesis.

Master’s Programs in Digital Media Arts

Schools offer a master’s program in digital media arts as either a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.). Master’s programs in digital media arts feature an emphasis on balancing the theories of design with their applications through technology. Students use computers in creating images for the purposes of games, film, and Web design.

Schools typically encourage students to look beyond previously established methods, combining computer graphics with photography, video, and traditionally-created art. Students gain expertise in innovation and develop and refine the digital media field. Although most schools design projects aimed at serving entertainment and education industries, the need for digital media in almost all types of business has been created by new media. It allows students to work on projects highlighting their individual interests.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in any major. Students with degrees in technology, media design, visual arts, engineering, or computer-related fields gain preference, especially if the focus of the major is on design. Students in most programs are required to submit portfolios demonstrating experience in interactive media, animation, or graphic design.


Students typically take two years to complete a master’s degree program in the digital media arts. Classroom instruction may predominate during the first year, combining the practice of creating through digital media with the theory. During the second year of study, students will work on their theses, involvement attendance of seminars and consultation with faculty on their progress. An internship in the summer is also typically included in the coursework. Students at some schools are expected to work as a university teacher’s assistant during the degree program. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Visual culture
•Studio design
•Digital technology
•Media Dynamics
•Computer expression
•Interactive media

Career Choices

Nearly every industry uses digital media for purposes such as branding, advertisement and Web design. Thus, program graduates can find jobs in various fields in accordance with their interests. A master’s degree can qualify program graduates for job positions such as:

•Media content implementer
•Design Coordinator
•Game designer
•Web designer
•Media specialist

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continued education have many choices, including a Ph.D. degree in Film and Digital Media, New Media and Digital Studies or Digital Media Communication.

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