Online Master’s in Digital Media Degree Program
In Drexel University’s online MS in Digital Media, research and innovation meet to help you bring your designs to life. By combining elements of a research-based graduate program with a hands-on approach to learning the most up-to-date industry skills, this online digital media degree will prepare you for careers throughout the digital media industry.
What is an MS in Digital Media?
A master’s in digital media combines academic research and project-based assignments to help you gain industry knowledge and learn the most in-demand skills. At Drexel, this includes 3-D modeling, digital animation, interactivity, gaming, digital arts, experimental media, and digital media history and theory.
Whether you currently work in digital media and want to advance your skills, or you’re in a related field and want to gain more hands-on experience with the concepts and skillsets of the industry, this online master’s in digital media will help you advance in your career. A strong commitment to academic research also makes this program ideal for those looking to pursue a PhD in the future.
MS in Digital Media Program Features
- 100% online with most classes delivered in a synchronous format
- All courses in Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- Courses cover different areas of digital media, including digital game design, animation, virtual and augmented reality, as well as interaction and user experience design
- Faculty are industry experts with years of experience in the field
- You can individualize the educational experience according to your personal interests and goals
- You have the option to complete the “Digital Media Skills Intensive” sequence in a summer workshop with a 6-week residency component
Requirements for The MS in Digital Media Program
To be eligible for Drexel’s online MS in Digital Media, you must hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Submission of a portfolio showcasing creative work of any kind is recommended, but not required.
The online MS in Digital Media is a 45-credit program. It consists of five major components:
- Digital Media Core
A sequence of three courses building the basis for activities in digital media research and development
- Digital Media Specialization
A sequence of six foundational courses in game design, modeling and animation, and interactivity
- Digital Media Skills Intensive
A nine-credit, highly individualized course sequence that allows you to develop advanced skills in an area related to your thesis project
- New Media Project
A two-course sequence aimed at teaching you how to take an idea through research and development toward a final product
- Thesis Project
A capstone that combines elements of a research thesis with the requirement of completing a digital media development project
What Can I Do with a Master’s Degree in Digital Media?
Careers in Digital Media
The online MS in Digital Media prepares you for careers in digital game design and development, interactive entertainment, education, marketing communications, and advertising. Drexel’s program is designed so that you can apply the skills you learn to any industry that utilizes digital media technology (including virtual and augmented reality as well as games) in an entrepreneurial capacity. Some common job titles for graduates with this degree are:
- Video Game Designer
- Computer and Information Research Scientist
- Multimedia Artist and Digital Animator
- Art Director
MS in Digital Media Salary Expectations
Your exact salary will vary based on your location and job title. However, common salaries for titles you may obtain after completing your MS in Digital Media include:
Multimedia Artist / Digital Animator
Computer and Information Research Scientist
Video Game Designer
*Bureau of Labor Statistics
MS in Digital Media Program FAQs
What exactly do you mean by "Digital Media?"
- The online digital media degree at Drexel is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the nation and uses a more traditional definition of digital media. For us, digital media primarily refers to the use of digital technology in the advancement of traditional forms of media. This includes, but is not limited to: digital games, digital animation, visual effects in film and TV, as well as virtual and augmented reality. While social media is part of the mix, it is not our focus.
What is the difference between online and face-to-face versions of the Digital Media program?
- There is no curricular difference. Both versions of the program follow the same course structure. However, the online version is more streamlined and targeted toward working professionals. The online version also has less stringent requirements in terms of pre-existing production skills.
I am an entrepreneur and have an idea for using digital media (digital games, virtual and augmented reality, etc.) as part of an innovative new business or product concept. Can this program help me develop that?
- Yes! In fact, you may be an ideal candidate for our program!
I am an artist who works with mostly traditional media. I want to be able to utilize digital media tools in order take my work to the next level toward interactive installations. Would this program be a good fit?
- Through the exploration of foundational tools and techniques, you will be challenged to use creative thinking and pragmatic problem solving to produce original work. Artists who wish to grow in this area will find extensive support and guidance to accomplish their goals.
I like playing games but have never created one myself. Will this program allow me to get a job at a major game developer?
- Most likely not. Be aware that the production of digital games at the level needed by a major game development studio requires substantial practical skills that are very difficult to develop within two years. However, there are substantial opportunities in non-traditional game development industries, such as those involved in the production of games for health or game-based learning, for which the skills acquired in this program are perfectly adequate even if you start with only limited pre-existing exposure to digital media.
I am a marketing professional interested in using social media for communication. Is this program for me?
- Most likely not. While the theory of social media is covered in some of our courses and thesis projects that focus on the use of social media are quite common, this is not a program suitable for developing knowledge or skills in social media marketing and communication. If this is your goal, we recommend looking at our MS in Communication instead.
What is the purpose of the Digital Media Skills Intensive sequence?
- The Digital Media Skills Intensive Sequence builds on the digital media specialization courses. It allows you to develop advanced individualized production skills in an area related to your thesis project. The sequence is offered in two versions, one that is fully online and a summer workshop version that allows you to gain experience with our fast selection of high-end on-site technology as part of a six-week summer residency.
What is the role of the master thesis in this program?
- In the online master’s in digital media program, the thesis plays a fundamental role that allows you to develop a project based on your background, skills, interests and goals over the course of the second year of the program. You are required to approach the thesis project both from a production perspective as well as research perspective. For those interested in the PhD program, the thesis project can serve as a starting point for your dissertation.
After I graduate, will I be able to continue in the PhD program?
- The online digital media degree qualifies as an entry point into the PhD program in Digital Media. However, be aware that acceptance into the PhD program is not guaranteed and that the PhD program requires a full-time commitment and is currently not offered in an online delivery format.
- MS in Biomedicine and Digital Media
- MS in Creativity and Innovation
- MSI in Digital Content Management
This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.
|Digital Media Core|
|DIGM 501||New Media: History, Theory, and Methods||3.0|
|DIGM 510||Designing for Interactivity||3.0|
|DIGM 511||Research Methods for Digital Media||3.0|
|Digital Media Specialization|
|DIGM 520||Interactivity I||3.0|
|DIGM 521||Interactivity II||3.0|
|DIGM 525||Animation I||3.0|
|DIGM 526||Animation II||3.0|
|DIGM 530||Game Design I||3.0|
|DIGM 531||Game Design II||3.0|
||Digital Media Skills Intensive
(Taken over 3 terms)
|New Media Project|
||New Media Project
(Taken over 2 terms)
|DIGM 680||Thesis Development||3.0|
View course descriptions at the Drexel University Course Catalog.
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- Minimum GPA of 3.2
- Portfolio showcasing creative work of any kind (recommended but not required)
With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.
- A completed application
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
- Two professional letters of recommendation (professional or academic)
- Personal Essay
- Additional requirements for International Students
The tuition rate for the academic year 2021-2022 is $1088 per credit.
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations
- These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
- These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
- Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
- All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
- Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
- When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
2020-2021 Academic Year
September 21, 2020
December 5, 2020
December 7, 2020
December 12, 2020
January 11, 2021
March 13, 2021
March 15, 2021
March 20, 2021
March 29, 2021
June 5, 2021
June 7, 2021
June 12, 2021
June 21, 2021
August 28, 2021
August 30, 2021
September 4, 2021
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