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New Media Studies Program Overview

Eastern’s New Media Studies (NMS) major offers students an innovative program of study that is structured in three tiers. All majors take a core set of classes covering the range of new media theories and practices. Students then select courses from among five Interdisciplinary Exploration categories, clustered around common themes and spanning several fields of study. Concurrently, students choose one of five concentration areas — Digital Media Design; Communication Media; Computation Media; Multimedia Writing, Form and Analysis; and Performance Media — as their primary area of study and professional preparation.

All courses incorporate conceptual and hands-on learning to build students’ critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills, and promote development of competencies in digital and print media practices. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic, interactive, immersive and creative applications of digital media forms to prepare students to enter careers and meet the challenges of ever-evolving developments in media technologies. Students are encouraged to take internships and participate in dynamic, cross-disciplinary, creative projects at every level of their academic development.

New Media Studies majors will be prepared for careers in such fields as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality development, Motion Capture, digital motion graphics, game and app design, social media applications for advertising and marketing, digital projections and special effects for live performance, audio/video production, 2-D and 3-D animation, and as creative mixed-media artists working primarily with digital technologies.

New Media Studies students complete 16-19 credits of Core Requirement courses drawn from five disciplines, 15 credits of courses drawn from three Interdisciplinary Explorations categories, 15-17 credits of a chosen concentration, and a capstone course of 3 or 4 credits, for a total of 49-56 credits.

NMS Learning Outcomes

By the time of graduation, students will have acquired the following skills/competences that will be assessed through a combination of methodologies such as essays, exams and digital portfolios:

  • Acquire thorough knowledge of a variety of new media as forms of communication and expression.
  • Become conversant with the major theories, research and criticism of new media from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Understand, analyze and compare digital and analog media productions and artifacts within technological, aesthetic and critical frameworks.
  • Critically analyze the emergence and applications of new media and their social, political and cultural consequences.
  • Understand the legal and ethical ramifications of new media practices in a global context.
  • Develop the ability to conceptualize and create new media for a variety of audiences and purposes in an evolving global economy.
  • Demonstrate mastery of competencies and skills required in a chosen digital media professional or academic path.