B.A. in Media - Interactive and Digital Media

The Bachelor of Arts in Media with an Interactive and Digital Media concentration is one of the degrees offered by The Media School of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington.

Students pursuing the degree explore the intersection of design, media, technology and the web, learning from instructors who are professionals in the fields of internet communications, graphic design, web design, data journalism, digital storytelling, and informatics.

Interactive and Digital Media students discover the world through code, data, research, design, and storytelling. They learn how to:

  • apply technology to the questions posed by journalists
  • provide a framework and distribution model for game designers and filmmakers
  • produce an interactive presentation tool for graphic designers and media communicators

The Interactive and Digital Media concentration prepares students to produce comprehensive, ready-for-online-publication media artifacts that include online applications with original graphics, photos and video, and interactive data-driven visualization for use by commercial and non-profit organizations. The coursework gives you a solid grasp of web and mobile technologies, powerful design skills, and an appreciation for the context involved in the creation of digital media storytelling. The goal is to generate products in which the technology and the message reinforce each other. 

Students pursuing degrees outside The Media School may be interested in the Journalism certificate, the New Media and Interactive Storytelling certificate or one of the Media minors. Check your bulletin for more information about these certificates and minors.

 

Coursework

Getting started

Your starting point with the Interactive and Digital Media concentration is an introductory course offering an overview of 21st-century media, MSCH-C101.

The Media B.A. requires at least one class in each of three areas: 

  • Managing Media - history, economics, law and policy
  • Thinking Media - critical thinking about media and its impact on culture, race, gender and other topics 
  • Making Media - skills and technical knowledge

Students in the Interactive and Digital Media concentration fulfill the Making Media core requirement with MSCH-C 226, Visual Communication.

You customize your Media School experience by selecting from a variety of classes in Interactive and Digital Media coursework, allowing you to graduate as a specialist in the field. 

Tracks and concentrations

The Interactive and Digital Media course sequence emphasizes web platform, design, data, and programming.  Students learn how to:

  • Design and visualize their creative work as interactive, data-driven documents on the Web platform;
  • Master principles of audience-centered design to maximize the impact and utility of their creative projects;
  • Work in (or contribute to) creative teams effectively. They will be able to speak intelligently to colleagues with other areas of expertise, and to constructively critique the work of others;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with basic tools (for example, Web development languages, version control, Adobe Design Suite), be able to solve technical problems and know how and where to seek information for emerging tools and technologies; and
  • Evaluate the usability of digital media and adjust their designs based on A/B testing, prototyping, critiquing & playtesting.

Upper level coursework

Interactive and Digital Media majors have the opportunity to enroll in intermediate and advanced Interactive and Digital Media coursework

Digital Media Production coursework teaches design theory, computer publishing skills, and creative problem solving. Students learn concepts, techniques, and tools for creating audio, visual, and narrative assets for digitally mediated environments. You study advanced programming, including an introduction to the programming of graphical systems.

You won’t just learn how to produce the content — you’ll also learn the theory behind it. The program emphasizes the context of digital media storytelling, helping you learn to create focused and comprehensive content tailor-made to communicate an effective story to its target audience.

Students also complete a three-course credential in an area of specialization. The Media School specialization allows you to explore and develop advanced professional and creative skills from courses taught across the entire Media School curriculum. For the Interactive and Digital Media concentration, you may select one of the four specializations paired with the Interactive Digital Media concentration:   Web, Game Art, Game Audio or Game Production.  However, you may pursue other media interests and complete one or two additional specializations, with the required Web, Game Art, Game Audio or Game Production specialization.

Web specialization coursework explores how to maintain a fully functional website. Students study Human-Computer Interaction design, focusing on the interface between people and computers. You learn about the basic structure of information representation in digital information systems, with an eye toward what future technologies will allow.  The Game Art, Game Audio, Game Production specializations focus on Game Design digital art, audio and sound design, and production software, tools and techniques, respectively.  You may find complete information about specialization coursework options in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.  

Commonly pursued majors, minors and certificates

Your major represents about one third of your degree requirements. With the help of your academic advisor, you may be able to combine several areas of interest with additional majors, minors, or certificates.

Interactive and Digital Media students often complement the major with coursework in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design, Informatics, Business, Marketing, Spanish, History, Political Science and Music.

Enhance your major

Working with faculty

When pursuing the Interactive and Digital Media concentration, you have the opportunity to work with faculty who have expertise and experience in the field. Take advantage of office hours to talk with your instructors about your performance in class, the content of assignments, and how the course helps you work toward your goals. 

As your skills and interests develop, you may be interested in working on an independent study or research project with a specific faculty member. Talk with a Media School academic advisor to explore your options.

Honors

Beginning Fall 2018, the Media Scholars honors program provides enhanced opportunities for competitively selected incoming freshman students, offering honors coursework and multiple travel and professional development opportunities as students pursue their undergraduate degrees.

The Hudson and Holland Scholars Program recruits students from underrepresented minority backgrounds who display outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to social justice.

High-achieving students may be recognized for Academic Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, or be eligible for admission to the Hutton Honors College.

Undergraduate scholarships and awards

Options for pursuing scholarships and awards include:

Internships

In the fast-paced world of media, experience sets you apart. Internships are no longer optional for students studying media today.

Internships offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. Many students begin exploring internship opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as their freshman year.

It is very common for students pursuing careers in media to complete multiple internships before or shortly after graduating. The Media School website offers several helpful resources for thinking ahead to this very important form of preparation for your professional life:

Learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit, through the Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you'll find many resources for both domestic and international internships.

Foreign language study

In an increasingly global world, familiarity with a second language is often a necessity, as well as a marketable skill.

As one of the premier institutions in the U.S. for the study of languages, IU Bloomington offers courses and resources in over 60 languages.

Below is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington:

Overseas study

Study abroad is an important part of undergraduate education in our increasingly interconnected world. Interactive and Digital Media students have participated in Overseas Study programs in England, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries.

The College of Arts + Sciences also directly hosts a variety of study abroad programs, some even featuring IU faculty, that might be right for you. As well, The Media School  offers international Field Experience courses. These are semester-long classes that include a short-term travel component, ranging in length from one to four weeks. The trips provide students with the hands-on application of classroom concepts in a unique context abroad.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with Media School faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study.

Student groups

Student associations that can enrich your academic and professional experience include:

  • Media Living Learning Center is a student community at Forest Residence Hall reserved for students who share a common interest in media. These students live, attend classes, network and explore media opportunities and career goals together.
  • AIGA Student Group is partnered with the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).  This club is a community for Indiana University students with an interest in exploring the many avenues in graphic design.
  • Ambassadors represent and promote The Media School, facilitating at special events, traveling to media outlets and escorting prospective students around campus.
  • Computer Science Club is an Indiana University student organization focused on peer learning, student projects, and technology events. Members participate in tech talks and events, gain valuable career advice, and collaborate on engaging projects.
  • Game Dev@IU is a student-run organization at Indiana University that promotes and facilitates individual development of skills related to all aspects of game development. The organization offers opportunities for experimentation and valuable hands-on experience through workshops and small projects.
  • Online News Association is a nonprofit organization for digital journalists. The IU chapter takes in professionals and students involved in journalism, technology and innovation as members in order to provide a forum for education.
  • Society for News Design is a student chapter of the Society for News Design, an international organization for news media professionals and visual communicators. Members art direct, design, edit, report, illustrate, make photos and video, visualize data – and write code.
  • Women in Media will aid in the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, and positioning members at the forefront of the evolving communications era through the use of networking and education

Explore beINvolved to connect with any of the 750+ student organizations that already exist, or to start a new one.

Volunteer opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for volunteer engagement, allowing you to give back to the local community while developing useful job skills. Members of the Media School Student Services team work hard to provide all majors with valuable and enjoyable service learning opportunities.

The organizations below can help you connect with others from the university and beyond:

Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and organizations.

Professional organizations

The following are just a few of the professional Interactive and Digital Media organizations:

Use the Indiana University Library system to search for Associations Unlimited, an online directory of associations, professional societies, non-profit organizations, and much more.

Build your skills

Through the major

The Media B.A. with an Interactive and Digital Media concentration provides you with a set of skills and qualities that are relevant and transferable to many areas of study and work. These include:

  • Designing for an experience: design and visualize creative work as interactive, data-driven documents on the web platform
  • Creative inquiry and civic engagement: master principles of audience-centered design to maximize the impact and utility of creative projects
  • Teamwork: effectively work in and contribute to creative teams. Be able to speak intelligently to colleagues with other areas of expertise, and to constructively critique the work of others.
  • Technical skills: demonstrate familiarity with basic tools (web development languages, version control, Adobe Design Suite, and so on). Solve technical problems, knowing how and where to seek information for emerging tools and technologies.
  • Data-driven evaluation: evaluate the usability of digital media and adjust designs based on A/B testing, prototyping, critiquing and playtesting

Through a College of Arts and Sciences degree

Your coursework provides many opportunities to develop the following five foundational skills that will serve you well in every career path:  

  • Question critically
  • Think logically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Act creatively
  • Live ethically

These foundational skills will aid you in landing your first job and advancing professionally throughout your working life. Not only are these the skills that employers say they value most in the workplace, but they also provide the best preparation for lifelong success in a world of complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Skills desired by employers

Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asks employers what skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.

The following abilities are sought in the job market across many employment sectors:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Ability to take Initiative
  • Being detail-oriented
  • Demonstrating adaptability
  • Technical skills relevant to the field
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Computer skills
  • Organizational ability

As you explore various career fields, pay attention to specific job descriptions and requirements. If there are areas where your skills or knowledge are lacking, talk with your academic advisor and career coach about how you can develop in those areas while you are at Indiana University.

Your academic advisor and career coach can also help you find ways to strengthen and deepen the knowledge you already have, becoming more prepared for whatever path you select after your college career.

Launch your career

Plan your search

A good career exploration starting point is an appointment with The Media School career coach.

The Walter Center for Career Achievement offers job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.

Explore and enroll in Career Communities to learn more about industries relevant to your interests. These offer unique information about each field, including alumni spotlights, opportunities and resources, and in-person events.

You might want to take a career course to help you maximize your time at IU. Bachelor of Arts in Media majors should consider taking ASCS-Q296, College to Career II: Navigate Your Arts and Sciences Experience (Media). This course provides the opportunity for Interactive and Digital Media students to explore the relationship between their chosen field of study and life after graduation while developing a career and academic development plan for post-collegiate success.

The job market

Media is a fast-paced world, requiring you to be nimble and career-ready. The best way to set yourself up for success is to have at least one internship before graduation. Internships give you hands-on experience, helping you make connections, supplement your resume, and explore the ever-changing field of media. 

Initial and long-term destinations for Media School graduates include positions in many job sectors: advertising, broadcasting, communications, magazine and newspaper production, online/multimedia/film production, education, entertainment, and public relations. They work for startups, entrepreneurs, political groups, nonprofit organizations, and businesses of all sizes. 

Want to see where your fellow majors go right after graduating from IU? Check out the Walter Center’s First Destinations survey!

Need more ideas? The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers career information about hundreds of occupations.

Talk with Media School faculty, your academic advisor, career coach and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of The Media School.

 

 

 

Post-graduate short-term experiences

The beginning of your post-graduate career might be an ideal time to explore an international internship or other short-term experience through organizations such as these:      

Idealist provides opportunities around the world, giving you a chance to immerse yourself in a new setting while developing your skills. Opportunities are constantly changing, based on the evolution of the media field.

Talk with your career coach and search online for experiences tailored to your media interests. 

Fellowships for post-graduate study

Fellowships are temporary post-graduate opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund graduate school. Most opportunities can be found through universities, non-profit, and government organizations.

Resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:

Graduate and professional study

When applying to graduate or to professional schools, you’ll need letters of recommendation from faculty members who are familiar with your work. Make a practice of attending office hours early in your academic career, to get to know your professors and discuss your options for advanced study in the field.

A Bachelor of Arts in Media with an Interactive and Digital Media concentration will prepare you for entry into graduate programs in film, production, digital media, advertising, management, policy and culture.

With careful planning, and in consultation with the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, you could also prepare to enter law school, medical school, or other programs in the health professions.

You might consider these Indiana University graduate opportunities:

Alumni connections

Talk with Media School faculty, the academic advisorcareer coach and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of The Media School.

The IU College of Arts + Sciences has thousands of active alumni. Check out the IU College Luminaries program, which connects students with the College's most influential, successful, and inspiring alumni.

Join the Walter Center Success Network to remain in touch, network directly with College of Arts +Sciences Alumni, and let others know where your path takes you.


Is it for you?

The Media School attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and interests. They typically have some of the following qualities:

  • desire to learn web development skills and languages
  • fascination in interactive technology and design
  • interest in computer programming
  • aptitude for graphic design
  • passion for digital storytelling
  • motivation to develop imaginative audio, visual, and interactive media
  • appreciation of the creative collaborative process

Learn more

Contact a Media School academic advisor and schedule an appointment to explore your options. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Department website
Advisor email address
mschadv@indiana.edu