M.F.A. Curriculum

Application deadline is in

Students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours at the graduate level with an average of B and no grade lower than a C-. Prior written approval is required from both the chair of the interactive media program and the director of graduate studies for transfer credit hours, for course substitutions as well as for taking a course at another university.

Students are required to register for a capstone project seminar. To register for this course, students must complete all courses with a standing 3.0 GPA. The capstone course is designed to help students define and execute their final projects. To graduate, students must complete and present a fully articulated capstone project and related documentation.

Students must complete all master’s degree requirements within 6 years.

Core (first semester)

CIM 640. Intro to Creative Coding. 3 Credit Hours.

Intro to Creative Coding

Intro to Creative Coding

This course will introduce students to the building blocks of creative coding within the visual and media environment.

Typically Taken: First Semester

CIM 643. Designing Innovation. 3 Credit Hours.
Students will explore the process of creating a dialogue between individuals or groups of people and a product, service, or system.

Typically Taken: First Semester

CIM 690. Prototyping Techniques. 3 Credit Hours.
This course covers the production concepts and techniques to design and develop dynamic graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for web applications across multiple devices. Students will develop competency with several key technologies used in web development and providing them with the skills and principles needed to make effective use of these technologies.

Typically Taken: First Semester

JMM 622. Infographics And Data Visualization. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is an introduction to the visual display of information in digital and interactive media, with a special focus on the encoding of data by means of statistical charts, maps, and diagrams.
Components: LAB.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Taken: First Semester

Sketches for 5-in-5 design challenge for CIM 643. Intro To Systems: Designing Interactivity.

Sketches for 5-in-5 design challenge for CIM 643. Intro To Systems: Designing Interactivity.

Required Courses

CIM 622. UX Research. 3 Credit Hours.
The course provides a comprehensive overview of User Experience research methods and how they are incorporated into the product development lifecycle. Students will learn about user-centered design and will conduct a wide range of research methods including ethnography, questionnaires, online studies, and usability testing. There will be considerable focus on practicing research skills and reporting findings from these activities.

Typically Taken: Second Semester

CIM 636. Collaborative Innovation Laboratory. 3 Credit Hours.
In this collaboration studio course, students will form small teams and undertake real-world projects with a partnering organization. Students will be provided a design brief outlining project objectives identified by the partnering organization. Over the course of the semester, students will research, brainstorm, design, and test innovative interactive solutions for this core objective, including proposing ideas and presenting prototypes to the partnering organization. Projects that satisfy the partner’s needs may result in on-going work for full implementation and exposure for students’ work.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 645. Managing Interactive Media Projects. 3 Credit Hours.
This course takes a comprehensive look at managing interactive media projects from inception to implementation and maintenance.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 691. Capstone. 3 Credit Hours.
The capstone seminar is designed to demonstrate a student’s accumulated training in Interactive Media in a single original project of their choice, subject to the instructor’s approval and under the additional supervision of a faculty mentor.

Typically Offered: Spring.

Electives

CIM 613. Mobile Application Development. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will provide students the ability to conceptualize, design, and develop a mobile application of their choosing.

Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

CIM 635. Introduction to UI Design. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is an exploration of the fundamental elements of graphic form, movement, and interaction as expressive and meaningful agents in digital media. Students will work through a series of structured studio exercises designed to iteratively move them from simple to complex visual vocabularies, methods of analysis, workflows, and problem solving using mainstream as well as lesser known software tools. No prior design experience is required but assignments are designed to benefit students of all levels; graduate students will have more flexibility for adapting work to their thesis subject.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 641. Technology Trends. 3 Credit Hours.
Trends is a foundation course intended to promote a dialogue about the current state of business, art, health, culture, and innovation.

Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

Physical computing

Physical computing

CIM 642. Physical Computing And Prototyping. 3 Credit Hours.
This seminar will examine the differences and opportunities present, between a series of physical computing techniques and rapid prototyping.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 644. Media Activism. 3 Credit Hours.
In this course, students will examine the role of media in shaping social reform to document social issues such as poverty, human rights, social inequities, the environment, and powerless groups. We will review the philosophy and history of media as activism ranging from photography, documentary, cinema, the Internet, social media and newer forms of media. Emphasis is placed on developing a critical understanding of current media advocacy practices with a conscious goal; awareness, change minds, to affect policy, and action. At the end of the semester, students will have a fully developed project concept.

Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

CIM 651. Motion Graphics And Compositing. 3 Credit Hours.
Methods, techniques and aesthetics of 2D computer animation and compositing including animated text, title design and green screen.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 654. Advanced Motion Graphics and Compositing. 3 Credit Hours.
Extend the 2D skills of students who have taken CMP 550 to 3D motion graphics and animation. Emphasis on title design and animation.
Prerequisite: CIM 651.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 692. Advanced Systems: Designing Playful Experiences. 3 Credit Hours.
Building on their systems foundation from the Intro to Systems course, students will continue to play and analyze the games along with designing games in order to build a more extensive vocabulary and toolkit to both understand and design interactive systems. Students will be exposed to a range of popular game prototyping technologies (for example: Twine, GameSalad, ARIS) and will create several mini projects as well as one final game project created using the platform of their choice. Students will explore a different core game mechanic with each prototyping tool thus broadening their ability to create targeted meaning within a playful experience.
Prerequisite: CIM 643.

Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

CIM 693. 3 Credit Hours.
This course teaches data analysis through the development of interactive web applications. The course focuses on communicating through computer programming. Students will learn to build and use databases as a primary source and explore data as content. For this course students will be required to build custom software solutions through web programming languages that utilize third party APIs to interpret, analyze and manipulate data.

Typically Offered: Spring.

CIM 721. Game Development Studio. 3 Credit Hours.

Grading: CNC.
Typically Offered: Fall.

ECS 610. Technology & Human Behavior

This course will explore the social aspects of technology use and cultural adaptation through cross-cultural ethnographic research on science and traditional beliefs. From the adoption of chainsaws in Amazonian forestry to the use of smart watches in Japanese cities, technological choice will be examined through psychological theories of behavior, socio-cultural perspectives, and institutional and economic forces. Reflecting the rising social, cultural, scientific, and political importance of emerging digital culture (e.g. virtual reality, smart devices, artificial intelligence), a key focus of the second half of the course will focus on philosophical notions of post-human cyborgism. Students will be introduced to recent research on the cognitive issues of social media use and consumption, including social media addiction and other neurological impacts of chronic screen use. Coursework will connect historical understandings and larger social analysis of digital media use and encourage students to participate in an ongoing exploration of their own technological choices and media practices. Students will also be exposed to multidisciplinary theories and research on risk perception and the psychology and effectiveness of environmental messaging in order to address how various media technologies impact individual and collective thinking and action.

Typically Offered: Fall.

JMM 650. 3D Design and Graphics. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on the use of 3D Design software for communication and how to integrate with other print and digital technologies.

Typically Offered: Spring.

GEG 680. Spatial Data Analysis I. 3 Credit Hours.

The use of basic methods or quantitative analysis for spatial data, including basic descriptive and inferential statistics and special techniques for spatial data.

Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

GEG 691. Geographic Information Systems I. 3 Credit Hours.

An introduction to fundamental concepts in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related geographic technologies. Students are exposed to leading GIS software tools used in the industry.

Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

GEG 692. Remote Sensing of the Environment. 3 Credit Hours.

Theory and techniques of environmental remote sensing and imagery interpretation for earth resources monitoring and management.

Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.