The University of Connecticut has finalized plans to offer two new undergraduate degrees in digital media and design, a cross-disciplinary program intended to give students a competitive edge for career success in that rapidly growing job market.
The majors, approved Wednesday by the UConn Board of Trustees, will be offered starting in the fall semester at the Storrs and Stamford campuses. They are jointly sponsored by the schools of fine arts, business, and engineering.
About 135 students already have been studying digital media and design this year through the newly launched Department of Digital Media & Design, which will offer the degrees as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts.
The field involves the creative convergence of digital arts, science, technology, and business to present information in visually compelling and innovative ways. It constitutes a set of skills and tools that are increasingly in demand in the corporate world, entertainment industry, science and technology realms, mass media, and numerous other fields.
It’s also an area in which many Connecticut businesses are investing resources and seeking to recruit talented workers, so UConn’s work to provide highly trained graduates for those jobs will both benefit the students and support the state’s economic development efforts.
“The program’s strong curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, and research initiatives will establish UConn as a state and national leader in this evolving industry,” says Tim Hunter, director of the new Department of Digital Media & Design.
The department, in collaboration with the recently established Digital Media Center, will focus on research and academic offerings in four primary areas:
- Creative endeavors such as development and production of digital media products for entertainment;
- Use of digital media in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math);
- Use of digital media in business for marketing, branding, advertising, entrepreneurship, advertising, and other communications fields;
- And visualizing knowledge and information in digital form in the humanities and social sciences – creating a virtual library of an author’s life and works, for instance.
The BA and BFA degrees will have the same core requirements. All students will graduate with a core competency in the history and culture of digital media, web design, interactive media, digital game development, 2D and 3D animation, and visualization techniques.
Students earning the BFA degree will be particularly focused on the creative aspects of digital media for entertainment and business. Students earning the BA will specialize in using digital media techniques in marketing, branding, communications, sciences, digital humanities, engineering, social sciences, and related fields.
The University launched the new Department of Digital Media & Design last fall with five faculty members. It plans to eventually offer master’s degrees in arts and fine arts as well, along with four-course post-baccalaureate certificates.