Interactive Arts and Media

Interactive Arts & Media

In the IAM major, students invent creative design solutions that focus on the user and prepare for careers within the dynamic and expanding fields of interactive design and development. IAM is ideal for both the creative artist who possesses digital/computer-based skills and the backend developer/coder /programmer with an aesthetic eye, strong work ethic and an impulse to innovate.

Interactive Arts and Media (BA)

The IAM major emphasizes the principles of user interface and experience design anchored by a strong dose of back-end technical skill development. You will acquire proficiency in web-based programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, CSS, XML, MySQL, HTML and HTML5 and be able to apply these languages to the creation of a variety of media with interactivity at their center. Through foundation courses, you will learn the relationship between media and computational theory, art and technology. You will learn to create 2D, 3D and time-based digital content using a variety of multimedia authoring tools and integrate that content into responsive interactive applications. By synthesizing your digital design skills, creativity and knowledge of user-centered interaction theory, you will create versatile projects that reach a wide variety of clients and audiences.

In your senior year, you will participate in a dynamic capstone Team class where you will perform a specialized role within an interactive multimedia production team and contribute your own brand of expertise to the completion of a real-world client driven project. Upon successful completion of the program, you will present a professional web-based portfolio featuring your body of work that demonstrates a mastery of navigational interfaces, search engine optimization and visual identity design.

The IAM major prepares you to enter professional work within the creative industries as an interaction designer, interactive creative director, user experience designer, user interface developer or web developer/designer. With a minor in Marketing and Communication, you will also be prepared for jobs as social media strategists, web analysts and online community managers.

Course Requirements

54 credits are required in the IAM major. The courses recommended for the first year include:

  • Computational Media Development – 36-1010
  • Digital Image Design – 36-1300
  • Programming Theory and Concepts – 36-1501
  • Authoring Interactive Media- 36-2601

View a list of required courses by downloading the IAM Four Year Plan.

 

Interactive Arts and Media (BFA)

Admitted students in the BFA major learn to integrate image, sound, motion, story and interactivity to create compelling new media works using emerging technologies. Students develop technical, design and conceptual skills to create new forms of digital art and storytelling that emphasize process and experimentation. Technical and aesthetic approaches are grounded in analysis, research and creative problem-solving. Through IAM’s stellar Visiting Artist Program, students interact directly with many of the world’s most renowned New Media Artists. The BFA builds on the IAM BA core classes, while offering greater opportunities for depth, individual expression and the exploration of art history and theory. 

Through the BFA program you will use state of the art resources, including a fabrication lab, visual programming software, motion sensors, robotics kits, and a motion capture studio to make generative art, physical and wearable computing, bots, virtual and augmented environments, simulations and computer controlled installations. 

The BFA program stresses the importance of theory and research so that you may confidently analyze and author new media cultures, ideas and objects. You will learn to create new technology-based work that builds upon the traditions and aesthetics of new media and interactive theory. By mastering the latest in tools and technologies, while working both independently and as a collaborating team member, you will experience numerous opportunities to exhibit work publically. In addition, you will gain an understanding of the role of curation in the planning, design and implementation of new media productions and exhibitions. You will graduate with a body of work and a professional digital portfolio, fully prepared for careers or postgraduate study as new media or interactive artists.

Admissions Requirements

Students may apply for the BFA after accumulating 60 credit hours. An artist statement or statement of intent, a web-based portfolio, and a “B” average in every departmental course and elective counting toward the major, is required. The portfolio must be a website dedicated to the BFA application process demonstrating significant effort and achievement in a representative body of work.

Course Requirements 

75 credits are required in the IAM BFA major. The courses recommended for the first year include: 

  • Computational Media Development – 36-1010
  • Digital Image Design – 36-1300
  • Intro to Programming: Theory and Concepts – 36-1501
  • Authoring Interactive Media- 36-2601

View a list of required courses by downloading the IAM BFA Four Year Plan.

Web Development Minor

In order to communicate and succeed in today’s digital landscape, a fundamental understanding of web development, social media and user-centered design is not just a bonus, it is a requirement. The Interactive Arts and Media Department's minor in Web Development is designed for students of any major who would like to supplement their work with skills in developing for and distributing work through the web. The Minor is ideal for those majoring in graphic design, fiction writing, marketing, arts and media management, journalism, television and film/video.

The Web Development minor provides you with a firm grounding in the technical aspects of web page creation, programming, and information management. You learn state-of-the-art programming languages to create interactive web sites with dynamic content. By combining high-end web content and design programming skills you will become more competitive in the creative industries marketplace.

The expansion of interactive and multimedia elements within the Web, mobile and social media based landscape has created a need for experimental approaches to web design. In combination with your major, the Web Development minor enables you to take an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to web design. You will explore and experience the latest technological advances in hardware and software in our classrooms and labs, and to learn from industry professionals. With a Minor in Web Development you will learn the techniques essential to developing and designing navigational interfaces with dynamic content that are centered on user experience. You will be able to apply current industry standards of markup and scripting languages to build websites that function as an interactive medium for personal expression, creative exploration and commercial purposes.

Course Requirements

21 credits are required in the Web Development Minor. The courses recommended for the first year include:

  • Media Theory and Design I – 36-1000
  • Digital Image Design – 36-1300
  • Authoring Interactive Media- 36-2601

View a list of required of courses by downloading the Web Development Minor Four Year Plan.

Mobile Media and Web Programming

Complete information on this major is available here

Careers

Sample Careers

 

Median Salary

Creative Technologist

 

$77,000

Game Tester

$50,000

Innovation Strategist

$70,800

Interactive Creative Director

$93,500

Social Media Strategist

$73,000

User Experience Designer (UX)

$71,750

User Interface Designer (UI)

$77,500

User Interface Developer

$78,500

Web Analyst

$73,000

Web Designer

$45,000

Web Developer

$78,500

Interactive Creative Director 

$93,500

Teaching New Media Artist 

$45,000


Sources: 2012 Game Developer’s Salary Survey and Creative Group 2012 Salary Guide