Digital Media MS

Major: Digital Media
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0 
Co-op Option: Available for full-time, on-campus master's-level students
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 11.0801
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 15-1134

About the Program

As a natural extension of the Animation and Visual Effects, Game Design and Production, Interactive Digital Media, and Virtual Reality and Immersive Media undergraduate programs, the Master of Science (MS) program challenges students to push beyond what is known and into what is possible.

Students who will excel are those who:

  • Have graduated with significant skills in 3-D modeling and animation, game design, or interactive digital media and could immediately find a job in user experience (UX) design, game design, virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR), or animation—but want more. Students will build upon those skills and develop a critical understanding of how the industry evolves, so they can forecast the future and prepare employers for what’s coming.
  • Are a scholar with significant knowledge in the field of digital media and want both to advance that knowledge and to apply it to research problems across disciplines. Students can expand their universe of possibilities in areas like gaming, animation, virtual and augmented reality, or immersive media in general. 

This program is STEM designated.

In this two-year program, students will combine research with applicable skills in 21st century media applications. The curriculum offers a mix of academic coursework and project-related activities in advanced digital design, including 3-D modeling, animation, interactivity, gaming and digital media history, theory, and methods. 

Additional Information

For more information, visit Drexel's Graduate Studies in Digital Media webpage.

Admission Requirements (MS)

Master of Science Program

The MS in Digital Media is an advanced course of study. A successful applicant for admission will have a baccalaureate degree, a minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA, and assumed production skills in 3-D modeling, animation, and interactivity.

Proof of basic competencies is demonstrated by undergraduate transcript and/or portfolio review. For qualified candidates lacking production skills, we offer a series of pre-graduate classes. Satisfactory completion of the classes qualifies one to apply for graduate admission. Pre-graduate classes may include some or all for the following:

CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
CS 172Computer Programming II3.0
DIGM 100Digital Design Tools3.0
DIGM 505Design and Interactivity Bootcamp3.0
DIGM 506Animation and Game Design Bootcamp3.0

Additional Information

For more information on requirements and how to apply, visit Graduate Admissions at Drexel University.

Degree Requirements (MS)

Students are required to take a Digital Media History, Theory, and Methods course and an advanced seminar for a total of 6.0 credits, as well as a minimum of nine courses in advanced modeling animation and interactivity.

During the first year, students also take three New Media Project courses (9.0 credits). These courses provide opportunities to work on funded and unfunded research and industry projects under the guidance of a graduate faculty member. With faculty approval, students may also work on personally designed projects relevant to problem solving in a student's specific area of interest.

In addition, students are required to take 12.0 credits (a minimum of four courses) of directed studies in support of developing knowledge in an area—outside of media and design—to which digital media skills may be applied. The set of directed studies will be determined by the students and their graduate advisors. Possible areas for this focus include, but are not limited to, computer science, information science, bio-medical technology, social science, humanities, and education.

Thesis Project

During the second year of study, each student develops and produces a master's thesis project. By the third week of the fall term, students submit a proposal to the Digital Media Graduate Committee. Upon approval of the proposal, the student works toward thesis completion, including:

  • An oral presentation to the college
  • A written statement to the committee
  • A copy of the completed media work for the graduate program archive

The thesis project must demonstrate domain knowledge of the agreed-upon classes. The media component of the project must demonstrate expertise in 3-D modeling/animation and/or interactivity.

Prerequisite Courses

Students without adequate background in digital media are required to take the following prerequisite courses, which are offered during the fall term of the first year of enrollment. These courses do not count towards the MS in Digital Media degree requirements.

Bootcamps *
DIGM 505Design and Interactivity Bootcamp3.0
DIGM 506Animation and Game Design Bootcamp3.0
Total Credits6.0

 Required for students without digital media background.

Required Courses

Digital Media Core
DIGM 501New Media: History, Theory and Methods3.0
DIGM 510Designing for Interactivity3.0
DIGM 511Research Methods for Digital Media3.0
Digital Media Specialization18.0
Select 18.0 credits from the following list:
Game Design and Development
Game Design I
Game Design II
Game Development Foundations
Serious Games
Experimental Games
Game Design from the Player’s Perspective
Digital Media and Virtual Production
Spatial Data Capture
Animation I
Animation II
Organic Modeling
Advanced Concepts and Applications in Interactive 3D Environments
Immersive World Building
UX Design and Digital Cultural Heritage
Digital Cultural Heritage
Interactivity I
Interactivity II
General Digital Media
Digital Media Skills Intensive
Independent Study in Digital Media
Independent Study in Digital Media
Special Topics in Digital Media
Special Topics in Digital Media
New Media Project
DIGM 540New Media Project **6.0
DIGM 680Thesis Development3.0
Directed Studies9.0
Total Credits45.0

 Course is taken 2 times.

Sample Plan of Study (MS)

Students without adequate background in digital media must complete two prerequisite courses which are offered during the fall term of the first year of enrollment: DIGM 505 Design and Interactivity and DIGM 506 Animation and Game Design.

First Year
DIGM 5013.0DIGM 5103.0DIGM 5113.0Digital Media Specialization3.0
DIGM 5053.0DIGM 5403.0DIGM 5403.0 
DIGM 5063.0Digital Media Specialization3.0Digital Media Specialization3.0 
 9 9 9 3
Second Year
DIGM 6801.0DIGM 6801.0DIGM 6801.0 
Digital Media Specialization3.0Digital Media Specialization3.0Digital Media Specialization3.0 
Directed Elective3.0Directed Elective3.0Directed Elective3.0 
 7 7 7 
Total Credits 51

Note: First Year Summer term is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term. 


The Digital Media program operates several labs including a state-of-the-art combined green screen/motion capture studio as well as 2.5 ton, 3-degree-of-freedom motion platform. All labs and classrooms are equipped with powerful Dell and Boxx Technologies Workstations running Windows and Unix operating systems and Mac computers running OS X. Software includes a host of Adobe products and Autodesk 3ds Max and Combustion; Alias Maya; Softimage XSI and Behavior, Pixar RenderMan Pro Server along with RenderMan Artist Tools for Maya and RenderMan for Maya; Pixologic Z-Brush; Apple Shake; MotionBuilder; GarageGames; NextLimit RealFlow, and SideEffect's Houdini.

Digital Media Faculty

Alexus Aiken, MS (Drexel University). Visting Instructor.
Paul Diefenbach, PhD (University of Pennsylvani). Associate Professor. Game development, real-time rendering
Troy Finamore, MS (Drexel University) Program Director, User Experience & Interaction Design. Teaching Professor. User interface design, interaction design, user experience design, and user research.
Aroutis N. Foster, PhD (Michigan State University) Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. Professor. Educational psychology and educational technology, especially the following: Motivation; Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK); Immersive Interactive Digital Environments (simulation, games, virtual realities.
Nick Jushchyshyn, MFA (Academy of Art University) Program Director, VR & Immersive Media. Associate Professor. Visual effects, digital media and animation.
Frank J. Lee, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University). Professor. Human-computer interaction; cognitive engineering and science, intelligent software agents for games and education.
Robert Lloyd, MFA (Temple University) Program Director, Game Design & Production. Associate Teaching Professor. Game development, themed entertainment and motion simulation
David Mauriello, BA (Lafayette College). Assistant Professor. 3D modeling and animation.
Glen Muschio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media, society, communication
Santiago Ontañón, PhD (University of Barcelona). Associate Professor. Game AI, computer games, artificial intelligence, machine learning, case-based reasoning
Stefan Rank, PhD (Vienna University of Technology). Associate Professor. Artificial intelligence, game design and human-computer interaction
Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia
Michael Wagner, PhD (Vienna University of Technology) Program Director, Digital Media. Associate Professor. Educational use of digital media and computer games.
Jichen Zhu, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Associate Professor. Developing humanistic and interpretive framework of computational technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and constructing AI-based cultural artifacts; interactive storytelling, games and software studies.

Emeritus Faculty

Theo Artz, BFA (Tyler School of Art, Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees