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Digital Media Studies

Bachelor of Arts

The Digital Media Studies (DMS) major seeks to advance expertise in a rapidly growing field. Students concentrate their studies in emphasis areas of web design, front-end coding (HTML/CSS/Javascript), interactive media, and computer programming. This unique interdisciplinary program incorporates coursework from the Computer Science, Art + Design, and Communication departments. Media majors at Clarke are prepared to enter a career in web design, web development, mobile app development, eCommerce, entertainment, digital marketing, or interactive animation after graduation. Digital Media Studies students learn web page design, creative content development (images, ads, audio/video, and animations), and web development through the use of emerging web technologies. Students develop technical expertise, aesthetic sensitivity, and the ability to construct on-screen interfaces for mobile applications and websites.

The DMS major seeks to advance expertise in a rapidly growing field. Students concentrate their studies in emphasis areas of web design, front-end coding (HTML/CSS/Javascript), interactive media, and computer programming. This unique interdisciplinary program incorporates coursework from the Computer Science, Art + Design, and Communication departments.

Digital Media Studies major student received feedback from Clarke University Professor
Clarke University Digital Media Studies students in engaging with professor in class.

Why Digital Media Studies?

You might wonder, what is media studies? The Digital Media Studies major is a unique pre-professional liberal arts program that spans across the Art + Design and Computer Science departments. Graduates of the Digital Media studies program meet a growing need for career-ready professionals in the field of interaction design. Coursework in Graphic Design and Computer Science provide a broad foundation for student developers and designers to hone technical expertise and aesthetic sensitivity. Digital Media Studies students will learn visual content creation, coding, and delivery of on-screen interfaces for computer applications and websites. At the intersection of these emerging fields of hardware and software, and device and user, students engage in the practical, theoretical, and ethical foundations of critical thinking in an increasingly media-driven world. With an emphasis on visual communication and information design systems, hands-on learning prepares a media major for a lifetime of experimentation and innovation. If this sounds right up your alley, visit Dubuque, Iowa, to learn about our digital communication degree.

Why Clarke University for Digital Media Studies?

With state-of-the-art technologies, leading faculty, and flexible studies, Clarke University is the ideal place to explore the connections between digital technology, critical analysis, production, and innovation. By blending Clarke’s two excellent disciplines of graphic design and computer science, students are capable of completing a Bachelors of Arts degree in Digital Media Studies with the opportunity to focus specifically on web + mobile design development, as well as potentially pursue another major or minor.

As a Digital Media Studies major, you will complete at least one internship experience within the local/regional area. The senior capstone experience provides one-on-one mentorship with a member of faculty while students prepare a professional portfolio for a senior thesis presentation. Students acquire digital production and development skills partly through classroom learning but primarily through experiential learning and collaborative team-building projects inside and outside of the classroom. Graduates with a Digital Media Studies degree are equipped to find competitive jobs working with cutting edge tools of communication across the internet and emerging media platforms like virtual and augmented reality.

Students majoring in DMS develop skills with both Macintosh and Windows-based computer platforms. Upon graduation, students are prepared to enter careers in web design, web development, mobile app development, digital marketing, digital content creation, and interactive animation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of web developers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the national average growth of other fields. Demand is driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices, digital marketing, and eCommerce solutions.

In class instruction for Digital Media Studies students at Clarke University.

Program Details

As a Digital Media Studies major, you will create amazing user experiences and virtual worlds on the internet in the world of mass media communication. Digital Media Studies is a unique program that prepares students to apply HTML, CSS, Javascript, and creative apps from Adobe Creative Cloud and other authoring tools. Instruction includes web page design, creative development (images, videos, sound, and animations), web page standards, and use of emerging web technologies. You will develop technical expertise, aesthetic sensitivity, and the ability to construct on-screen interfaces for mobile applications and websites. Digital media has become the new standard literacy of the 21stcentury. This is a pre-professional program that emphasizes paid internships and other integrative learning experiences. Exposure to industry professionals helps to guide your pathway to success and leadership. Further study of communication and business gives you a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship to digitally consumed media, yourself, and influences of internet culture.

Tell me about cool classes in the Digital Media Studies major.
Here is a sampling of the types of classes a Digital Media Studies major will take:

  • DMS 103 Introduction to Computer Information Systems
  • DMS 105 Art and Design Methods
  • ARHS 134 Art of the Western World II

Experiential Education and Internships

Media majors may take advantage of internship and experiential education opportunities through work experiences at local businesses and organizations. These experiences are intended to supplement classroom learning by allowing the application of design and computer systems skills and techniques. A student may earn credit beyond the departmental requirement and apply it toward graduation requirements.

Facilities and Equipment

As a DMS major, you will have full access to our design and computer information labs.

Digital Media + Graphic Design Studios

  • 18 iMacs
  • 7 iPad mini + stylus
  • Large Scanners
  • Full-Color Laser Printer
  • Large-format 44” Epson Inkjet Printer
  • Adobe CC + Apps
  • Apple TV + Widescreen Lumen Projector
  • Surround Sound Audio System
  • MakerBot 3D Printer
  • Universal Laser Cutter
  • Expansive 5’ x 8’ production table
  • Comfy couch

Computer Science Lab

  • 6 high-end Windows PC
  • 2 iMacs, Oculus Rift (VR) with Oculus Touch
  • Parrot Drone
  • 3D scanner
  • 2 iPads
  • 1 iPad mini

Admission to Clarke University

Digital Media Studies applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

“The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. The assumption is that somewhere, hidden, is a better way of doing things.”  – Harry Bertoia

Sweet Internships

Digital Media Studies students have completed internships both locally in Iowa and beyond. Here are some examples of internship opportunities:
Gigantic Design

  • McCullough Creative
  • Design Mill
  • Cartegraph Systems
  • McGraw Hill
  • Kendall Hunt
  • The Stevens Company
  • Belstar Media
  • Hammel Creative Media
  • Net-Smart Inc
  • UV Design
  • Tri-State Business Professionals
  • Creative Adventure Lab

What is a Digital Media Designer?

Digital media designers (multimedia or interaction designers) work in a variety of mediums. You will create storyboards and wireframes for user experiences and user interfaces. Multimedia designers create a range of full-motion brand pages or social media ads to sell a company’s product or promote civic causes. You need skills in animation, website design, and video production that provide digital media designers a playground of interactive media. You will develop a portfolio of your best work. Examples include social media graphics, web pages, mobile device apps, and digital video content. Some industries that hire digital media designers are creative agencies, film and video productions, online businesses, web development, video gaming companies, and marketing agencies.

Can I get a job making cool stuff? 
Employment of web developers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Meet Our Faculty

When our Digital Media Studies graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. Your professors will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Eric Wold, MFA

Eric Wold, MFA

Associate Professor of Graphic Design

I believe all keen observers of the world should critique and evaluate contemporary systems of production, consumption, and technological invention. Simply put, the Internet needs to be more fun, somewhat ridiculous, absurd, perhaps dysfunctional. It could be more experimental and even illegible. Sure, we need our online retail outlets, and clean, clear, business landing pages too. The internet is all around us; it binds us, and flows throughout our everyday environments. It is the age of augmentation…a better reality is hidden somewhere. Make it, code it, and create it.

Joshua Moris, MIS

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I am a computer gamer.  I love playing and creating video games.  I find it stimulating and challenging to both create and play video games.  I am constantly pushing myself to be better in both areas.  I leverage these skills to help me build and create other applications that are also challenging and rewarding.  I carry the fun and excitement of playing video games over to other areas in technology: augmented reality, virtual reality, drones, Internet of Things, robotics, and big data.  My innate curiosity compels me to explore these areas to find new ideas and new ways to work with technology.

Clarke Graphic Design Program Student Erik Brolin's Art
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Nick Becker ‘19

Nick Becker ‘19

One of the best things about this program is the diversity of the projects that I worked on, which really allowed me to figure out my strengths. Learning animation, web design, and everything a functioning marketing team would do was very important to the job I do now.

Maggie Christianson ‘21

Maggie Christianson ‘21

I love the hand-on projects and useful feedback in my classes. It’s great being around other people who have passion for the same work that I have passion for.

Katie Marter ‘18

Katie Marter ‘18

The type of thinking that is a crossover of both of my degrees is what led me to be an ideal candidate for the my current position in product management marketing. Clarke made me a quick learner and adaptable. After only seven months, I exceled so much that I received a raise.

2017 Median Pay

Web Developer/Designer

15 %
from 2016 to 2026

Employment of web developers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Job Placement

in field of study in 6 months or less after graduation

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Digital Media Studies for Yourself

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