Digital multimedia project

Bachelor of Design inDigital Multimedia Design

Program summary

Build a strong portfolio as you learn to develop and deliver compelling design using information technology and communication skills. This online degree program can help you prepare for a rewarding career in a variety of creative industries including technology, media, product design, and marketing.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

120 Credits$626/$671 per credit

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Become a Design Leader in the Creative Industries

There is a need for multi-domain design thinkers and makers able to meet the challenges of today's complex world. The Penn State World Campus Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design can help you prepare for a rewarding career in a variety of creative industries including technology, media, product design, and marketing. In this interdisciplinary program, you can learn to adapt the design process to solve contemporary, real-world design issues. Learn to discover, define, develop, and deliver compelling design using information technology and communication. 

Your Penn State Digital Multimedia Design Course Work

This program integrates courses in visual arts and design, information sciences and technology, communications, and General Education electives. You'll create projects using leading multimedia applications and programming languages in this dynamic, project-based curriculum. You'll also have the opportunity to study in a collaborative format that will allow you to work with other students to further explore and apply what you're learning.

Renowned faculty from Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture, College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications teach the courses offered in the Digital Multimedia Design program. Through your course work, you can enhance your ability to use creative thinking and critical reasoning to organize ideas and present them in a range of visual forms, scenarios, and narrative projects.

Design Your Path

Digital Multimedia Design Program

Over the duration of your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop a robust portfolio of design work as well as create a self-directed project in the capstone semester. Along the way, you can customize your experiences through the program pathways — suggested curricula in functional multimedia topics. Visit the DMD Program Hub to view a dynamic representation of possible pathways and innovative web design. 

Courses

The Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design program requires you to complete a minimum of 120 credits.

Students can earn up to six (6) COMM credits through the credit-by-portfolio process. However, it is important for students to know that completing the credit-by-portfolio process does not guarantee that the credits will be awarded.

Prescribed Courses (27 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces 2D digital imaging techniques and concepts for the production of original art and design using graphics software.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to the language, aesthetics, and cultural impacts of digital art and design in contemporary society.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to digital photography, emphasizing camera skills, aesthetics, and storytelling.

    • Note

      Basic Photography for Communications is a hands-on, skills-oriented, results-driven class that requires students to own a suitable mobile phone along with a computer and software. Please contact Will Yurman, instructor, at [email protected] with any questions or concerns.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    The application of creativity to the practical concerns of narrative script and radio/television spot writing.

    • Prerequisite

      Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment: ENGL 15 and ENGL 202

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to concepts, skills, language and principles of practice in art and design, communication, and information sciences.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    In this course students synthesize concepts, theories, and applications acquired in introductory courses and think critically about their professional objectives.

    • Prerequisite

      DMD 100 and 9 credits from the following list: IST 140, IST 250, COMM 230W, COMM 215, DART 202, ART 211Y

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    In this capstone, students develop portfolio projects by applying creative production concepts, tools, and approaches to a contemporary issue.

    • Prerequisite

      DMD 100 and DMD 300

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the relationship between physical capabilities, cognitive and social models, and philosophical issues pertinent to human-centered analysis, design and development work.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to how the World Wide Web utilizes emerging technologies. Students acquire a conceptual understanding of constructing websites.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

Additional Courses (select 30 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to visual studies; pictorial space and the principles of visual organization.

  • 3
    credits

    Introductory experience in making of art through drawing media; designed for nonmajors seeking general overview of studio practice.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces 3D foundational skills for producing images, videos, objects, and interactive real-time virtual spaces with 3D software.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces time-based animation fundamentals along with core skills and knowledge necessary for producing animated work.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces essential techniques and concepts of modern web design, focusing on how visual graphics and layout contribute to user experience.

  • 3
    credits

    An intermediate level studio course in which students develop digital art and design work that promotes creative thinking and problem-based learning in producing digital media projects to be included in their digital portfolio.

    • Prerequisite

      DART 202 or DART 203 or DART 204 or DART 205 or DART 206

  • 3
    credits

    This course emphasizes the development of presentation skills for digital artists in audience/client interactions.

    • Prerequisite

      DART 300

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of individuals' selection, uses and perceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

  • 3
    credits

    The development of electronic media and telecommunications, emphasizing social, economic, political and global impact.

  • 3
    credits

    Students will evaluate content creation and distribution methods and demonstrate proficiency across emerging digital products and services.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to various modalities of idea development and written expression for media production.

    • Prerequisite

      Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment: COMM 242 or COMM 282

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of the various media and communications methods that comprise modern integrated marketing campaigns.

  • 3
    credits

    Development of an informed and critical approach to photocommunication; individual and team projects, seminars, and critiques.

    • Prerequisite

      Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment: COMM 269

  • 3
    credits

    Development in the law, policy, and business of Internet-mediated communications and commerce; emphasis on impact on existing legal, regulatory, and economic models.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGR 310 or COMM 180 or COMM 271 or MGMT 215

  • 3
    credits

    Study foundational concepts and methodologies in User Experience (UX) design and thinking. The course will feature iterative design processes to employ basic management techniques in working with product stakeholders for digital planning practices.

  • 3
    credits

    Apply knowledge in User Interface (UI) design and practice designing and prototyping compelling visual interfaces for multiple platforms - from websites to physical spaces to the nuanced interactions in mobile and wearable environments.

    • Prerequisite

      GD 110

  • 3
    credits

    Intermediate application development including algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented concepts.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 140 or CMPSC 121 or IST 240

  • 3
    credits

    Introductory design and development studio course for IST and SRA students.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 242 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to object-oriented applications including applications in an Object Oriented Design (OOD) language or OOD languages.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 242 or CMPSC 221

  • 3
    credits

    This course addresses activities in the system development process that ensure usability. It considers the emerging concept of usability, requirements gathering and analysis, activity design, information design, interaction design, documentation design, user testing and usability evaluation.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 331

Supporting Courses (select 18 credits)

Choose 6 credits of history of art, design, technology, and communications courses in consultation with an adviser.

Choose 12 credits in related areas in consultation with an adviser.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foundations: 15 credits  
    All courses require a grade of C or better. Inter-Domain courses may not be used for foundations requirements. 
    • Writing/Speaking: 9 credits 
    • Quantification: 6 credits 
      3-6 credits are selected from mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics; 3 credits may be selected from computer science or symbolic logic. 
  • Knowledge Domains: 15 credits  
    Inter-Domain courses may not be used for knowledge domain requirements.
    • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits 
    • Arts (GA): 3 credits 
    • Humanities (GH): 3 credits 
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits  
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    • Inter-Domain course work: 6 credits  
  • Exploration: 9 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN) (may be Inter-Domain): 3 credits
    • GA, GH, GN, GS, and Inter-Domain courses: 6 credits  
      May include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the requirements of the student’s degree program or at the 12th credit level, whichever is higher.

These General Education Requirements are for students who started in summer 2023 or later. Students who started earlier can review the prior version of the general education requirements

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 31 to start January 13

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Admissions Help

Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.

Admission Requirements 

To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed a GED.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:

High school transcripts or GED transcript - First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.)

Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.

Submit official documents by mail to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Start Your Application

Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions. 

If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Review the application instructions before beginning.
  2. Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
  3. Pay the application fee.

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

A team of visual designers working on computers in an open office setting

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

As a graduate of the program, you can use your skills to create, execute, and evaluate communication strategies — making you a valuable asset for businesses, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations. The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Creative Director
  • Design Director
  • Digital Media Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • Web Designer

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Web and Digital Interface Designers

15.2%
employment growth (10 years)
97,350
total employment

Graphic Designers

3.3%
employment growth (10 years)
211,890
total employment

Art Directors

6.1%
employment growth (10 years)
54,470
total employment

Special Effects Artists and Animators

8.2%
employment growth (10 years)
35,990
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Contact Us

To learn more about the Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design, offered in partnership by the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Michael Collins
Lead Faculty/Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor, School of Visual Arts
The Pennsylvania State University
210 Patterson Building
University Park, PA
Phone: 814-863-5349
Email: [email protected]

Faculty

  • Stephen St. Amant

    • Degree
      M.F.A., Penn State
    • Degree
      B.F.A., Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

    Stephen St. Amant, adjunct assistant teaching professor, teaches Introduction to Sculpture. Stephen is an artist, marketer, and musician living in central Pennsylvania. His work is not tied to a specific medium, but woodworking and cabinetmaking have been longtime loves. In his drawings, sculptures, and design work, craftsmanship and attention to detail are a continuous thread. Stephen’s work often uses everyday objects and routines as entry-points to considering larger ideas. Stephen writes a daily blog about productivity, creativity, and personal disposition at www.savenwood.com.

  • Benjamin Andrew

    • Degree
      M.F.A., Mount Royal School of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art
    • Degree
      B.F.A., Painting, Pratt Institute

    Benjamin Andrew is an assistant teaching professor at Penn State, specializing in online education and interdisciplinary design. He has worked as a graphic and web designer for clients ranging from political campaigns to research teams at NASA. His fine art practice explores the frontiers of storytelling by leveraging participatory art and digital media to imagine strange new futures. He previously taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins University; though he misses Baltimore, he enjoys his new home on the internet.

  • Kenneth Ian Brill

    • Degree
      M.F.A., New Media, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.A., Studio Arts, University of Pittsburgh

    Ian Brill is an instructor of digital art for Penn State World Campus. His work focuses on the accumulation of form through process. Through the design of interactive, performative, and multisensorial environments, he considers boundaries of becoming (versus being) and our immersive relationship with technology. His installations, performances, and writing have been presented internationally at conferences, festivals, and galleries.

  • Michael Collins

    • Degree
      M.F.A., New Media, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.F.A., New Media, Penn State

    Michael Collins is an associate professor in the School of Visual Arts and teaches new media studio art and digital design. Collins has been creating online learning technology for over a decade and is an advocate for open-source technology. His current research interests center around free access to teaching knowledge and home-grown learning technology. His most recent collaboration is called OER Schema, a project helping to make open education resources (OER) more interoperable. In his words, “this project is an exhilarating ontological romp through pedagogical metadata.”

    Collins has produced a wide breadth of creative work including new media exhibitions, furniture, web interfaces, drawings, product concepts, and animations. His most recent exhibition work centers around digital privacy, identity, and security. He is the lead faculty coordinator for the multi-college World Campus digital multimedia design program and enjoys teaching design to students that work across subjects.

  • Jamie DiSarno

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Visual Studies, University of Buffalo
    • Degree
      M.F.A., New Media, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.F.A., Painting and Sculpture, State University of New York at Fredonia

    Dr. Jamie DiSarno earned a Ph.D. from University of Buffalo in 2020. She teaches digital art practice and theory as well as modern and contemporary art history and visual culture. Dr. DiSarno has presented her research at national and international conferences, including the College Art Association Conference, the Latin American Studies Association Congress, and the Association for Art History Annual Conference. She published in Wanderlust: A History of Walking in 2018. She taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Buffalo, and State University of New York at Fredonia.

  • Anna Divinsky

    • Degree
      B.A., Studio Arts, Art History, University of Pittsburgh
    • Degree
      M.F.A., Printmaking, Penn State

    Anna Divinsky is an assistant teaching professor of art at the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Office of Digital Learning. She is also the digital arts certificate and digital multimedia design program coordinator. Her passion and research focus on exploring best teaching and learning practices in online art education.

    As a recent Innovator in Residence grant recipient from the Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design, Divinsky continues to share best practices in online teaching, assessment, and engagement through the College of Arts and Architecture Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching, fostering a place for growth and community for graduate students within the college. Being an artist inspires and informs Divinsky’s approach to pedagogy, integrating studio techniques, appreciation of detail, love for design, and hands-on art-making.

  • Eduardo Navas

    • Degree
      Ph.D., University of California
    • Degree
      M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
    • Degree
      B.F.A., Otis College of Art and Design

    Dr. Eduardo Navas teaches on the principles of cultural analytics and digital humanities in the School of Visual Arts, College of Arts and Architecture, at Penn State, researching the creative and political role of recyclability and remix in art, media, and culture. He has lectured internationally, and he produces art and publishes on remix studies.

  • Courtney Redding

    • Degree
      M.F.A., Ceramics, Marywood University
    • Degree
      B.A., Studio Art, Shippensburg University

    Courtney Redding is an adjunct lecturer with the School of Visual Arts and teaches courses in the digital multimedia design program and the digital arts certificate program. Her work encompasses the art and design world, with a focus on multiple media forms of expression. Redding's influences are from a diverse array of disciplines. From science and history to the natural world and technological field, her imagery integrates these backgrounds into a philosophy of symbols and a personal typographic and textural array.

  • Christine J. Shanks

    • Degree
      M.F.A., Photography, University of Delaware
    • Degree
      B.S., Visual Communications, Towson University

    Christine J. Shanks teaches and creates work in both traditional studio and digital media. She applies her design background to her multifaceted work in academia by utilizing user-experience principles, creativity, and design thinking in her curriculum and pedagogy. As an educator, her primary goal is to establish a supportive classroom that emboldens students to explore and refine their process, motivations, and skills. She feels her work in academia and design are intertwined; new projects and pursuits in one field develop from ideas and exploration in the other.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply