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Program at a Glance

College of Sciences
Comm & Media, Nicholson Schl
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges - Most Innovative 2024

Capture Stories Through Digital Expression

The M.A. program in Digital Media covers theoretical frameworks, methods and critical media practice related to computational, interactive media. Through rigorous creative and research projects, the program will prepare you for continued study in a Ph.D. program or employment within the industry. Working closely with our innovative faculty and technology partnerships in downtown Orlando, you’ll have the opportunity to employ emerging technologies to communicate interactive narratives and experiences, while also producing cutting-edge research in interactive media.

In the first year of your studies, gain an introduction to aesthetic, theoretical, programming and design approaches to interactive media, while gaining valuable foundations in research and storytelling. Then in the second year, you can either pursue a thesis or creative studio production path, while learning about contemporary topics and emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and design. Throughout the program, you’re encouraged to create portfolio-ready pieces and/or present their work at conferences, thus preparing them for future professional, artistic, and scholarly success at the forefront of interactive media.

The Digital Media M.A. combines theory and practice to train the next generation of interactive media scholars and practitioners. The program emphasizes the tools and techniques of both interactive aesthetics and computation, and provides you with access to state-of-the-art facilities through the Maker Space lab, equipped with items such as 3D printers, scanning computers, eye-tracking equipment for games research, mixed-reality smartglasses, and laser cutters, among many others. Here, you’ll have unique opportunities to participate in socially impactful research and artistic production.

Hand using pen on digital screen


Part UCF’s state-of-the-art downtown campus, this program provides students with unique opportunities to participate in socially impactful research and artistic production.
The Nicholson School of Communication and Media offers a wide range of student organizations to get involved in and meet others who share similar interests.
Employment in media and communication occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Application Deadlines

Fall Priority
January 15
July 1

Ready to get started?

Course Overview

Programming for Digital Media

This course provides a foundation for understanding and applying the elements of programming which target interactive media. Topics include functions, variables, classes, data types, and design patterns.

Aesthetics within digital environments, relationship between technologies, visual elements, and the body. Introduction to theoretical traditions along with written and digital projects, including an exhibition.

Analysis and creation of interactive stories within and across platforms. What makes stories compelling, how to exploit the particular affordances of media through authors communicate.

This studio course gives students tangible experience with the design principles, methodologies, and processes used for interactive media.

Digital Media Skills You'll Learn

  • Develop theoretically sophisticated creative works, and to pair creativity with research. This is accomplished through providing students with a solid foundation in aesthetic, design, programming and theoretical approaches.
  • Design compelling experiences specifically for interactive media: including prototyping and integration of traditional 2D, 3D, and time-based methods with interactive media.
  • Gain the foundational skills and knowledge needed for students to create exhibition- or publication-ready projects.
  • Learn about programming for interactive media: including foundational elements of programming and machine learning.
  • Storytelling and aesthetics for interactive media: including analyzing and creating interactive stories within and across multiple platforms, and developing an understanding of the relationship between technologies, visual elements, and the body’s sensual engagement with those forms

Career Opportunities

  • Applications Developer
  • Back-End Web Developer
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Full Stack Web Developer
  • Project Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Web Interface Designer
  • Game Designer and Developer
  • AR and VR Designer and Developer
  • Teaching (K-12, college, university)

Admission Requirements

The digital media master’s degree at UCF accepts applications throughout the year; however, the program only admits for the fall semester. Desirable background skills for this degree include familiarity with computer coding and/or digital design, but these are not required as coursework addresses these areas. You must apply online and submit all requested materials by the established deadline.

Please note that meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, the applicant’s potential for completing the degree, and the current applicant pool.

To apply, submit the general graduate admissions requirements, as well as the following items by the deadline:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A written statement (1 – 2 pages) describing the student’s personal goals, objectives, and research interests in seeking the degree.
  • Three letters of recommendation from former professors or employers who can address applicant’s ability to undertake graduate-level courses.
  • For students intending to pursue the studio track, a link to a web portfolio of 2 – 5 substantial creative and/or technical works. For students intending to pursue the thesis track, writing sample(s) totaling 10 – 15 pages.

Nicholson School of Communication and Media News

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