New Media Studies is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that can perhaps be best understood in two ways: first, it is the study of the process through which media (photographs, text, audio, television) are rendered into numerical or digital forms that marks these objects as “new”. Second, the newness of new media comes from the study of the products that result from rendering these media numerically and then combining them into “new” media forms such as web sites, webcasts, interactive games, graphic designs, CD-ROMs of sales and technical information, and so on.
The Master of Arts in New Media Studies will prepare students to engage the new media by building:
1. The ability to gather, process, and communicate information on the Internet
2. The ability to think critically and reflect on the ethics of journalism, advertising, public relations, and marketing in the information rich environment of the 21st century
3. An understanding of the historic role of new media in shaping contemporary consciousness
4. An ability to identify appropriate technologies to accomplish a specific communication need using the Web and other online delivery systems
5. An ability to edit content for Web sites
6. An ability to apply rhetorically sophisticated strategies for writing, editing, and producing basicWeb sites as delivery systems for technical information
7. A capacity to work well as part of a team that is charged with solving a communications problem using new media technologies
8. An understanding of the relations of "new" media to "old" media
9. An understanding of rhetoric and visual aesthetics—how visual, image-based communication differs from and interrelates with text (language) based communication
10. An understanding of the technical and practical necessities (planning, budgeting, scripting) of moving a project from idea to completion
The MA in New Media Studies is distinct from existing programs through its interdisciplinary focus on the effects of digitization and combination on communication in all its modes.
About DePaul's Program
This program consists of a core of five courses and seven electives. This structure allows for a foundation of general knowledge followed by a focus on a chosen theme or themes. The core includes a richly interdisciplinary introduction to the new media, three foundation courses that will ground students in critical areas (communication theory, graphic design, and writing), and a final workshop/portfolio seminar.
This core provides the program with its unique identity. Proseminar in New Media Studies, the program's gateway course, introduces students to the field and the faculty; a rotating contingent of contributing faculty members brings students into close contact with the field by sharing their own work-in-process and relating it to the wider compass of New Media Studies. The middle three courses in the list above introduces students to three literacies that are crucial to the study and production of new media. In New Media, Old Media, extensive reading in the history of media studies foregrounds the necessity of historical/critical literacy and introduces students to the invariable relationship between technology and human communication. The production and interpretation of symbols on two-dimensional surfaces—computer screens, for example—is the focus of Principles of Graphic Design. This workshop-based course is taught in the Digital Media Center in SAC, and will function as a prerequisite for elective courses in digital media design. Text and Image explores the dynamics of meaning in environments where static, moving, and live images interact with text and audio. The core is completed with a "capstone" experience; students may choose to develop a group-based project or individual portfolio in the Workshop/Portfolio Seminar. A core that combines intellectual breadth and actively integrates interpretation and production makes the MA in New Media Studies distinctive—both from other programs at DePaul and around the country.