Master of Science in Interactive Media

Program Contact: Phillip Simon 203-582-8274

The Master of Science in Interactive Media program focuses on the principles and practices of creating and designing user experiences, multimedia productions, content interfaces and social media for distribution through the Internet, portable media devices and related digital platforms. The program’s mission is to provide a master’s-level education in which students prepare to become interactive leaders, producers and managers for national and global organizations.

The program may be completed in two years, provided students complete six courses per calendar year. Current Quinnipiac undergraduate students may apply for the combined, five-year bachelor/master’s degree program in interactive media.

Interactive media graduates can compete for a range of job opportunities as web producers, user experience designers, multimedia content specialists, interactive content developers, digital media producers, social media specialists and managers. Graduates can find careers in organizations engaged in the creation and distribution of digital content and social media for corporate communication departments, schools and colleges, advertising agencies, news media companies, health-care institutions, and film and television production companies.

The program encourages applications from prospective students who want to apply skills acquired during their undergraduate education or professional careers. Students come from a diverse range of experiences such as journalism, information technology, graphic design, web design/management, game design, broadcasting, film making, media studies and public relations; as well as liberal arts and sciences.

Three degree concentrations are available: media design, social media and user experience design. Seven core courses are taught for all concentrations with three courses of specialization. One elective course is available for students to get a deeper experience in an area of interest.

The core courses cover information design, web techniques, social media, user experience, writing for interactive, ethics and policy, project management and a capstone experience.

Students who choose the media design concentration take courses in video and audio techniques, designing for motion across media , and visual storytelling. Students learn how to transform media and original content into interactive stories. The combination of study in the theoretical and production aspects of media design encourages students to become innovative thinkers who understand the shift from legacy media to online.

Students who choose the social media concentration take courses that cover social media practices, community management, social and web analytics and strategic planning. In this concentration, students learn the fundamental practices that have led to the rise of social media and how to deploy them across multiple platforms and disciplines. Students who complete this concentration have a firm understanding of the role social media plays in today’s communications landscape as well as the tools to deploy new solutions as this media continues to grow and evolve.

Students who choose the user experience design concentration take courses in all aspects of the field. The user experience design concentration includes courses covering the main subsets of the UXD profession: interface design, usability, information architecture, content strategy and prototyping. UXD has emerged as a distinct profession within the fields of web and computer application development and is a subset of human factors engineering that focuses on interactive screen experiences such as websites, mobile apps and other consumer software. Jobs in user experience design are available in all industries, businesses and major organizations.

Students also can choose to design a custom sequence of concentration courses from the complete course list. Including the elective, they have four courses to use as a unique sequence suited to their professional aspiration and skills.

The program follows a 14-week fall/spring course semester sequence. A full selection of 12-week courses is offered during the summer for part-time students who want to finish in two years. Full-time students also can take summer courses and finish in one and a half years. Fall and spring starts are available.

Students also have the opportunity to enroll in an optional 3-credit internship. Graduate students have served as interns at local and national media companies and web development firms. Also available is an optional 3-credit independent study for students who want to do advanced work or research in a particular topic.

MS in Interactive Media Program of Study

To earn the master’s degree, students must complete 36 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA and no grades less than a C.  Any course with a grade less than C must be retaken. A required master’s capstone experience is included in the 36 credits. The master’s capstone is a professional-level project that advances understanding of the field. Planning for the master’s capstone at the outset of studies is strongly encouraged. Unique to the program is the Project Planning course requirement. The Project Planning course is essential to becoming a media producer and serves as a prerequisite to the master’s capstone course, allowing students to create a comprehensive project plan, essentially making the master’s capstone a 6-credit experience.

When applying, applicants should indicate which program concentration they want to pursue.

Students who demonstrate advanced proficiency in ICM 502 or ICM 505 may take an elective instead with the written permission of the graduate program director.

Required Core Courses

ICM 502Information Design3
ICM 505Web Techniques3
ICM 506Writing for Interactive Media3
ICM 512Designing for the User3
ICM 522Social Media Practice3
ICM 552Media Ethics & Policy3
ICM 590Project Planning3
ICM 601Master's Capstone3
or ICM 602 Thesis
Total Credits24

Media Design Concentration

ICM 504Designing for Motion Across Media3
ICM 508Video and Sound Design3
ICM 518Visual Storytelling3
Elective3
Total Credits12

Social Media Concentration

ICM 524Social Media, SEO, and Web Analytics3
ICM 526Community Management3
STC 507Strategic Planning in Public Relations3
Elective3
Total Credits12

User Experience Design Concentration

ICM 513Information Architecture and Content Strategy3
ICM 514User Research and Methods3
ICM 517Prototyping3
Elective3
Total Credits12

Custom Concentration

Four 3-credit courses chosen from the three interactive media concentrations. Students must prepare a proposal providing a rationale and the courses chosen in their first semester in the program. The proposal is reviewed and a decision made by the program director and chair of the Interactive Media and Design department. The degree awarded is the MS in Interactive Media with no concentration indicated.

Electives

Any ICM course outside of the student’s chosen concentration3
Any STC or JRN graduate course with permission of the respective department chair.3
ICM 530Independent Study3
ICM 531Graduate Internship3

Admission

The graduate programs in the School of Communications invite applications from prospective students who wish to pursue the professional practice of interactive media. Recent graduates of a bachelor’s program outside of the communications field are welcome to apply, as are prospective students who are presently working and wish to either shift careers or enhance their professional standing.

Admission is based on the following:

  • undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • a resume showing experience either as a student or professional.
  • two professional or academic recommendations.
  • online samples of written, visual, media or interactive work.
  • a 500-word personal statement (see application)