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New Media Interactive Development BS

Tona Henderson, Director
(585) 475-2763,

Program overview

New media are ever-changing forms of digital communications that engage, immerse, and often entertain users. Whereas old media involved newspapers, radio, and television, new media have adapted digital technology for the Internet, social networks, wearable computing, and more. New media development professionals develop and design software for these devices. They must possess deep and far-ranging skills along with a broad understanding of the social and economic impact of all cutting-edge new media technologies. They must be consummate problem-solvers with the well-honed ability to learn emerging technologies. And finally, they must also be able to make informed, timely decisions in an arena of constant urgency and change. Students will explore a multitude of creative and technical electives, including physical computing, interfaces, web, mobile, casual games, production and more.

Plan of study

The new media interactive development major integrates strong programming and design abilities with math, physics, and communication skills essential for creative, digital media development. All students complete general education requirements in the liberal arts and social sciences. Students can customize their major through both general education electives, free electives and program electives in areas such as Web front end, Web back end, mobile apps, physical/wearable computing, game design, game development, graphics programming, audio, and more. Many courses are project- and team-based, which help students build a robust portfolio of games and other interactive projects.

Students also work closely with students from the new media design major, housed in in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. Students in these majors share courses in programming and design to learn how both disciplines collaborate. In the senior year, students from both majors work together on a capstone project, which enables them gain valuable industry experience and portfolio development.

Cooperative education

Students are required to complete two blocks of co-op, which can occur during the academic year or during the summer. Co-ops are full-time, paid work experiences where students gain valuable, hands-on experience in industry—a definite edge when applying for jobs after graduation. Co-op may begin as early as after the second year of study.


New media interactive development, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-101, 102 New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving I, II 8
IGME-110 Introduction to Interactive Media 3
NMDE-101 New Media Design Imaging 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
MATH-131 Discrete Mathematics 
NMDE-102 New Media Design Elements 1 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing (WI) 3
MATH-185 Mathematics of Graphical Simulation I 3
  Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
IGME-201 New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving III 3
IGME-230 Website Design and Implementation  3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5‡, 6 12
MATH-186 Mathematics of Graphical Simulation II 3
IGME-202 Interactive Media Development  3
IGME-236 Interaction, Immersion, and the Media Interface (WI) 3
IGME-330 Rich Media Web Application Development I 3
IGME-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
  Program Electives 9
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  LAS Advanced Electives 9
IGME-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
NMDE-401 New Media Design Career Skills 3
  Program Electives 6
  Free Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 3 3
IGME-588 New Media Team Project 3
  LAS Advanced Electives 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 123

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2015-16 academic year.

‡ Students satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3 or 4 credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, students must take both the lecture and the lab portions to fulfill the requirement.

Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters.
View this program's information from the retired quarter calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The last decade has seen unprecedented innovation in technologies for communication, computation, interactivity, and delivery of information. New media touch nearly all of us daily through online games, search engines, dynamic and personalized websites, high-definition home entertainment, handheld devices, and instant connectivity. Educators, advertising agencies, design studios, and a wide variety of industries use new media to reach target audiences for advertising, entertaining, training, transacting business, and expressing creative ideas.

Two huge underlying factors—Internet connectivity and computer processing—have transformed the media landscape dramatically. New media are dynamic, personalized, and connected. They change the way we learn, communicate, affiliate, and play. For the world to benefit from these changes there is a need for practitioners who can integrate evolving technologies with creative disciplines.

In a field that is changing rapidly, successful practitioners must have a solid foundation in cutting-edge technologies, a well-honed sense of design, and the skills to put creative ideas into practice. The new media interactive development program has been carefully formulated to provide students with a balanced background in design and technology, and an emphasis on independent problem solving in a constantly evolving field.


The program features core courses; specialty courses in the areas of graphic design, photographic imaging, video, publishing, programming, and interactive games and media; and a senior project that brings together all of the curriculum into a singular project at the conclusion of the academic program.

The senior project tackles real-world new media issues and provides an opportunity for students to hone their skills in collaboration with students from different disciplines in a setting that mirrors current industry practice.

Leaders from the new media industry had considerable input to the design and structure of the program. The course work ensures that students gain experience working on interdisciplinary teams and brings the value of their senior project and cooperative education experiences together to enhance the overall educational experience.

Cooperative education

In addition to the senior project, new media interactive development students are required to complete three quarters of cooperative education. This gives students real-world experience and an edge when applying for jobs after graduation.

New media interactive development, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

Course Qtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
4080-229 Introduction to New Media Interactive Development 4
4080-295 Introduction to Interactive Media 4
2009-221 Principles: Imaging for New Media 4
4080-230 Introduction to Programming for New Media 4
4080-231 Programming II for New Media 4
2009-213 Elements of Graphic Design 3
4050-210 Networking Essentials 4
4080-309 Introduction to Website Development 4
  Wellness Education† 0
1016-230 Pre-Calculus 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 052 Discovery/Pathways 2
Second Year
4080-333, 334 Programming for New Media III, IV 8
  New Media Studio Electives‡ 6-8
4080-323 Design of the Graphical User Interface 4
4080-431, 432 New Media Web Technologies I, II 8
1016-205, 206 Discrete Math for Technologists I, II 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Cooperative Education** Co-op
Third and Fourth Year
  New Media Advanced Electives§ 24
1016-319 Data Analysis 4
  Lab Science Electives 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  General Education Electives 18
  Free Electives 12
4080-560, 565 New Media Team Project I, II 8
Total Quarter Credit Hours 180-182

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Two courses selected out of a pool of five will cover topics such as animation, video, typography, and game design.

§ Six advanced new media courses form a track selected by the student in consultation with an adviser.

** Three quarters of cooperative education are required after completition of the second year.