Media Arts and Technology Master of science degree

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Deepen your understanding of the importance of graphic communication and immerse yourself in the technologies that are changing the industry.


All businesses and organizations rely on graphic communications to increase their effectiveness in communicating ideas, instructions, and concepts. A graduate with a media masters understands the value of information design and recognizes the many ways it can be used to positively impact the bottom line. In the media arts and technology program, you will learn to leverage emerging technologies to your advantage. With a management focus, technical expertise, and comprehensive knowledge of how to drive the graphics process from concept through completion, you will be an attractive prospect in a wide range of industries, including education, engineering, marketing, research science, human resources, public relations, and more.

The MS degree in media arts and technology is a one-year program that concludes with a capstone project. Students develop relevant knowledge and skills with a technical emphasis and business-oriented approach. Students recognize new ways for operating and identifying emerging technologies to meet and exceed evolving market demands, and for becoming leaders in the improvements of cross-media products and processes. The program provides students with the ability to create meaningful and measurable changes in graphic communications through applied cross-media initiatives. The required capstone project allows students to develop and demonstrate in-depth knowledge in a specific topic area. Led by senior faculty, the capstone project is designed to prepare students to be innovators in the rapidly evolving media landscape.

The curriculum concentrates on the latest technologies, processes, and strategies that allow students to employ knowledge of print, web, mobile, and social media workflows to solve communication problems. Students may choose elective courses from a range of graduate departments and programs at RIT. The diverse expertise of the faculty assures a breadth of relevant experience while educating students on issues and trends across the graphic communications field. The program aims to create a collaborative environment where students combine course work with access to faculty expertise, staff support, and extensive facilities to extend their current knowledge base.

Capstone Project

The program requires a capstone project, which enables students to develop and demonstrate extensive knowledge in a specific topic related to graphic communications. Students complete original work through experiments, comprehensive case studies, surveys, focus groups, and research analysis. Outcomes from the capstone experience results in tangible solutions, such as the innovation of a process, recognizing unmet customer needs, solving cross-media issues, or identifying resources required for business transformation or media solutions.

Typical Job Titles

Marketing Assistant Customer Service Representative
Assistant Director of Marketing and Brand Identity High School English Teacher
Client Experience Manager

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Curriculum for Media Arts and Technology MS

Media Arts and Technology, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Media Foundations: The Digital File
This course will investigate the creation, workflow and output of digital media files, using a variety of capture devices including digital cameras, smartphones, 2D/3D scanners, audio and video recording devices. Course content will focus on device preferences, file attributes, workflow, output, compression with consideration of data management using different media. Hands-on exercises reinforce concepts such as: file types, data compression, color management, media delivery, and distribution. Students will evaluate the influences of operator choices at each stage along the image chain. Special attention will be given to identifying and cultivating industry best practices. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to create optimized files using a variety of devices that include metadata construction. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Leadership in Creative Spaces
This course is designed for students from a variety of educational backgrounds, and will explore leadership skills required in collaborative, contemporary, and dynamic professional environments. Course content will cover the intersection and divergence of management and leadership concepts using large group discussions, small group activities, and self-reflective exercises. Students will identify their own personal leadership strengths and goals and develop management strategies used in modern business environments. Students will also incorporate ways to succeed in progressively challenging roles and learn methods for fostering inclusive environments. At the completion of this course, students will be able to leverage their personal and professional networks to create a diverse community of peers and collaborative partnerships that will lead to innovative work. (This course is restricted to MEDART-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Industry Issues, Trends, and Opportunities
This course will present a detailed overview of critical trends and issues related to the graphic communications and imaging industries. It will provide an in-depth analysis of key technologies with a special emphasis on emerging, disruptive innovations as well as business, environmental and regulatory issues. The course content will emphasize cultural, economic, and technological trends and is intended to provide students with industry accepted methods used to identify changes in the industry. By tracing historical roots, analyzing present issues and detailing future trends, students will be prepared to develop insights into the nature and scope of the challenges and opportunities facing industry leaders and how to manage these challenges. As a part of the experience, students will develop sharply focused analytical skills and the ability to summarize findings based on industry normals. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Implementing Imaging Business Change
This course will provide students with the knowledge required to improve an imaging or graphic communications business. Students will gain an understanding of the business assessment process and decision-making skills required for implementing change in the graphic communications and imaging industries. At the completion of this course, students will learn how to evaluate a firm’s economic, operational, and market positions and apply practical solutions that improve business practices. (This course is restricted to MEDART-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Digital Content Management
This course will explore the subject of digital asset and content management. Course exercises will investigate the organization of digital media and optimized architecture of storage systems. Students will learn how to manage and optimize digital content efficiently in various traditional and emerging applications. At the completion of this course, students will be able to articulate, analyze, and apply digital content solutions in various business and workflow models in media organizations. (This course is restricted to MEDART-MS Major students.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Contemporary Media and Communications
This course will examine how media has evolved and how it has responded to changes in technology and social habits. Course content will cover various forms of media communication using both historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics include: trend recognition, monetization in media communications, materials, processes, audience, usability, accessibility, aesthetics, content, typography, copyright issues, and innovations in publishing. At the completion of this course, students will gain an understanding of various media structures and communication types through the analysis of audience and content. (This course is restricted to MEDART-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Capstone I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their capstone. This course will guide students from their capstone proposal toward the completion of a capstone project. Students will learn project management skills required to successfully propose and begin a meaningful, relevant and feasible capstone project. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Capstone II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their capstone. This course will guide students from their capstone proposal through the completion of a meaningful and significant capstone project. Projects can either be research oriented or developmental and must include implementation and dissemination of the project using appropriate distribution technology. (Prerequisites: PHMS-746 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Cross Media Workflow
This course is designed to expose students to all the elements needed to execute media projects across platforms. Students will learn concepts in project management as it applies to leading cross media projects and teams. Concepts and tools necessary for the implementation of a cross media workflow will be discussed and reinforced with hands-on exercises. Additionally, content management and industry standards and practices such as color management, asset management, and image optimization for output will be studied and applied through the context of cross media workflows. Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Open Elective
Total Semester Credit Hours

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in media arts and technology, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college. 
  • Recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information. 
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to Additional Requirements for International Applicants to review waiver eligibility.

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