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New Media Design BFA degree

Adam Smith, Program Chair
(585) 475-4552,

Program overview

The new media design major is for students who are fascinated by visual design, user experience design, interactivity, motion graphics, and technology. Students learn the skills required to meet the demands of new media, web design, and mobile app marketplaces. Courses, projects, and explorations allow students to create user centered solutions that leverage new opportunities in visual design, communication, and user experiences across a full spectrum of digital products and interfaces.

A balance of visual design foundations, information design, user interface design, user experience design, 3D modeling, motion graphics, usability research, and programming create the skilled background needed to design cutting edge interactive solutions from mobile to fully immersive digital environments. Collaborations with students from RIT’s new media interactive development major (housed in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences), as well as other majors and corporate clients provide teamwork experience and leverage the designer-programmer-client relationship. Students are well-positioned for careers in visual, interactive, and user experience design for digital advertising, marketing, mobile, web application, entertainment, and corporate design.


New media design, BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  LAS Perspective 5, 6, or 7 3
  LAS Perspective 1 3
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
NMDE-111 New Media Design Digital Survey I 3
NMDE-112 New Media Design Digital Survey II 3
ENGL-150 First Year Writing Seminar 3
FDTN-141 4D Design 3
FDTN-112 Drawing II 3
NMDE-103 New Media Design Interactive I 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
ARTH-135 LAS Perspective 2: History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval 3
IGME-101, 102 NM Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving I , II 8
NMDE-201 New Media Design Elements II 3
NMDE-202 New Media Design 3D 3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspective 3: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern 3
NMDE-204 New Media Design Animation 3
NMDE-203 New Media Design Interactive II 3
  CIAS Studio Elective† 3
  LAS Perspective 4 3
Third Year
IGME-230 Website Design and Implementation 3
  Art History Electives‡ 6
NMDE-305 New Media Design Motion Graphics 3
NMDE-302 New Media Design Graphical User Interface 3
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 1 3
NMDE-301 New Media Design Elements III (WI) 3
NMDE-303 New Media Design Interactive III 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
  LAS Elective  3
NMDE-401 New Media Design Career Skills 3
NMDE-404 New Media Design Interactive IV 3
  Free Electives 9
NMDE-411 New Media Design Team Project 3
NMDE-406 New Media Design Experimental 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 122

Please see 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.

† CIAS studio electives are courses designated by lab or studio contact hours in the course description.

‡ Art history electives are non-studio courses offered in CIAS or the College of Liberal Arts that examine the historical aspects of art, design, crafts, photography, print media, or film.

Art history electives

ARTH-366 18th and 19th Century Art
ARTH-382 Medieval Craft
ARTH-386 Latin American Art
ARTH-384 Late Medieval Art
ARTH-383 Installation Art
ARTH-374 Illuminated Manuscripts
ARTH-386 History of Things: Studies in Material Culture
ARTH-376 Early Medieval Art
ARTH-377 Displaying Gender
ARTH-372 Art of the Americas
ARTH-388 The Gothic Revival
ARTH-387 The Gothic Cathedral
ARTH-371 Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome
ARTH-392 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
ARTH-373 Art of the Last Decade
ARTH-369 20th Century Art Since 1950
ARTH-368 20th Century Art: 1900-1950
ARTH-457 Art and Activism
ARTH-511 Art and Architecture of Italy: 1250-1400
ARTH-512 Art and Architecture in Italy: 1600-1750
ARTH-518 Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: The Sixteenth Century
ARTH-517 Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: The Fifteenth Century
ARTH-563 Modern Architecture
ARTH-573 Conceptual Art
ARTH-581 Realisms and Avant-Gardes in Russian Art
ARTH-576 Modernism and Its Other: Realism and Expressionism
ARTH-571 Extreme Abstraction
ARTH-521 The Image
ARTH-584 Scandinavian Modernism
ARTH-578 Edvard Munch
ARTH-574 Dada and Surrealism
ARTH-568 Art and Technology: from the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
ARTH-588 Symbols and Symbol-Making: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Art

Additional information

Professional memberships

The school maintains memberships in a variety of professional organizations, including Industrial Designers Society of America, ACM Siggraph, Society of Environmental Graphic Designers, American Society of Interior Designers, American Institute of Architects, ICOGRADA, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and International Interior Design Association.

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 new media design and imaging program was created in response to the growing demand for college graduates with strong digital imaging skills, highly refined design sensitivities, and the ability to visualize concepts in two- and three-dimensional motion graphics and interactive projects. These students explore all forms of digital media as well as traditional imaging techniques to become creative and skilled multimedia designers. Students gain experience in concept development, design development, digital sound, two- and three-dimensional animation, interactivity, programming, digital photography and video, multimedia project development, and digital imaging. They also explore gaming, entertainment multimedia, virtual reality, and other facets of new media. Students prepare and deliver projects executed in all of the major media formats, including mobile broadcast and the Web. This program shares courses with the new media option of the new media interactive development program in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. This is an exciting and dynamic interdisciplinary curriculum in step with cutting-edge technology.


New media design and imaging, BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

Course Qtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2013-211, 212 Drawing I, II 6
2013-231, 232 2D Design I, II 6
2009-213 Elements of Graphic Design for New Media 3
2009-311 Typography for New Media 3
2009-313 Introduction to Computer Imaging 3
2009-411 Time-Based Imaging 4
2065-217 Digital Video for Multimedia 4
2009-221 Principles of Imaging for New Media 4
2009-xxx Introduction to Web 4
  Studio Elective 3
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
2039-225, 226, 227 Survey of Western Art and Architecture I, II, III 9
2009-212 3D Form and Space 3
2009-312 Information Design for New Media 3
2009-328 Introduction to Digital Animation 4
2009-401 Advanced Design Networking 3
4080-230 Introduction to Programming for New Media 4
4080-231 Programming II for New Media 4
4080-309 Introduction to Web Development 4
  Studio Elective 3
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
  Art History Electives§ 9
2009-323 Design of Graphical User Interface 4
2009-402 Emerging Multimedia Design and Imaging Tools 3
2009-403 Dynamic Information Design 3
2009-412 Dynamic Typography 3
2009-413 Advanced 3D Techniques 3
  New Media Elective 3
  Open Elective 3
  Liberal Arts* 12
Fourth Year
2009-501 Dynamic Persuasion 3
2009-511 QTVR and Multimedia Design 3
Choose two of the following:  
   2009-511    QTVR and Multimedia Design 3
   2009-xxx    Experimental New Media 3
     Studio Electives 6
2009-516 Career Skills in New Media 3
2009-542, 543 New Media Team Project I, II 8
  Open Electives 12-16
Total Quarter Credit Hours 191

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

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

§ Please refer to the list of art history electives.

Art history electives

Students are required to select three art history electives to broaden their understanding of the historical development of the arts. Art history electives include:

2039-300 History of Design
2039-306 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design I
2039-307 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design II
2039-308 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design III
2039-310 History of Crafts
2039-315 Pre-Columbian Art
2039-316 Florence and Rome 1400-1470
2039-317 Florence and Rome 1470-1520
2039-318 Florence and Rome 1520-1590
2039-320 History of Art Criticism
2039-330 Philosophy in Art
2039-340 Symbols and Symbol Making
2039-355 Latin American Art
2039-360 18th and 19th Century Art
2039-368 Scandinavian Modernism
2039-375 20th Century Art Since 1950
2039-376 Renaissance Painting in Flanders
2039-385 Installation Art
2039-390 Native American Art and Culture
2039-395 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
2039-410 The Art of Art History
2039-415 Thinking About Making
2039-425 Public Art/Public Spaces
2039-430 Dada and Surrealism
2039-433 What Is Post Modernism?
2039-435 Art of the Last Decade
2039-438 Body in Art
2039-440 Conceptual Art
2039-443 Art and Technology: From the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
2039-452 Art and Activism
2039-459 Art Central Italy 1250-1400
2039-469 Baroque Rome