New media is an ever-changing form of digital communication that engages, immerses, and often entertains users. Whereas old media involved newspapers, radio, and television, new media has 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. These professionals must be consummate problem-solvers with a 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. In the new media interactive development major, students 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 skills with math, design, and communication skills essential for creative, digital media development. All students complete general education requirements in the liberal arts and social sciences. Students customize their major through both general education electives, free electives, and program electives in areas such as advanced interactive development for the web, mobile development and alternative interfaces, physical/wearable computing, game design, game development, design and media production, interactive audio, and more. Many courses are project- and team-based, which helps students to build a robust portfolio of interactive projects.
Students also work closely with students in the new media design major, housed in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. Students in these majors share core 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 to gain valuable industry experience and portfolio development.
Students are required to complete two blocks of cooperative education, 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 after the second year of study.
New media interactive development, BS degree, typical course sequence
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|IGME-101||New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving I||4|
|IGME-102||New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving II||4|
|IGME-110||Introduction to Interactive Media||3|
|NMDE-111||New Media Design Digital Survey I||3|
|NMDE-112||New Media Design Digital Survey II||3|
|MATH-185||Mathematics of Graphical Simulation I||3|
|LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)||3|
|LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)||3|
|First Year Writing||3|
|IGME-201||New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving III||3|
|IGME-230||Website Design and Implementation||3|
|IGME-330||Rich Media Web Application Development I||3|
|IGME-340||Multi-platform Media Application Development||3|
|STAT-145||Introduction to Statistics†||3|
|IGME-236||Interaction, Immersion, and the Media Interface (WI)||3|
|IGME-099||Co-op Preparation Workshop||0|
|IGME-499||Cooperative Education (summer)||Co-op|
|LAS Perspective 3 (global)||3|
|LAS Perspective 4 (social)||3|
|LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)||4|
|LAS Perspective 6‡ (scientific principles)||3|
|IGME-202||Interactive Media Development||3|
|IGME-430||Rich Media Web Applications II||3|
|IGME-470||Physical Computing and Alternative Interfaces||3|
|IGME-480||Current Topics in Interactive Development||3|
|IGME-499||Cooperative Education (summer)||Co-op|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2||6|
|IGME-588||New Media Team Project||3|
|NMDE-401||New Media Career Skills||3|
|Advanced Program Electives||6|
|LAS Immersion 3||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||123|
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 different Wellness courses.
† Students have the option of taking Introduction to Statistics (STAT-145) or one of the following math courses: Calculus A (MATH-171), Project-based Calculus (MATH-181), or Calculus (MATH-181A).
‡ 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.
Students select two three-course concentrations from the list below.
|ISTE-362||Access and Assistive Technology|
|ISTE-462||Research in Accessibility|
|ISTE-464||Accessibility Through the Lifespan|
|NMDE-302||Graphical User Interface|
Front End Development
|ISTE-454||Mobile Application Development I|
|ISTE-456||Mobile Application Development II|
|ISTE-392||Fundamentals of Instructional Technology|
|PSYC-235||Learning and Behavior|
Natural Language Processing
|ENGL-581||Introduction to Natural Language Processing|
|Plus one of the following:|
|ENGL-582||Seminar in Computational Linguistics|
|ENGL-584||Spoken Language Processing|
|PSYC-330||Memory and Attention|
|PSYC-331||Language and Thought|
|PSYC-332||Decision Making, Judgment, and Problem Solving|
Advanced program electives
|FNRT-328||Composing for Video Games and Interactive Media|
|IGME-529||Foundations of Interactive Narrative|
|IGME-570||Digital Audio Production|
|IGME-571||Interactive and Game Audio|
|IGME-581||Innovation and Invention|
|ISTE-456||Mobile Application Development II|
|NMDE-201||New Media Design Elements II|
|NMDE-203||New Media Design Interactive II|
|NMDE-302||New Media Design Graphical User Interface|
For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.
Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations
- 4 years of math including pre-calculus required
- Requires chemistry or physics and strongly recommends both.
- Computing electives are recommended
Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in computer science, calculus, liberal arts; calculus-based physics, chemistry, or biology
Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
AS degree in computer science, engineering science, or liberal arts
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.
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.
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.|
|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|
|4080-309||Introduction to Website Development||4|
|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|
|Third and Fourth Year|
|New Media Advanced Electives§||24|
|Lab Science Electives||8|
|General Education Electives||18|
|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.