Communication and Digital Media Advanced certificate

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Develop critical thinking skills and creativity as you gain a deeper understanding of digital communication, persuasive messaging, and relationship management. 

The advanced certificate in communication and digital media assists students and professional practitioners in better understanding the research and theory of digital media in message creation and in the analysis of dynamic new media channels. Collectively, the certificate focuses on critical thinking, global interconnectedness, ethical reasoning, integrative literacies (digital, technical, communication, and aesthetic), and creative and innovative thinking.

The advanced certificate in communication and digital media is comprised of courses focusing on digital media that have both career and scholarly applications. The certificate combines both academic and pragmatic perspectives and assists students and practitioners in better understanding the research and theory of digital media, in message creation, and in the analysis of these dynamic new channels. Collectively, courses also enhance critical thinking, global interconnectedness, ethical reasoning, integrative literacies (digital, technical, communication, and aesthetic), and creative and innovative thinking.

The curriculum is designed for those who need to update or upgrade their skills, certify their competence, add to their credentials, or improve their understanding of media. The courses are taught online in eight-week sessions, (two per semester) to accommodate students who would like to complete the four-course certificate in one academic year (or two semesters).

This program is offered exclusively online. View Online Details.

Curriculum for Communication and Digital Media Adv. Cert.

Communication and Digital Media, advanced certificate, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Technology-Mediated Communication
An inquiry into interactive media and how they exert a powerful influence on communicative practices and society. Positioned at the intersection of technology, identity, and culture, interactive media are altering the ways in which people communicate in a wide range of contexts, including education, marketing, civic discourse, politics and popular culture. Applying theories about the relationship between communication technology and culture, this course will explore the current and potential future impact of interactive electronic communication and the social changes that are occurring.
Crafting the Message
This course will focus on the creation of written and visual messages appropriate to a targeted audience and specific medium including print, broadcast, interactive, digital, and online technologies. Case studies of both effective and unsuccessful messages from, for example, advertising, public service, education, and entertainment will be examined. Students will create and execute a variety of messages using different writing styles with images that are directed toward specific target audiences.
Visual Communication
This course explores visual communication, the process through which individuals -- in relationships, organizations, and societies -- create and interpret visual messages. A variety of theories from the disciplines of art history, psychology, communication theory, and graphic design will be discussed to develop methods for analyzing mediated messages. Students analyze visual messages from the following media: print photography, video, film, and the internet.
Total Semester Credit Hours
Choose one of the following:
   International Media
Evaluation of media technology use in the international setting and in various countries and regions of the world. Major theories about media, current trends in media, journalism practices, and governmental challenges and restrictions are considered. Special attention is paid to the uses and effects of media technologies within various countries, focusing on global implications of the internet and digital technologies on international cooperation, trade, and culture.
   Persuasion in a Digital Age
Digital communication technologies blur the lines of distinction between mass persuaders, various publics, personal networks, and individuals. This course combines traditional theories and research in media, rhetoric, and persuasion within the context of new and dynamic channels of communication. This course will investigate the prevalence of persuasive communication in various facets of our society with particular attention to the impact of digital communication channels on the persuasion process.
   User Interface Design
This course provides an introduction to human-centered interface design. Students research, explore and create design-based solutions for user interfaces. An introduction to visual design elements and principles such as form, color, typography, imagery, visual hierarchy, layout and information architecture. Emphasis is placed on integrating and applying design skills and processes to web standards and device guidelines. Projects are focused on designing navigational solutions for online web and touch-screen applications such as mobile phones and touch-pads. At the conclusion of the course students will be able to research, analyze and create user interface mock-ups based on appropriate visual design principles across multiple devices and platforms. Students will gain a core user interface design foundation to incorporate into their professional role during the planning and UI design phases of interactive projects. **Note: Course is restricted to RIT Online graduate students only**
   User Experience Design
This course introduces students to the design process for researching, identifying and implementing a user experience strategy for online web and app development. Students will learn to research, gather and evaluate source material to organize, write and design interaction solutions. The user experience workflow will cover: defining client and user goals, user identification, content organization, information architecture, wire-framing methods and basic UX validation through user testing across various platforms. At the conclusion of the course students will complete and document a UX project plan based on graphical user interface requirements and interactive conventions. Students will be able to incorporate the UX design process into their professional role during the research, planning and interaction design phases of user experience projects. and may have limited repeatability
   Interaction Design and Development
This course provides an introduction to interaction design and development including internet, web and mobile technologies. Topics covered include computer-based communication and information systems: basic HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript and WYSIWYG editors for creating content and project workflows for delivery online and mobile content. The course will examine and integrate programmatic solutions and project planning processes for single and responsive design solutions. Best practices and technologies for hybrid, native and web solutions will also be identified and explored. At the conclusion of the course students will be able to programmatically implement web based user experiences which incorporates user interface mock-ups and basic interactive functionality. Students will gain the required technical knowledge to facilitate improved communication with developers and create stronger user experience design solutions during the planning and implementation of interactive projects. **Note: Course is restricted to RIT Online graduate students only**

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the advanced certificate in communication and digital media, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college. 
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their professional interests.
  • Submit scores from the GRE.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their research interests and possible thesis research (including possible thesis mentors).
  • Submit at least two letters of reference from academic advisors, major professors, and/or supervisors or managers.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88-89 (internet-based) are required on the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required on the IELTS. This requirement may be waived for students who submit undergraduate transcripts from American colleges and universities.

Please note: Certain countries are subject to comprehensive embargoes under US Export Controls, which prohibit virtually ALL exports, imports, and other transactions without a license or other US Government authorization. Learners from Syria, Sudan, North Korea, the Crimea region of the Ukraine, Iran, and Cuba may not register for RIT online courses. Nor may individuals on the United States Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or the United States Commerce Department’s table of Deny Orders. By registering for RIT online courses, you represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list.

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