Media Arts and Technology bachelor of science degree

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Creating everything from advertisements, illustrations, and signage to print and digital communications, maps, and more to effectively communicate information an audience needs.

This program is transitioning to the School of Media Sciences in the College of Engineering Technology, to be completed on July 1, 2019. The BS degree in media arts and technology is a solutions-focused major where students learn how to produce and manage content from concept through distribution to reach audiences across mediums including web, print, mobile, and emerging new media platforms.

The major balances the creative, business, and technical aspects of graphic communication through immersive project-based study focused on design, imaging, business, and the applied sciences (computer science, color science, information science, and engineering). Elective courses allow students to truly customize their degree as they explore course work related to specific aspects of media production, media architecture, media strategy, and media management. The span of electives available to students is broad and provides in-depth opportunities to focus on multimedia strategies, new media and print production, media law, color management, transmedia publishing, digital asset management, sustainability, and more. Students are required to take a minimum of four professional electives in order to develop areas of specialization and individualize their degree.

Cooperative education

All students are required to complete two blocks of cooperative education. These full-time, paid work experiences provide an opportunity for students to gain valuable industry experience as they prepare for full-time employment upon graduation. Students have completed co-ops at companies as diverse as Apple, AlphaGraphics, Conde Nast, Coca-Cola, Time Inc., and Tiffany and Co., to name a few.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA option

An accelerated 4+1 MBA option also is available for students who wish to earn a BS in media arts and technology and an MBA. The program is offered in conjunction with Saunders College of Business and allows students to obtain both degrees in five years of study. Students should consult their advisor for more information.


  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Design

  • Journalism, Media, and Publishing

Typical Job Titles

Customer Management Representative Account Executive
Marketing and Communications Coordinator Graphics Coordinator
Application Specialist / Systems Engineer Media Producer
Technical Support Analyst Pre-Media
Digital Services Specialist Quality Management
Estimator Graphic Technician
Print Production Manager Pre-Press Technician
Media Job Planner Production Specialist
Publishing Coordinator Digital Pre-Press Artist
Digital Marketing Associate Production Coordinator

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Media arts and technology, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Cross-Media Foundations
This course introduces students to the graphic media industries by studying the history, culture, technology, markets and workers. The course provides an orientation to the production concepts, working environments, hardware and software tools, languages, working standards and cultures of the industry.
Print Production
This survey course introduces students to the technologies, materials, and processes for conventional, digital, and functional print production. Hands-on lab experiences will focus on practical application in industry. Related concepts of quality, efficiency, economics, and sustainability will also be addressed.
Webpage Production I
Students in this course will plan and implement publishing projects with a focus on usability, accessibility, and information design for the World Wide Web. Application of standard Web protocols such as HTML and CSS will be applied in the context of Web publishing as a part of a cross-media production strategy.
Webpage Production II
In this advanced course, students will apply concepts and skills from previous study to determine optimal strategies for the development, deployment and evaluation of websites. Through a blend of research and practical application, students will evaluate and apply a range of methodologies for Web publishing.
Typography and Page Design
The course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical foundations of typography and page design. Students will study the history, aesthetics, and technology of typography. Projects will include design and production methods, using current software tools and fonts for typography in print and screen display. Students will apply their acquired knowledge to make informed decisions in the practice of typography.
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): College Algebra
This course provides the background for an introductory level, non-trigonometry based calculus course. The topics include a review of the fundamentals of algebra: solutions of linear, fractional, and quadratic equations, functions and their graphs, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and rational functions, and systems of linear equations.
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
LAS Electives
First Year Writing (WI)
Wellness Education*
Second Year
Production Workflow
This course focuses on planning and producing cross-media projects. Students will gain hands-on experience with all phases of production through a series of print and new media projects. Concepts of content and production management will be applied with an emphasis on creating quality outcomes that are delivered on-budget and on-time.
This course addresses the skills and competencies necessary to create, manage and edit digital images and digital video. This course introduces students to digital hardware, software, and terminology and addresses the process from acquisition, to manipulation and output of raster files.
Database Publishing
The course introduces the fundamental design elements of databases constructed for the activities that support the publishing process. Topics include the process of building databases comprised of information and digital assets needed to compose publications and to create and distribute personalized documents through the web and in print.
Professional and Technical Writing (WI)
This course prepares a student to engage in a variety of written and oral communications necessary in academic and business environments. Students are expected to produce appropriate audience-centered written materials that achieve a desired purpose based on techniques, organization, format, and style. A formal technical report and presentation are required. Students must pass this course with a grade of B or higher prior to graduation or pass the Writing Competency Test.
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used.
Introduction to Statistics II
This course is an elementary introduction to the topics of regression and analysis of variance. The statistical software package Minitab will be used to reinforce these techniques. The focus of this course is on business applications. This is a general introductory statistics course and is intended for a broad range of programs.
Cooperative Education Orientation
This course provides students with a venue for preparing for both the search and for employment. Students learn how to access the job search database, to prepare cover letters and resumes, to make effective use of career fairs, and to participate in effective interviews through a mock interview process.
Cooperative Education†
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
Free Elective
Third Year
Information Architecture for Publishing
In the course the students will research current and emerging publishing information technology trends and apply them in creating publishing solutions across a variety of platforms. Students will learn and apply digital asset management methods and practices.
Media Business Management
This course introduces principles in core business areas, such as management, finance, accounting, operations, and marketing, which are key factors in developing, growing, and operating a media venture.
LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)‡
LAS Immersion 1, 2
LAS Elective‡
LAS Elective
Professional/Technical Electives
Fourth Year
Team Project
This course is designed to engage the students in a capstone production experience. Students will work in teams and interact with selected clients to design, complete and budget a multi-media project.
LAS Immersion 3
LAS Electives 
Professional/Technical Electives
Free Electives 
Total Semester Credit Hours

(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 are required to complete a minimum of 20 weeks of cooperative education. This may be completed as two summer terms or one academic semester and one summer term.

‡ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3 or 4 credit 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 satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement. Please see an adviser for a complete list of eligible courses.

Professional/Technical electives
Media Law
Media Law offers an opportunity to investigate the philosophical and constitutional foundations of free expression as it relates to speech, writing, image making and publishing. First Amendment principles will be studied with respect to personal protection boundaries. The course will provide a survey covering defamation issues. Students should be able to form educated opinions about libel and slander boundaries. Since the publication discipline involves the creation of original work, a study of copyright, patent, and trademark law will be provided.
Strategies in Multimedia
The course examines the structure and channels of advertising, publishing and packaging. It will focus on marketing across multiple channels using knowledge learned about the various industries and channels available. This course explores mass media and customized technologies for effectively reaching consumers. Emphasis will be on the development of the right mix of marketing communications techniques.
Media Distribution and Transmission
In this course students gain extensive knowledge of the various methods and techniques used to electronically and physically distribute information. Students will also study planning, scheduling, inventory management and customer fulfillment.
Introduction to Book Design
Introduces the history, aesthetics, and technology of book design, with emphasis digital methods and digital print production. Projects include page design, typographic investigation, legibility study, and production of both print and electronic books. Research in the RIT Cary Collection and hands-on work in multiple production labs will inform and enable student projects.
Image Processing Workflow
This course concentrates on the image processing variables and techniques required for producing high-quality color reproductions for a variety of output technologies. Emphasis will be placed on optimizing both image quality and workflow efficiencies from digital capture to final output. Topics include file formats, image processing strategies, color conversion and effective proofing techniques.
Gravure and Flexography
Students who take this course will learn how the world’s leading package printing technologies work, and how to create designs that print well on them. Classroom theory is complemented by labs that give students extensive hands on experience operating a flexo label press. At the end of the course, students create pressure sensitive (peel and stick) label designs, take command of a flexo press, and print their labels on it.
The growing interest in digital printing processes has created a desire to bind small editions and single copies of books. This course is an introduction to the many different hand-binding options ranging from single-section pamphlets to hardcover books. The materials and techniques learned are applicable to the finishing of on-demand publications as well as creating one-of-a-kind presentations.
Lithographic Process
This course provides detailed fundamentals of the equipment and materials used in the lithographic process. Topics include press, inks, substrates, and pressroom management. There is an emphasis on process color printing and problem solving press and process variables that impact quality and productivity.
Advanced Retouching and Restoration
This class demystifies the process for digitally enhancing, retouching, and restoring images in industry standard raster software. This class is designed for students who have a solid working knowledge of current industry standard raster software and are interested in advancing their skills in digital image enhancement retouching and restoration. This course includes image acquisition and specialized image manipulation techniques used to retouch, reconstruct, restore, and enhance images.
3D Printing Workflow
This course introduces students to the core technologies, applications and production processes of three-dimensional printing. Through the coursework, students will apply their knowledge in hands-on project work that will allow them to produce three-dimensional objects of their own design.
Magazine Publishing
This class is an introduction to the concepts and methods of magazine design and production workflow, with the practical experience of producing a cross-media magazine for output to a digital device and print. Special attention is given to the use of images in integration with text, grids, and the role of experimentation and innovation in the modern magazine.
Digital Print Processes
Students who take this course will understand how digital printing technologies work, what they are capable of doing, and how these technologies are used commercially. Students will analyze the factors driving the explosive growth of digital printing, including how the economics of digital and conventional printing compare. The concepts taught in the classroom will be reinforced through hands-on labs and field trips to digital printers and equipment suppliers.
Limited Edition Print
Through immersive study of technologies, materials, and business models, students will learn how to produce high quality limited editions of original works and reproductions for fine art and other markets. Students will also explore the integration of print technologies (e.g. inkjet, letterpress, screen, etc.) and materials with an emphasis on print finishing, authentication, and archival concerns.
Color Management Systems
This course addresses the science and technology of color management systems in achieving quality color reproduction and scanner-monitor and proof-print agreement. Students will study the role of color measurement for device calibration, device characterization, and building an ICC-based color management system. Students will perform color image rendering from digital capture to print, investigate digital proofing and soft and remote proofing, and evaluate color management system performance. Process control tools and analysis of control targets will also be covered.
Topics in Media Arts, Sciences
Topics in Media Arts, Sciences and Technology provides a platform for students to explore the most contemporary issues in the rapidly evolving fields of media arts, media sciences and media technologies. The content taught in this course will change frequently and the course may be repeated for credit, however each particular topic may have limits on repeatability.
Lab Topics in Media Arts, Technology
Lab Topics in Media Arts, Sciences and Technology provides a lab-based platform for students to explore the most contemporary issues in the rapidly evolving fields of media arts, media sciences and media technologies. The content taught in this lab-based course will change frequently and the course may be repeated for credit, however each particular topic may have limits on repeatability.
Applied Topics in Media Arts, Science, and Technology
This course provides an intensive platform for students to explore the most contemporary issues in the rapidly evolving fields of media arts, media sciences, and media technologies. The content taught in this hands-on course will change frequently and the course may be repeated for credit, however each particular topic may have limits on repeatability.
Package Printing
Students who take this course will understand how package printing technologies work, and how they are used to print bags, labels, cartons, cans, boxes, and bottles. Students will apply a packaging printing workflow to produce labels and folding cartons of their own design. Finally, students will analyze the cost of printing a package.
Building Profit into Media Projects
This course familiarizes students with costing and pricing practices in website development, print media, mobile media, and social media. It highlights areas of similarity in these media but more importantly focuses on those practices and customs that are unique to a specific medium. The course provides the necessary background for developing accurate media proposals that become contractual legal obligations and result in sustained profitability.
Typography Research
The course builds on fundamentals and skills taught in introductory and advanced typography courses by developing methods of investigation, research, and analysis, with the goal of enabling students to conduct independent research. Students choose individual typographic topics to research (e.g. technology, psychology, history, aesthetics, imaging, writing systems, culture, and society). Course lectures survey these topics. Students each give presentations on their topics and prepare a written a report. The course emphasizes individual initiative and seminar participation. To enroll in this course students’ need to have successfully completed two additional typography classes.
Digital Asset Management
This advanced course focuses on the development and application of digital asset management strategies for cross media production workflows. Project work will include the development of asset management strategies and the utilization of a blend of desktop and enterprise-level DAM tools and systems.
Transmedia Publishing and Storytelling
Transmedia publishing is a form of multimedia communications that tells stories from a database of media assets. It differs from conventional publishing in that the reader dynamically participates in shaping the story and the story is adapted to the channel used to distribute it. Students create stories though the application of the theoretical principles, methods and tools employed in transmedia publishing and storytelling.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

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

  • 3 years of math required
  • Chemistry or physics required

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, college math, physics and chemistry, business

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

Transfer from associate degree programs considered on an individual basis

Learn about admissions and financial aid