Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media: ALIGN

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online No
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 57
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes

Overview

Northeastern University’s Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media ALIGN program offers students the opportunity to change careers and break into the digital media industry without getting a second bachelor’s degree. Students can build their skills and expertise while gaining experience using a variety of industry-standard and cutting-edge technologies and tools.

Our curriculum is organized around four types of experiences: ALIGN courses, core courses, concentration electives, and a capstone that can be completed as an individual thesis or a team project.

For students considering a career change into digital media, the four ALIGN courses provide students rigorous bridge courses that can help students connect their current background to a new digital media path. Courses focus on visual communications foundations, programming foundations, digital labs, and web creation.

Our core courses in media creation, usability, design thinking and narrative structure provide a baseline for producing content-rich experiences. A series of electives is offered in seven distinctive areas: 3-D animation, game design, digital video, social media, digital media management, or one of two tracks in interactive design: visual design or usability and production. In the capstone experience, you’ll work with the guidance of faculty to channel your passion into a project that provides tangible evidence of your abilities.

Whether you are a full- or part-time student, our cohort structure allows you to build meaningful working relationships with students from around the globe. Team-based assignments strengthen your project management and leadership skills, and allow you to take part in the design and development of more complex media projects than you could by working alone. The team efforts will also prepare you for your future as a professional in digital media’s collaboration-oriented culture.


Interested in Learning More?
Watch One of Our Webinars:

- MPS in Digital Media Overview

- Industry Trends and Career Outlook in Communications and Digital Media

- Communications with a Cutting Edge: Virtual Meetings


Curriculum

 


Effective Fall 2017

Foundation Courses (12 q.h.)

DGM 6105 Visual Communications Foundation 4 q.h.
DGM 6108 Programming Foundations for Digital Media
4 q.h.
DGM 6109 Lab for DGM 6108 2 q.h.
DGM 6501 Web Creation Boot Camp 2 q.h.

 

Required Core Courses (22 q.h.)

DGM 6122 Foundations of Digital Storytelling 4 q.h.
DGM 6145 Information Technology and Creative Practice 4 q.h.
DGM 6521 Web Creation for Content Management Systems 2 q.h.


Choose one of the following courses:

DGM 6140 Sound Design 4 q.h.
DGM 6168 Usability and Human Interaction
TCC 6120 Usability covers equivalent content to DGM 6168 and will also meet this core requirement.
4 q.h.


Choose one pair of the following courses:

DGM 6890  and
DGM 7990
Thesis Proposal Development and
Thesis
2 q.h.
6 q.h.
     OR      OR  
DGM 7980
   and
Capstone Project  and
Technical course from workshops list
6 q.h.
2 q.h.

 

Concentrations (20-21 q.h.)

Choose one of the following concentrations:


3-D Animation Concentration (20 q.h)
DGM 6450 Animation Basics 4 q.h.
DGM 6510 3-D Modeling 4 q.h.
DGM 6530 Character Animation 4 q.h.
DGM 6535 Rigging Principles and Techniques 4 q.h. 
DGM 6540 Compositing 4 q.h.

Digital Media Management Concentration (20 q.h)
DGM 6230 Digital Media Entrepreneurship 4 q.h.
DGM 6280 Managing for Digital Media 4 q.h.
DGM 6285 Interactive Marketing Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6290 Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation 4 q.h.
DGM 6279 Project Management for Digital Media 4 q.h.

 

Digital Video Concentration (20 q.h)

Choose at least 20 q.h. from the following courses:

DGM 6435 Digital Video Production 4 q.h.
DGM 6440 Editing in the Digital Studio 4 q.h.
DGM 6520 Lighting for the Camera 4 q.h.
DGM 6540 Compositing  4 q.h.
DGM 6545 Documentary and Nonfiction Production 4 q.h.
DGM 6430 Screenwriting: Linear and Interactive 4 q.h.

Game Design Concentration (20 q.h)

Choose at least 20 q.h. from the following courses:

DGM 6308 Intermediate Programming for Digital Media 4 q.h. 
DGM 6400 Game Design Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6508 Game Development Intensive 2 q.h. 
DGM 6405 Digital Game Design Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6408 Game Design Algorithms and Data Structures 4 q.h.
DGM 6410 Game Design Technology Lab 4 q.h.

Interactive Design Concentration (20 q.h)
DGM 6461 Interactive Information Design 1 4 q.h.

Choose four courses from one of the following two course tracks:

Design Track

DGM 6217 Typography for Interactivity 4 q.h. 
DGM 6463 Interactive Information Design 2 4 q.h.
DGM 6317 Screen-Based Publication Design 4 q.h. 
DGM 6471 Designing Infographics  4 q.h. 
DGM 6895 Digital Portfolio Capstone  4 q.h. 

OR

Usability and Development Track

DGM 6451 Web Development 4 q.h. 
DGM 6268 Usable Design for Mobile Digital Media 4 q.h.
DGM 6308 Intermediate Programming for Digital Media 4 q.h. 
DGM 6525 Research Methods for Global User Experiences 4 q.h.
TCC 6110 Information Architecture   4 q.h. 
TCC 6710 Content Strategy 4 q.h. 

 

Social Media Concentration (21 q.h)
CMN 6035 Legal, Policy, and Ethical Issues in the Digital Era  3 q.h. 
CMN 6045 Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance 3 q.h.
CMN 6065 Implementation and Management of Social Media Channels and Online Communities 3 q.h.
DGM 6285 Interactive Marketing Fundamentals 4 q.h.
DGM 6290 Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation 4 q.h.
TCC 6710 Content Strategy 4 q.h. 

 

Free Elective (3-4 q.h)

Choose one of the following courses:

ALY 6110 Data Management and Big Data 3 q.h.
DGM 6125 Time-Based Media  4 q.h. 
DGM 6300  Digital Capture and Output  4 q.h. 
DGM 6322 Advanced Digital Storytelling 4 q.h.
DGM 6550 Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Strategy and Implementation 4 q.h.
ITC 6410 Fundamentals of Human Behaviors for Interactive Systems 3 q.h. 
DGM 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.

 

Required minimum credit hours: between 57-59 q.h., depending on selected concentration and elective.



Workshops (2 q.h.)

Optional digital media workshops are designed to provide valuable technical skills and tools for students in all graduate degree programs. Students may choose one of the following workshops. 

DGM 6506 Introduction to Digital Video 2 q.h. 
DGM 6509 Integrated Suite Workshop 2 q.h. 
DGM 6515 Introduction to After Effects 2 q.h.
DGM 6518 Game Programming Intensive 1  2 q.h. 
DGM 6519 Game Programming Intensive 2  2 q.h. 
TCC 6620 Collecting User Data 2 q.h.
TCC 6630 Introduction to XML 2 q.h.

 

The Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media is built around “cohorts.” A cohort is a unique program format, in which students complete their degree within one cohesive student population. Cohorts build a sense of community among students, encourage networking, and create strong relationships that extend beyond the academic experience.

A full-time student (carrying a minimum of 8 quarter hours per session) joins the program in one of two cohorts, which begin in the fall (September) or winter (January). Not all concentrations are offered in both cohorts. Students who declare a 3-D Animation, Digital Video or Game Design concentration begin only in the fall. All other full-time students begin in either the fall or the winter.  

Prospective full-time students can apply for the Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media:ALIGN at any time during the year. When applying, applicants must select a concentration. If accepted, the applicant will be admitted into the next open session that matches their concentration. 

A part-time student can enter in either fall or winter, but may need to complete their ALIGN courses before enrolling in their non-ALIGN master's courses.  However, the Digital Media program cannot guarantee that required courses will be available in all academic sessions on a part-time schedule.

 

 


Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Tuition

Estimated total tuition for this program is $38,247.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.


Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

This program is appropriate for individuals with backgrounds in communications, graphic design, marketing, journalism, gaming, video, or science and technology.

An undergraduate degree is required. It is recommended that you enter the program with at least a foundational knowledge of visual communications or programming (such as an undergraduate art or computer science course), although introductory courses in both subjects are offered as part of the program.


Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Design and produce interactive websites and application prototypes incorporating a variety of digital media based on established HCI (HumanComputer Interaction) principles, theory, and research.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Assess broad communication and entertainment project goals to then design a variety of interactive digital media projects drawing on the perspectives and methods of several interrelated creative fields.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Apply digital media narrative principles and a range of technologies, visual, design, and programming ideas to provide creative and timely solutions for practical digital media challenges.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Develop a formal proposal, real or hypothetical, addressing a challenge or opportunity in cross-cultural and global information and communication.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.

 

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Next Term Starts
  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

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