Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media

Campus Locations Boston
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes


Students in the Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media will 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 three types of experiences: core courses, concentration electives, and a capstone that can be completed as an individual thesis or a team project. 

Our core courses in media creation, interactive design, usability, design thinking, and narrative structure provide a baseline for producing content-rich experiences. A series of electives are 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.

Unique Features:

  • In-depth thesis project experience working under the guidance of a faculty advisor
  • Concentration options provide specialized focus on distinctive areas of digital media as well as optional technical workshops to hone your skills
  • Cohort program format designed to enhance collaboration and networking opportunities for students
  • Two entry options based on prior experience provide focused on-boarding through ALIGN, or immediate immersion in advanced concepts
  • Experiential opportunities with corporate and nonprofit partners to build and test your skills

Program Objectives:

  • Leverage your existing professional experience and knowledge in a technology-centric media world
  • Apply visual language concepts and systems to a wide variety of projects
  • Understand fundamental programming concepts and their application to digital media design
  • Study character and story development across a variety of digital media
  • Learn and apply the UI/UX principles that make for satisfying interactions
  • Create media content by integrating video, animation, motion graphics, sound, and programming logic

Career Outlook:

Companies of all sizes and industries need creative thinkers to help them plan, build, and disseminate compelling digital stories for marketing, messaging, and entertainment. Employment projections vary for each concentration, but demand and reward for interactive designers, game designers, video editors, and social media experts continues to expand at an above-average pace.


Our signature experiential learning model combines academics with professional practice to help students gain relevant, real-world skills they can apply to their desired industry. Northeastern offers a variety of ways for students to add experience to their resumé, including:

  • Experiential Network (XN) — Students work virtually with a sponsoring organization on a short-term project over a six-week period. 
  • In the thesis project, you’ll work with the guidance of a faculty advisor to channel your passion into a project that provides tangible evidence of your abilities.
  • In the group capstone, you’ll work with members of your cohort on real-world projects.

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



Updated curriculum effective Fall 2017

Required Core Courses (22 q.h.)

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

Choose one of the following courses:

DGM 6140 Sound Design
Required for students electing the 3D Animation or Digital Video concentrations
4 q.h.
DGM 6168 Usability and Human Interaction
Required for students electing the Game Design or Interactive Design Concentration
4 q.h.

Choose one pair of the following courses:

DGM 6890 and
DGM 7990
Thesis Proposal Development and
2 q.h.
6 q.h.
   OR    OR  
NEW 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. 


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. 
NEW 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.
NEW Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Strategy and Implementation 4 q.h.
NEW Fundamentals of Human Behavior 3 q.h. 
INT xxxx Experiential Learning 3 q.h.


Required minimum credit hours: between 45-47 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) is encouraged to join 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 Game Design concentration begin only in the fall. Students who declare a 3-D Animation or Digital Video concentration begin only in the winter. Students in the Interactive Design Concentration’s Design track begin in either the fall or winter. All other full-time students can begin in fall, winter, or spring, although spring entry students will not enter as part of a formal cohort.

Prospective full-time students can apply for the Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media 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. The Digital Media program cannot guarantee that required courses will be available in every academic session for students who enter in a session not recommended for their concentration.

Part-time students do not join a cohort, although they are encouraged to begin their studies at the same time as full-time students in their chosen concentration to connect with other new students. Part-time students can begin their studies in any session. However, the Digital Media program cannot guarantee that required courses will be available in all academic sessions.

The MPS in Digital Media is designed for applicants with prior educational or professional experience in the field. Strong applicants without this experience may automatically be accepted and/or transferred into our  MPS in Digital Media ALIGN  program.


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.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $30,195.00.

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.

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


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Next Term Starts
  • Summer Graduate
    Jul 10, 2017 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
    Aug 7, 2017 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Undergraduate
    Sep 4, 2017 (7.5- and 15-week classes)
    Oct 25, 2017 (7.5-week classes)
  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

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