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CDM History

The College of CDM originated as the Department of Computer Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with Helmut Epp as its founding chairman. In 1995, with enrollments increasing, Epp developed the department into a free-standing school within DePaul.

Initial degree offerings included programs in Computer Science (BS, MS, and PhD), Telecommunications (MS) and Information Systems (BS and MS), Software Engineering (MS) and an MS in Management Information Systems (MIS) offered jointly by CDM and DePaul's College of Commerce.


On April 15th, 2008, the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems (CTI) became the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM).  Within the college, the School of Computing (SoC) and the School of Cinema and Interactive Media (CIM) were created to maximize the potential of the programs.

In 2007-2008 CTI cemented its commitment to the study of digital media and interactive arts with two new graduate degrees: The MS in Digital Cinema and the MFA in Digital Cinema. Both degrees offer a focus on the aesthetics and technology of contemporary cinema. The BS in Human-Computer Interaction was revised and relaunched as the BS in Interactive Media, and the Computer Graphics and Animation degree was renamed Computer Graphics and Motion Technology. An innovative new graduate program: the MS in IT Project Management, was also introduced.


Two honors were bestowed on CTI during the 2005-2006 school year. First, the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security named DePaul CTI a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. The same year CTI was one of four institutions selected as inaugural participants in the Sony Imageworks Professional Academic Excellence (IPAX) program.

Two new programs were also added that year: the MS in Computational Finance, a joint program with the College of Commerce, and the BS in Information Assurance and Security.


The 2004-2005 school year, on the other hand, saw the introduction of three new masters degrees: the MS in Instructional Technology Systems (ITS), the MA in Information Technology (MAIT), and, most notably, the MS in Computer, Information and Network Security (CINS), which would become one of CTI's fastest growing programs. Also introduced were two joint programs with the College of Law, the JD/MS and the JD/MA, and accelerated BS/MS programs completion plans. The college also received an uncommon blanket approval from its accrediting body to offer all of its degree programs online using the Course OnLine system. This approval allowed CTI to begin offering six more programs online: ECT, IS, ITS, CINS, MAIT and Software Engineering.

The BS and BA programs in Digital Cinema were also introduced during the 2003-2004 academic year, moving CTI further into the realm of the digital arts. The digital cinema program was the first of its kind, focusing on cutting-edge technology along with classic cinema narrative theory and aesthetics.

The year also marked the start of an important partnership between CTI and the Permanent Missions of the United Nations, through which CTI students would develop the websites of a number of developing countries. CTI's American Sign Language research project, which combines computer technology and linguistics research to bridge the communication gap between the deaf and hearing worlds, was named "Most Innovative Solution" from the editors of Speech Technology Magazine.

In the fall of 2004, CTI introduced the BS in Computer Games Design, The BA and BS in Information Technology, and re-launched a new and improved MIS degree as the MS in Business Information Technology. In the following spring CTI completed construction on the Collaboration Lab on the first floor of the building, changing the face of the CTI building and enhancing the way CTI students interact on campus. 


The following two years saw rapid growth in distance learning enrollments, with increases averaging over 20% each quarter. In the Spring of 2002, CTI received permission from its accrediting body to begin offering the MS degrees in Computer Science, Telecommunications and Distributed Systems entirely online. The 2002-2003 school year was relatively uneventful for new programs; only one new program, the BS in Mathematics and Computer Science, was added.  


Three bachelor degree programs were added 2000-2001 academic year: the BS in Computer Graphics and Animation, and BS in E-Commerce Technology and the BS in Network Technology.  That spring, CTI began using Course OnLine to offer online learning courses, a move that prove pivotal for the future of the school. Another move that would eventually help shape a new character for CTI, would be the continued addition of media arts programs, including the MS in Computer Graphics and Animation in the fall of 2001.


CTI introduced a Master of Science degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), a relatively new field concerned with the design and evaluation software and web pages for ease for use. The following year brought the introduction of the Bachelor of Science in HCI, the MS in Distributed Systems, and another joint program – this time a Bachelor of Arts in Computing with DePaul’s School for New Learning.

Another new degree program was added in each of the next two academic years. In 1998 the Master of Arts in Applied Technology marked the second joint program with the School for New Learning. The MS in E-Commerce Technology followed in 1999, along with the establishment of CTI's E-Commerce Research Institute. In the spring quarter of that academic year, CTI introduced the fledgling version of its Course OnLine system to support students enrolled in on-campus courses.