The BS in Interactive and Social Media degree is an interdisciplinary, hands-on program that integrates technical and creative disciplines such as human-computer interaction, information technology, and graphic design. Students in the ISM program to prepare to work in the expanding fields of interaction design and social computing by developing their skills as designers, coders, and user researchers. In project-based, collaborative courses, students learn to design, build, and evaluate interactive systems such as dynamic websites and mobile applications. Students also learn to incorporate social media and social computing into interactive applications. The ISM program provides a design concentration and a development concentration. Both concentrations build upon foundational coursework in interaction design and social computing.
Choosing a Concentration
All ISM students learn how to create interactive applications such as web sites and mobile apps. The first two years of study include courses that have both design and development elements, which are taken by students in both concentrations. The difference between the concentrations is in the advanced coursework. A student may choose either concentration knowing that it is easy to switch to the other concentration within the first couple years of study.
Students in the design concentration focus on building the skills and methods needed to conceptualize and design user experiences and user interfaces for technology-based interactive systems such as websites and mobile apps. Areas of study include interaction design, prototyping, visual design, strategies for incorporating social computing into websites and mobile applications, and presenting information visually.
Students in the development concentration focus on building skills as coders who are able to implement the mobile apps and interactive displays that they have designed. Course work emphasizes information technology and interactive scripting. At the advanced level, the development concentration includes advanced programming courses for implementing working solutions.
careers and next steps
Depending on their chosen ISM concentration, students will be able to begin career paths in roles such as User Interface Designer, User Researcher, Social Media Strategist, Web Developer, and Mobile Application Developer. In their sophomore or junior years, some students choose to apply to the Combined Degree program to earn a Master's in Human-Computer Interaction in addition to the ISM Bachelor's degree.
Research and development
Faculty in the Interactive and Social Media program are active in designing, developing, and researching interactive systems in a variety of domains. Students may contact faculty directly to learn more about research projects and opportunities to gain experience in research and development.
The ISM minor
Increasingly, design and computation are fueling innovation and nearly every field. As such, the ability to design and develop interactive systems can be especially valuable when combined with focused study in other areas. Students in other majors are encouraged to consider an ISM minor to acquire skills that can be applied in a variety of fields in which technology is used to innovate.
There are two labs dedicated to software evaluation and user research in the downtown loop campus which can be used by students in the ISM program.