Master of Arts Digital Communication & Media Arts

The MA in Digital Communication and Media Arts (DCMA) teaches students to bring stories to life. Transmedia is the art and craft of telling a story across a span of digital (and non-digital) media. Whether this be in the style that builds campaigns around franchises and popular fandoms, or the approach of splintering a story across media to take advantage of the affordances of each form, transmedia is the nexus to which all media converges.

This program uniquely bridges two colleges (CDM and the College of Communication), resulting in a truly interdisciplinary degree that affords students the opportunity to apply theory and research to medium specific design practices and transmedia storytelling. This is a practical degree, in that it teaches students technical and artistic skills in various digital (and physical) media, while giving them the critical tools to become better communicators in a digital environment.

Career Paths

The Media Arts track of the DCMA program prepares professional media artists to be leaders in transmedia storytelling and media production. The skills they acquire will open up a range of career opportunities that include: online marketing, mobile communications, interactive media design, online content creation, web design, social media, digital product design and development. Students coming into the program with previous training or experience in a digital medium can prepare for roles in media art direction, project management and digital media management.

Alumni Insights

“The DCMA program is made up of incredible faculty and backed by a stellar college. I felt supported 100% of the time and always felt comfortable with my professors. I was allowed to tailor the classes to fit what I wanted to learn, which is incredibly valuable.”

“I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge, not just from the classes, but from my peers as well. I feel more confident and skilled in digital media.”

“DCMA is a great program and I highly recommend it if you're trying to get into the digital marketing field or design.”

  • LeAnne Wagner

    LeAnne is an experience designer who focuses on emerging user interfaces and digital fabrication. She brings a diverse background of professional experience, from advertising and graphic design to design thinking and product development. She is particularly passionate about projects that center on social impact and collaborating with community partners.

  • B Rich

    B. develops stories about complex concepts and issues across multiple media formats. This weaving of stories called transmedia has propelled him into game design, interactive design and virtual reality.

  • Samantha Close (CMN)

    Samantha’s research interests include digital media, theory-practice, fan studies, video game studies, gender, race, and Japanese media. She focuses particularly on labor and transforming models of creative industries and capitalism. Her documentary, I Am Handmade: Crafting in the Age of Computers, based on her most recent research project, is hosted online by Vice Media’s Motherboard channel. Her writing has appeared in several edited volumes and academic journals.

Research and Creative Activity at the School of Design

blueprint of Wheelchair costume

Our faculty are engaged in innovative scholarly and creative work and offer collaborative research opportunities with students and partners. Here, LeAnne Wagner leads students in a yearly collaboration with the non-profit Magic Wheelchair. Each Fall they work with a local family to build an epic costume for a kiddo in a wheelchair at no cost to the family, like this Mario Kart wheelchair costume, complete with Arduino-controlled LEDs, to light up the Halloween experience of a local boy. Students learn fabrication skills, field research, and fundraising skills through out the project.

 

Kaleidoscope

The DePaul School of Design's annual end of year showcase, Kaleidoscope, is aimed to celebrate the graduating classes from the Digital Communication Media Arts (DCMA) and Graphic Design programs. DCMA master’s students are exhibiting their final thesis projects and Graphic Design seniors are showcasing their capstone projects. The event takes place each year in June.

 

School of Design Talks

We invite diverse speakers from across the globe who have created innovative responses to the personal, local, and global challenges of the 21st century to lead workshops and discussions.

3 ladies talking on stage 

Visiting Artists Series

This series brings innovative practitioners and industry leaders to the DePaul campus for film screenings, on-stage conversations, and professional panels. Students are given the opportunity to have direct and meaningful contact with established and emerging innovators and professionals in the field.

students at a desk  

Idea Realization Lab

The Idea Realization Lab (IRL) is a 4,500 square foot, student-driven makerspace that encourages the pursuit of thinking through making. IRL houses all types of creative equipment, from traditional woodshop tools to a variety of state-of-the-art fabrication tools, like 3D printers, thermal formers, laser cutters, and more.

filming lot  

Production Resources

CDM boasts a one-of-a-kind, 32,000 square foot professional production facility and cinematic learning environment formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Students learn filmmaking craft and technique steps away from high-profile network productions filming on the Cinespace lot. The Equipment Center and Production Office, housed on our Loop Campus, are the gateways to transmedia production needs like cameras, casting, or permits.

 

Student and Professional Organizations

DCMA students are encouraged to join some of the many student organizations housed at CDM. These include DePaul Digital Media Ties, DUXA (DePaul User Experience Association), XD Roundtable, and DePaul AIGA. Alliances with the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, professional incubators like 2112 and 1871, and a robust network the school maintains within the uniquely rich Chicago creative community allow for real-world experience, insightful professional events, mentorship, internships and more.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
FallAugust 1June 15
WinterDecember 1October 15

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page.

Admission Requirements

Contact Graduate Admission

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