New media studies (NMS) is an interdisciplinary field that
examines the production and consumption of cultural content through digital
media. The need to study “new media” is grounded in a basic idea: when the
media through which we create and communicate shift from primarily analog forms
(print, film, canvas, vinyl) to digital forms and networks, our practices of
creating and communicating change along with them. The NMS program at DePaul
has over a decade of experience exploring these shifts, and preparing students
to thrive in new media fields and digital professions. Put simply, NMS students examine ways to both
create and better understand visual and written communication in a digital culture.
The NMS program has always operated as a robust mix of
theoretical and hands-on learning. We combine the cultural insight and
sophistication of a humanities orientation with the practical technical skills
needed to work with and manage digital projects. Practically speaking, that
means that NMS students develop a fundamental understanding of how the use of digital media shapes our rhetorical and communicative practices; they explore content strategies, visual rhetoric, web and interactive design and development, digital video and audio production in concrete settings, and how particular digital platforms (including social media) transform the ways we communicate. Our topic courses also allow students to remain current in new media trends, practices, and technologies. The mix of perspectives, approaches, and courses provides NMS graduates with both know-how and “know-why.” This combination produces not only competent professionals, but innovators in their fields.
Core and Elective
Structure—NMS’s core + elective structure offers students a rich opportunity to craft their coursework around their interests and learning goals. Students take five required core courses in NMS, including an introductory Proseminar at the beginning of their program and a project-based Workshop capstone at the end of their program.
For their seven elective courses, however, NMS students can take graduate-level classes from programs across the university. The core + elective structure means that students build
their own knowledge around their own learning and career goals. For more on the
NMS curriculum, and possible elective pathways, see our Curriculum page.
Chicago’s New Media Industries—One of the program’s core strengths is its location in Chicago, with its strong market for work in a variety of media sectors. Students in NMS often work in media fields in the Chicagoland area as they’re completing their degrees. Chicago’s strong demand for skilled content producers also opens up a variety of internship opportunities for NMS students. See our Internship and Alumni pages for more information.
Digital Humanities through NMS—The New Media Studies program is particularly appropriate for students interested in the digital humanities. DePaul now has a four course certificate program in Digital Humanities (DH). Because NMS students have wide latitude in
choosing elective courses, students interested in DH work can choose electives
that satisfy the DH certificate, thereby completing both the NMS MA degree and
the DH certificate within the same 12-course curriculum. One of the core
courses in the DH certificate is a New Media Studies course, NMS580 (Markup and
Text Encoding in the Humanities), which will be offered frequently. Like other
DH certificate program courses, the course satisfies both the DH certificate
requirements and the NMS elective requirements. For more information on
DePaul’s certificate program in the Digital Humanities, see the Digital Humanities page.