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DePaul University College of LAS > Departments > New Media Studies

New Media Studies

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.

Unique Program Features

Core and Elective StructureNMS’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 IndustriesOne 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.