Major Requirements

General Information 

Digital Media Studies (DMS) is an interdisciplinary major comprising fourteen courses. The DMS major can satisfy either the humanities or natural science divisional area. (The divisional area is determined by which seven or more of the fourteen courses are taken.)

Successful completion of DMST 200W is required for students to register for the DMS senior Capstone course, DMST 372. Students should plan to complete DMST 200W prior to their senior year. 

Helpful Hints

  • Students need to have completed two of the four introductory required courses before they can declare their major. All four courses are required.
  • The digital media studies program strongly encourages students interested in the major to take DMST 104 by the end of sophomore year.
  • DMS students may take AME 191 ONLY in fall semesters.
  • When registering, if course titles differ from those on the DMS website, please see the DMS undergraduate program coordinator for approval.
  • For information on distinction, overlap policy and transfer credits see the advising page.

Required Courses

Students are required to complete the DMS major as follows.

Introductory Courses (Four Courses)
  • DMST 101: Introduction to Digital Media Studies (H)
  • DMST 102: Programming for Digital Media (NS)
  • DMST 103: The Essential Digital Media Toolkit (H)
  • DMST 104: Design in a Digital Age (NS)
Technology/Production Courses (Four Courses)

Select four courses from the list below dealing with the production of digital objects or experiences using relevant technologies:

Note: This section should total 16 credit hours. If students choose a 2-credit course from the list below, it should be paired with an additional 2-credit course. Any courses that appear in both the technology/production and media history, theory, and practice requirements may be used toward the requirements for either component, but not both.

Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures

  • ATHS 299G: Digital Archaeology of Heritage Structures of West Africa (Divisionally neutral)

Audio and Music Engineering

  • AME 140: Introduction to Audio Music and Engineering (NS)
  • AME 191: Art and Tech of Recording (NS) (DMS students may take AME 191 only in fall semesters.)
  • AME 193: Sound Design (NS)
  • AME 194: Audio for Visual Media (NS)
  • AME 196: Interactive Music Programming (NS)
  • AME 197: Audio for Gaming (NS)
  • AME 242: Critical Listening and Audio Production (NS)
  • AME 262: Audio Software Design I (NS)
  • AME 263: Computational Models of Music (NS) [Occasionally offered]
  • AME 264: Audio Software Design II (NS)

Computer Science

  • CSC 131: Recreational Graphics I (NS)
  • CSC 170: Web Design and Development (NS)
  • CSC 171: The Science of Programming (NS)
  • CSC 172: The Science of Data Structures (NS)
  • CSC 186: Video Game Development (NS)
  • CSC 210: Web Programming (NS)
  • CSC 212: Human-Computer Interaction (NS)
  • CSC 214: Mobile App Development/Android Mobile App Development (NS)
  • CSC 242: Artificial Intelligence (NS)
  • CSC 249: Machine Vision (NS)

Digital Media Studies

  • DMST 115: Video Games as Interactive Storytelling (H)
  • DMST 120: Video Game Design (NS)
  • DMST 171: Graphic Design 1 (H)
  • DMST 210: Digital Imaging: Transforming Real into Virtual (NS)
  • DMST 251/CASC 251: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (NS) [Occasionally offered]
  • DMST 272: Graphic Design 2 (H)

Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • EAS 141: Basic Mechanical Fabrication (2 credits) (NS)


  • ENGL 277: Screenplay Writing (H)

Film and Media Studies

  • FMST 161: Introduction to Video Art (H)


  • HIST 219: William Seward’s Civil War (SS)* [Occasionally offered]
  • HIST 236/HIST 236W: Digital History: Mapping the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers (SS)* [Occasionally offered]
  • HIST 246/HIST 246W: Digital History (SS)*
  • HIST 285/HIST 285W: Digital History: Virtual St. George’s (SS)* [Occasionally offered]

*Upper-level writing qualified course. These can substitute for an upper-level writing course in the Media History, Theory, and Practice component of the major. Please note that if you plan to use this course for upper-level writing, you MUST register for the W section.


  • ITAL 245: Dante: A Multimedia Lab (H) [Occasionally offered]

Mechanical Engineering

  • ME 103: Loudspeaker Design (NS) [Occasionally offered]
  • ME 110: Intro to CAD and Drawing (2 credits) (NS)


  • OPT 101: Introduction to Optics (NS)

Studio Arts

  • SART 141: Introduction to Photography (H)
  • SART 151: Introductory Digital Art (H) [Valid through spring 2017]
  • SART 151: New Media and Emerging Practice 1 (H) [Starting in fall 2017]
  • SART 242: Advanced Photography (H)
  • SART 244: Expanded Photography (H)
  • SART 252/253: Advanced Digital Art (H) [Valid through fall 2016]
  • SART 252: New Media and Emerging Practice 2 (H) [Starting in fall 2017]
  • SART 262: Advanced Video Art (H)
Media History, Theory, and Practice (Three Courses)

Select three courses dealing with the theories, aesthetics, and history of particular media or involving performative media-related practices.

You will need at least one course that covers the deep pre-digital history of a particular medium from the following list:

  • AHST 128: Modern Art (H)
  • AHST 137: Introduction to Modern Architecture (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 242: History of Photography: 1839-1915 (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 285: History of Photography II (H)
  • AME 240: History of Sound Recording (NS)
  • DMST 271: History of Graphic Design (H)
  • ENGL 118: Introduction to Media Studies (H)
  • JPNS 207: Film as Object (H)
  • MUSC 134: Styles and Genres: Introduction to Music History (H)

Select two media history, theory, and practice courses of your choice from the lists below, one of which must be upper-level writing qualified (as denoted with an asterisk).

Art History

  • AHST 100: Introduction to Visual and Culture Studies (H)
  • AHST 101: Introduction to Art and Visual Culture (H)
  • AHST 206: American Independent Film (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 212: What Photo Is (H)*
  • AHST 217: Technologies of Art (H)* [Valid through fall 2014, occasionally offered]
  • AHST 240: Topics in Contemporary Art and Critique: Warhol (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 253: Film History: 1929–1959 (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 254: Film History: 1959–1989 (H)
  • AHST 308: Art and Imitation (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 317: Street Photography (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • AHST 319: Material Culture (H) [Occasionally offered]


  • ANTH 225: The Social Uses of Media (SS) [Occasionally offered]


  • CHIN 235: Photography in East Asia (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • CHIN 237: Chinese Film (H) [Occasionally offered]

Digital Media Studies

  • DMST 110: Video Game History (H)
  • DMST 115: Video Games as Interactive Storytelling (H)
  • DMST 250/WRTG 261: Writing in a Digital World (H)* (Cannot be used to satisfy both Media History, Theory and Practice and Digital Application requirements)


  • ENGL 117: Introduction to the Art of Film (H)
  • ENGL 132: Feature Writing (H)
  • ENGL 134: Public Speaking (H)
  • ENGL 138: Journalism Case Studies (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 240: Aesthetics (H)
  • ENGL 249: Gender and Language in Literature, Film, and Society (H)
  • ENGL 255: Film History: Early Cinema (H)*
  • ENGL 259: Popular Film Genres (H) (Please confirm specific course title with DMS program)
  • ENGL 260: Film History: 1989–Present (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 261: Film Theory (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 263: Clocks and Computers: Visualizing Cultural Time (H)*
  • ENGL 263: Poetics of Television (H)*
  • ENGL 265: Issues in Film: Documentary and Mock Documentary (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 265: Issues in Film: Family Repression and Rage in Film and Society (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 265: Film Adaptations and Literary Texts: Representing Race (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 265: Race and Gender in Pop Film (H)
  • ENGL 267: Changing Genres of Erotica (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 267: Food, Media and Literature (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 267: Animation and the Arts (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 267: EcoMedia (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 267: Image, Text, and Technology (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • ENGL 283: Media ABC (H) [Occasionally offered]


  • GRMN 209: Cowboys and Indians (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • GRMN 247: The Holocaust in Film and Literature (H)
  • GRMN 275: Digital Cityscapes (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • GRMN 282: Fassbinder (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • GRMN 283: West German Avant-Garde (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • GRMN 284: Hollywood Behind the Wall (H) [Occasionally offered]


  • HIST 219: William Seward’s Civil War (SS)* [Occasionally offered]
  • HIST 258/HIST 258W: Women's Lives and Letters, America 1830-1880 (SS)* [Occasionally offered]
  • HIST 285/HIST 285W: Digital History: Virtual St. George’s (SS)* [Occasionally offered]


  • ITAL 245: Dante: A Multimedia Lab (H) [Occasionally offered]


  • JPNS 219A/JPNS 219W: Tourist Japan (H)* [Occasionally offered]
  • JPNS 292: Anime (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • JPNS 294/JPNS 294W: Hayao Miyazaki and Planet Ghibli (H)*


  • MUSC 122: History of Jazz (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • MUSC 123: Music of Black Americans (H)
  • MUSC 125: History of Rock (H)
  • MUSC 130: The Beatles, the British Invasion (H)
  • MUSC 134: Style & Genres: Introduction to Music History (H)
  • MUSC 135A: American Musical Theater (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • MUSC 135B: Sondheim and the American Musical Theatre (H) [Occasionally offered]
  • MUSC 161: Broadcasting in the Digital Age (H)


  • RUSS 267/RUSS 267W: Russia Goes to the Movies (H)* [Occasionally offered]

Studio Arts

  • SART 151: New Media and Emerging Practice 1 (H) [Starting in fall 2017]
  • SART 252: New Media and Emerging Practice 2 (H) [Starting in fall 2017]

*Please note that if you plan to use this course for upper-level writing, you MUST register for the W section.

Digital Applications (One Course)

Beginning with the Class year of 2022, students will be required to complete the Digital Application course prior to their senior year in order to move along in the DMS Senior Capstone course, DMS 372. 

DMST 200W: Digital Portfolio (Divisional neutral)

  • Students in the 2021 class year
    • May still use WRT 260/DMS 250 as their Digital Application Requirement
    • Are eligible to complete DMS 200W during the spring semester of senior year
Capstone (Two Courses)

For their capstone experience students plan, design, construct, and deliver a digital media object of significant scope. Working as a team, they deploy their collective knowledge, skills, and expertise to undertake an external client's proposal and/or devise a project of their own design.

  • DMST 372: Capstone: Design (H) [Only offered in fall semesters]
  • DMST 373: Capstone: Development (NS) [Only offered in spring semesters]
Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Upper-level writing requirements are satisfied through the Digital Applications course, the Capstone, and one additional upper-level writing course taken in the media history, theory, and practice track.

Art New York Program

Art New York is an internship program that is exclusive to the University of Rochester—and is the learning experience of a lifetime! It immerses you in the stimulating art environment of New York City, the global hub of the contemporary art scene and a major center for the exhibition, conservation, and trade in artworks.

Art New York is a three-course sequence, two of which can count toward your DMS major requirements:

Technology/Production Courses (4 credits)

  • SART 300: Art New York New Field Studio (H)

Media History, Theory, and Practice Courses (4 credits)

  • SART 301: Art New York Colloquium (H)

DMS students who are interested in Art New York should contact the DMS program director for permission. Upper-level writing designation depends on the nature of the student’s Art New York project, which will be determined after reviewing the student’s work.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Art New York page.