Digital Multimedia Design, B.Des.

Program Code: DIGMD_BDES

Program Description

The Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) in Digital Multimedia Design (DMD) is an online undergraduate degree delivered in collaboration with the Colleges of Arts & Architecture, Communications, Information Sciences and Technology, and World Campus (WD). The major helps prepare individuals to be leaders in digital media technologies and multimedia industries. This interdisciplinary degree develops students' design thinking through courses in art and design, critical thinking through courses that promote active, critical and ethical use of communications media and technologies, and systems thinking through courses in information technology and human interaction.

The DMD will help individuals build capacities to be creative leaders and change agents who engage with critical issues through interconnected projects in design, technology, and communications across a wide spectrum of industries. This discipline integration creates the conditions for working in the collaborative, adaptive environments that characterize the digital media professions. Combining methods, tools, and approaches from each discipline provides the basis for developing design literacy, visual literacy and digital literacy when responding to problems and issues of local and global importance.

What is Digital Multimedia Design?

Digital Multimedia Design involves learning to design, use, and apply digital platforms, formats, and devices in a range of online interdisciplinary settings. You will develop your digital literacy by coding and creating multiple digital forms using a variety of computer languages; expand your visual literacy in developing multimedia narratives; and enhance your design literacy in exploring ideas in creative problem-solving situations. Digital media generally refers to the storage and transmission of information in increasingly varied multimedia digital formats and devices, and within changing modes of communication. Design is a means by which we respond to change in a purposeful way by focusing on issues, problems, and opportunities and developing plans for taking innovative and tactical actions. Our goal is to prepare you to be a new generation 21st-century learner, and the curriculum embodies its purpose because the entire degree is delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus.

You Might Like This Program If...

You are inspired by learning processes that challenge you to explore knowledge beyond given boundaries, build alternative options for bringing different media together, or collaborate with others to find new ways of communicating ideas. When the changing face of digital media and the open-ended nature of digital design are brought together in settings involving information science and technology, communications, and visual arts, the outcome is beyond our imagination.

Entrance to Major

For specific information on entrance procedures, please visit the website for the College of Arts and Architecture.

Direct Admission to the Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. Admission restrictions may apply for change-of-major and/or change-of-campus students.

For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the college, campus, or program contact (listed in the Contact tab).

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design, a minimum of 120 credits are required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 75

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ART 211YIntroduction to Digital Art and Design Criticism3
COMM 215Basic Photography for Communications3
COMM 230WWriting for Media3
DART 2022D Digital Art & Computer Graphics3
DMD 100Digital Multimedia Design Foundations3
DMD 300Digital Multimedia Design Studio3
DMD 400Digital Multimedia Design Capstone3
HCDD 113Foundations of Human-Centered Design and Development3
IST 250Introduction to Web Design and Development3
Additional Courses
Select 30 credits from the following:30
Design Thinking and Creativity Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Visual Arts Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Visual Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Drawing Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Sculpture Keystone/General Education Course
Commentary on Art
Introduction to Media Effects Keystone/General Education Course
Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Telecommunications Technologies
Television Field Production
Independent Studies
Digital Media Metrics
Idea Development and Media Writing
Writing for the Screen I
Principles of Strategic Communications
Internet Law and Policy
Entrepreneurship in the Information Age
Independent Studies
Introduction to Digital Art & Media Design
3D Digital Art & Design Fundamentals
Animation Fundamentals
Creative Coding: Scripting for Art and Design
Web Design and Visual Web Development
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Digital Portfolio Elements
3D Studio
Portfolio Design and Professional Practices
Independent Studies
Special Topics
User Experience Design: Concepts and Principles Keystone/General Education Course
User Interface Design and Prototyping Keystone/General Education Course
Design Practice in Human-Centered Design and Development
Introduction to Application Development
Introduction to Computer Languages
Programming for the Web
Application Development Design Studio I
Object-Oriented Design and Software Applications
Application Development Design Studio II
Emerging Issues and Technologies
Supporting Courses
Select 6 credits of "history of art, design, technology and communications" in online coursework from World Campus offerings in consultation with an adviser6
Select 12 credits of related online coursework from World Campus in consultation with an adviser12

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply practical and technological competencies by integrating skills in design thinking, systems thinking, and critical thinking to address problems, implement ideas, produce work, and assess outcomes;
  • Develop the capabilities necessary to use digital technologies in multimedia projects through exploration, expression, and communication that engage a multiplicity of ideas, forms, actions, and settings;
  • Demonstrate communication skills by creating and presenting ideas, concepts and designs in written, verbal and visual forms;
  • Acquire career oriented knowledge and strategic thinking skills that can be applied through project organization and management in a variety of social contexts and professional settings;
  • Embody cultural diversity and ethical awareness through experiences that engage and encompass a multiplicity of social situations and complex communities;
  • Demonstrate competencies and capabilities to enable the use of skills to create, execute, and evaluate communication strategies in multimedia contexts making them a valuable asset for businesses, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Anna Divinsky
School of Visual Arts Advising Coordinator
12 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

Penn State World Campus
Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2024-25 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition.

Digital Multimedia Design, B.Des. at World Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
ART 201*3COMM 230W*3
COMM 215*3Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
DMD 100*3General Education Course (IL)3
ENGL 15, 15A, or 30H3General Education Course3
IST 250*3General Education Course3
 15 15
Second Year
ART 211 (W; US)*3CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3
IST 140*3Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
 15 15
Third Year
DMD 300*3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23
Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23
 15 15
Fourth Year
General Education Course3DMD 400*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23General Education Course3
Supporting Course for Major (see list)*23General Education Course3
 15 15
Total Credits 120

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement


ART 010 GA(3); ART 020 GA(3); ART 122 US(3); ART 203(3); ART 204(3); ART 302(3); COMM 118 GS(3); COMM 180 GS(3); COMM 280(3); COMM 342(3); COMM 428A(3); COMM 428E(3); COMM 469(3); COMM 481(3); COMM 492(3); COMM 493(3); DART 203(3); DART 412(3); IST 242(3); IST 261(3); IST 311(3); IST 361(3); IST 413(3)


-Select 6 credits of "history of art, design, technology and communications" in online coursework from World Campus offerings in consultation with an adviser.
-Select 12 credits of related online coursework from World Campus in consultation with an adviser.

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.

Career Paths

The Digital Multimedia Design degree expands your access to a range of learning communities – those typically out of reach for students enrolled in one program within one discipline. Your take courses across three colleges–Arts and Architecture, Communications, Information Sciences and Technology – and it happens entirely online. We are preparing a new generation of 21st-century learners and leaders in art and design media, visual communication, and digital literacy. You are introduced to different domains of knowledge from across disciplines and you integrate these ways of knowing into a personal portfolio of multimedia projects that demonstrate your creative capabilities in multiple digital forms and contexts.


The fully integrated scope of this program will equip you with skills considered central to many 21st-century jobs, such as creative problem-solving capabilities, capacity to exercise leadership in team building around collaborative projects because of your fluency in digital languages, visual communication, and design proficiency. You will learn to apply contemporary design methods to engage real-world issues in conceptually robust, technically varied, and expressively rich projects. These problem-based and project management skills are invaluable for many new career paths emerging within the creative industries and the creative economy.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Due to the multidisciplinary scale of this program, the range of digital visual communication forms, art and design practices, and creative computer applications in media and communications, filmmaking, gaming, and animation that you encounter is extensive. You will have opportunities to pursue broad-based experiences, and to follow specialized pathways of interest. You design your own program pathways around a cluster of digital courses as your skill levels grow and your professional aspirations emerge. The pathways are meant as a starting point for your academic career and will help guide a conversation with a DIGMD program adviser.


Professional Resources


  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Middle States Association (MSCHE)



University Park

12 Borland Building

World Campus

107 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802