M.F.A. Tracks and Curriculum

The M.F.A. in Media Arts and Technology incorporates three tracks from which students choose a path:

  1. Creative and Strategic Media
  2. Interactive Design
  3. Photography and Film

Each track is 39 credits of course work coupled with a 3-credit capstone Project/Thesis course for a total of 42 credits. As part of the 42-credit requirement, all students take the following program core requirements (15 credits):

DMA 501 - Introduction to Media Design
ADPR 567 - Media Research Methods
MDIA 565 - Ethical Issues in Media
MDIA 582 - Legal Issues in Media Law
MDIA 700 - Project/Thesis

Creative and Strategic Media

Creative and Strategic Media guides students in the art of telling good stories, through video, sound, text and graphic design. Students learn which medium best tells their stories and which messages reach their audiences for biggest positive impact.

The program enhances students' appreciation for ethical practices and public goods. Students develop sensitivity to the complex definitions of communities of people at large when the internet carries messages beyond historic borders and the United States moves rapidly toward a 'minority' majority population.

Program Core (15 Credits)
See above.

Track Core (18 Credits)
MDIA 501 - Workshop: Creativity in Media
MDIA 541 - Media Writing
DMA 505 - Graphic Design Process
MDIA 517 - Critical Studies in Media
MDIA 568 - Seminar: Media Entrepreneurship

Students choose one of the following (3 credits):
ADPR 518 - Public Relations Campaigns
ADPR 519 - Advertising Campaigns, Writing, and Production
JOUR 571 - Investigative Reporting
JOUR 569 - Magazine Journalism
MDIA 584 - Media Lab

Other Electives (9 Credits)

Total: 42

Creative and Strategic Media Progress form

Interactive Design

The confluence of the physical and digital worlds, technology, and media presents some of the most captivating issues in contemporary culture. Every day we interact with products such as smartphones, automobiles, and home appliances that have both physical and digital properties. And the way we interact with them varies - we touch screens, speak to devices, fixate our eyes or move our bodies. How (and why) are these products built? What problems do they solve? Are they easy to use, safe, helpful, and understandable? These are some of the questions we explore in Interactive Design.

Interactive Design integrates human-technology interaction, design, digital media, and information technology. Students learn to:

  • Design products and interfaces (e.g., websites, mobile apps, auto dashboards, appliances)
  • Design user experiences (UX) that may include locative media, wearables, augmented reality, Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Research, design, prototype, and test products
  • Evaluate product usability

Program Core (15 Credits)
See above.

Track Core (21 Credits)
DMA 562 - Seminar: Elements of User Experience (UX) Design
DMA 564 - Human-Computer Interaction Studio
DMA 522 - Kinetic Design Techniques OR DMA 505 - Graphic Design Process
DMA 545 - Interactive Design Studio (Methods)
DMA 574 - Interactive Design Studio (Process)
DMA 572 - Development Studio I (Creative coding)
DMA 575 - Development Studio II (Cross-Channel Experiences)

Electives (6 Credits)

Total: 42

Interactive Design Progress form

Photography and Film

Photography and Film examines theories, practices and the history of "lens-based" media, incorporating design and technological processes used for product deployment in these areas. Students use storytelling techniques, coupled with visual representation, to communicate ideas through sight and sound. Visual artists in the program, through visual design theory and individual experimentation, experience a project-based curriculum, preparing them to contribute to the industry through employment and/or entrepreneurship.

Program Core (15 Credits)
See above.

Track Core (21 Credits)
DMA 505 - Graphic Design Process
DMA 583 - Photography Studio I
MDIA 571 - Media Writing
MDIA 571 - Investigative Reporting
DMA 579 - Digital Video Production Studio I
DMA 583 - Photography Studio II
DMA XXX (TBD) - Digital Video Production Studio I

Electives (6 Credits)

Total: 42

Photography and Film Progress form

Project/Thesis Course

Typically, in the last semester of coursework, students register for the "Project" or "Thesis" course (MDIA 700) in which they develop a proposal for their project/thesis committee to approve.

Upon approval, students receive an IP (in progress) grade for this course until the project or thesis is complete, at which time they receive a P (passing) grade and the M.F.A. degree is issued. Students register for MDIA 700 once.

Additionally, to maintain enrolled status at Duquesne, each semester until students complete the project or thesis they register for GRAS 700 (Continuous Registration Fee). Registration for Continuous Registration (GRAS 700) is restricted. Therefore, students must request registration by sending an email to the Graduate School Office and the MEDIA Department Graduate Director.

Students have a maximum of two years to submit their final work to their committee. The two-year time limit on the project/thesis is subject to the college's policy that graduate students have a maximum of six years to complete graduate work.


*Students enrolled in our Master of Science (M.S.) in Media Arts and Technology program can complete that program, but no new students are being accepted for it. Links to progress forms for the MS in Media Arts and Technology program may be found below: