MISSOULA – Students in Missoula and afar now can take advantage of the University of Montana’s first Bachelor of Arts degree that can be earned fully online. Beginning autumn semester 2014, the UM School of Media Arts will launch its online bachelor’s degree in integrated digital media.
The program will allow students to tap their creative potential through the study and artistic application of emerging digital technologies. Courses will focus on interactive media, the Web and Internet, gaming and digital design applications.
School of Media Arts Director Mark Shogren said the online option also will allow students to pursue their degree or even a double major in a more flexible way. Taking advantage of UM’s flat spot tuition – no increase in tuition costs between 12 and 18 credits – adding a couple of classes from this innovative new program can help a student diversify their education and work around a busy schedule.
“It’s going to be a really dynamic new way to get more bang for your buck,” Shogren said.
Shogren imagines two main types of learners will be drawn to the new online program. One includes on-campus students looking to supplement another major with complementary skills through media arts. Another is the distance learner, who either can’t make it to Missoula or would rather stay in their community or country to take advantage of a completely digital education.
The degree requires 42 core credits and six elective credits, as well as UM’s standard general education credits, which also can be completed online. Distance-learning students will never need to visit campus, but the school will offer a physical connection to the program for local students.
“For students who are here, there will be a lab, opportunities to meet with faculty in person and meet other students,” Shogren said. “They’ll still be part of the media arts family.”
There are no prerequisites for students to enter the program. UM students enrolled in any of the first-year classes can declare the media arts major, and on-campus students are welcome in the online program along with students from across the globe.
“We want to not only create online courses, but online experiences,” Shogren said.
For more information on the School of Media Arts online bachelor’s degree, visit http://www.umt.edu/mediaarts/index.php/bachelor-of-arts-online-integrated-digital-media.
State, National Art/Education