Interactive Media Studies- Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media Studies

The BA in Interactive Media Studies (IMS) is an interdisciplinary degree designed to provide depth in theory and practice of interactive & digital design, development, innovation, and disruption. Grounded in Miami University’s tradition of liberal education, the BA in IMS represents the liberal arts of the 21st Century, providing a foundation in information and digital literacy, from multimedia authorship/critical theory to digital and social media marketing, from app development to code-based art, from game studies to user-experience design, and more. This grounding is then complemented with a focused area of depth in one of many areas of scholarly interest in IMS.

Students apply directly to the major in Interactive Media Studies. At the end of the first year, students must have a 2.50 GPA and a formal admission interview to continue in the program. There is no portfolio requirement.

The BA in IMS has four pillars: a foundation, depth in making and analyzing, an advanced track, and then a set of experiences that cap the major, including a thesis, internship, and culminating course.

  • Foundation – These courses provide a common language, skill base, and theoretical foundation in digital writing, information literacy, programming, and design.
  • Making and Analyzing – It is important for IMS students to be equally as knowledgeable in making digital product as they are in critically evaluating and strategically using it. Students are required to take three courses from a list of "making courses" and three courses from a list of "analyzing courses."
  • Advanced Track – All IMS students work with an advisor to propose a set of courses to determine the "advanced track." This track is a list of courses that thematically explores the student’s interest more deeply. Students propose a track, or explain how they are using an existing track, as part of the "IMS Colloquium" that occurs once each semester. At the IMS Colloquium, the student briefly presents his/her list of courses and rationale. Students receive feedback on the plan, which is then finalized in consultation with the IMS advisor.
  • Upper-Level Requirements – In the final semesters, IMS students are required to participate in several different experiential learning opportunities. These include a project management course; a required internship (which can take place over the summer or during the school year); participation in Armstrong Interactive, the IMS client-based capstone where students work on a project from an external client as part of an interdisciplinary team; and a senior thesis, where, in concert with their advisor, the students will develop and ultimately present a completed undergraduate thesis of scholarly/creative merit.

For information, contact the Interactive Media Studies Program, 201 Laws Hall, 513-529-1637, or see

Program Requirements

(54 credit hours minimum)

IMS Major Foundation
ENG/IMS 224Digital Writing and Rhetoric: Composing with Words, Images and Sounds3
IMS 201Information Studies in the Digital Age3
IMS 254Design Principles Applied3
IMS 257Web Interaction Programming3
Elective Courses
IMS Major Foundation Tracks:
Making Track:
Select three of the following:9
The Design of Play
Web and Interaction Design
Building Interactive Objects
Art and Digital Tools I
Interactive Animation
Advanced 3D Visualization and Simulation
Analyzing Track:
Select three of the following:9-10
The Analysis of Play
Narrative and Digital Technology
Information and Data Visualization
Usability and Digital Media Design
Web and Social Media Analytics
Digital Branding
Introduction to Media
Advanced Track
Choose a pre-approved track or design your own with advisor approval. Select four courses. 112
IMS Major Upper-level Requirements
ART/IMS 340Internship (maximum 6)1-3
IMS 355Principles and Practices of Managing Interactive Projects3
IMS 452Senior Degree Project3
IMS/MAC 440Interactive Media Studies Practicum4
Total Credit Hours53-56

If a track is pre-approved, you can begin the track without advisor approval. If you would like to design your own track from the list of track courses (and/or other courses that might be available throughout the University), you are required to meet with your assigned IMS advisor to get "sign-off" on the track no later than immediately following completion of the first course in the track. All/any modifications to pre-approved tracks and/or self-designed tracks need to be approved by the Chief Departmental Advisor (CDA) of IMS. IMS 390IMS 490/IMS 590, and IMS 590 can be used with CDA approval. Topics can be used with CDA approval. (Courses from the Making and Analyzing foundation tracks can also be used in the advanced track, but they must be in addition to those hours - no double-dipping.)

Pre-Approved Tracks

Game Design

IMS 212The Design of Play3
IMS 319Foundations in Digital 3-D Modeling and Animation3
IMS 445Game Design3
IMS 487/IMS 587Game Prototyping, Pipeline and Production3

Game Development

CSE 251Introduction to Game Programming3
IMS 259Art and Digital Tools I3
IMS 445Game Design3
IMS 487/IMS 587Game Prototyping, Pipeline and Production3

Game Studies

IMS 211The Analysis of Play3
IMS 225Games and Learning3
IMS 238Narrative and Digital Technology3
IMS 487/IMS 587Game Prototyping, Pipeline and Production3

Interactive Business

IMS 407/IMS 507Interactive Business Communication3
IMS 414/IMS 514Web and Social Media Analytics3
IMS 418/IMS 518Social Media Marketing and Online Community Management3
IMS/MKT 419Digital Branding3

Art and Interaction

ARC 404/ARC 504Seminars1-3
ART 259Art and Digital Tools I3
IMS/MUS 221Music Technologies3
IMS 303Online Journalism3
IMS 319Foundations in Digital 3-D Modeling and Animation3

Web Development and Design

For information, contact the Interactive Media Studies Program.

IMS 222Web and Interaction Design3
IMS 356Interactive Animation3
IMS 413/IMS 513Usability and Digital Media Design4


For information, contact the Interactive Media Studies Program.

IMS/ART 259Art and Digital Tools I3
IMS 356Interactive Animation3
IMS 319Foundations in Digital 3-D Modeling and Animation3

Comparative Media Studies

CMS 201Introduction to Comparative Media4
CMS 301Comparative Approaches to Media Studies3
MAC 211Introduction to Video Production4
MAC 212Media, Representation, and Society3
or MAC 355 Media Technology & Culture