Students complete 12 courses (48 credits) to graduate from the M.A. in NMS program. This program consists of five courses and seven electives, which may be taken in NMS or a range of programs across the university.
The core provides the program with its unique identity. The Proseminar in New Media Studies, the program's gateway course, introduces students to theories of new media and the particular way the field of new media studies is framed by the program. NMS 502, 504, and 508 introduce students to three literacies that are crucial to the study and production of new media. In New Media, Old Media, extensive reading in the history of media studies foregrounds the necessity of historical/critical literacy and introduces students to the invariable relationship between technology and human communication. The production and interpretation of symbols on two-dimensional surfaces—computer screens, for example—is the focus of Design Rhetorics. Text and Image explores the dynamics of meaning in environments where static, moving, and live images interact with text and audio. The core is completed with a "capstone" experience; students may choose to develop a group-based project or individual portfolio in the Workshop/Portfolio Seminar.
Seven courses are chosen by M.A. students from a wide range of courses offered by programs across the University. The electives provide an opportunity for students to focus on areas that best suit their professional and educational goals for the program. Some elective courses (for example, in Human Computer Interaction) have prerequisites that students must fulfill before taking those electives.
Internship opportunities may be pursued by students who wish to acquire significant on-the-job experience in the fields of publishing, professional writing, and related areas. A maximum of four quarter hours of NMS 506 INTERNSHIP
, may be applied to the forty-eight quarter hours required for the degree. The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse supports NMS students with a dedicated internship coordinator.