Digital Media Arts

Digital Media Arts

Digital Media Arts Major Requirements

Digital Media Arts (DMA) majors must complete 8 DMA core courses listed below in addition to 5 DMA elective courses from a chosen concentration, one of which is a Senior Project and Portfolio course.

DMA Core Courses

DMA 201: Introduction to Digital Media  (qualifies as Field 3: Arts)
DMA 212: 2D Graphics
DMA 213: 3D Graphics
DMA 214: Digital Design Concepts (qualifies as Field 3: Arts)
DMA 215: Digital Media Culture (qualifies as Field 5: Social Sciences)
DMA 216: Digital Media Law
DMA 217: Interaction Design
DMA 218: Motion Graphics

DMA Elective Courses by Concentration

Senior Project And Portfolio Requirement

Digital Media Arts majors are required to complete Senior Project And Portfolio course before graduating from the program. Students register for the course with professor’s approval based on their progress in the major and chosen concentration. The following DMA electives fulfill this requirement for each of the concentrations: 

  • DMA 393: Advertising Design (graphic design) – offered in Spring
  • DMA 399: Social Documentary (digital filmmaking) – offered in Spring
  • DMA 442: Advanced Web Design (web design) – offered in Spring (odd years)
  • DMA 370: Designing for Mobile Devices (web design) – offered in Spring (even years)
  • DMA 354: Game Development (game design) – offered in Fall (even years)
  • DMA 450: Serious Games (game design) – offered in Fall (odd years)


DMA students are encouraged to participate in at least one internship within their area of interest. Internships are available to juniors and seniors, and are seen as a culminating opportunity to apply the theory and skills developed in the classroom, in a real-world setting. Some examples of companies where Canisius students have interned are: WGR-55, Snyacor Inc., Moog Inc., Moore Wallace, Perfect Parallel, Chameleon Communications, Eastco Multimedia Solutions, Buffalo Science Museum, Daily Post, Buffalo Spree magazine, Traffic East Magazine, The Martin Group, Travers Collins & Company, Computers for Children Inc., among others.

Course Descriptions

DMA 201: Intro to Digital Media3 credits
Introduces the fundamentals of digital systems and technologies through class lecture and hands-on approaches. Software and hardware used for web design, multimedia, video production, graphics and audio production. There is no prerequisite for this Field 3: Arts course, open to all majors.

DMA 212: 2D Graphics3 credits
This course will familiarize students with techniques, file formats and applications for creation of 2D graphics. Students will develop digital image creation skills along with effective workflow habits. Prerequisite: DMA 201 or permission of instructor, open to all majors.

DMA 213: 3D Graphics3 credits
This course is an introduction to digital 3D graphics for illustration, simulation, animation and game design. Students using Autodesk Maya, Mudbox and Unity game engine software will learn basic techniques of modeling, texturing, lighting and animation as they draw inspiration for their projects from the rich history of visual arts. Starting with Fall 2015, this course will be a perquisite for all 300 level production courses that are part of the Game Design concentration. Prerequisite: DMA 201 or permission of instructor, open to all majors.

DMA 214: Digital Design Concepts3 credits
Introduces the conceptual, perceptual and manual skills in traditional graphic design. Topics include typography and visual communication, color theory, the principles of form, structure, spatial design and photo manipulation. There is no prerequisite for this Field 3: Arts course, open to all majors.

DMA 215: Digital Media Culture3 credits
Explores how digitization impacts our personal, business, cultural, institutional and international lives. Also examines the ways in which digital media transform communication and expression. There is no prerequisite for this Field 5: Social Sciences course, open to all majors.

DMA 216: Digital Media Law3 credits
Introduces a wide range of legal and ethical issues in cyberspace, including: the First Amendment, copyright, fair use, libel, hate speech, pornography, obscenity, privacy, commercial speech and national security. There is no prerequisite for this course, open to all majors.

DMA 217: Interaction Design3 credits
This course is an introduction to programming for designers using JavaScript and JavaScript based libraries such as JQuery, CreateJS and JavaScript for Unity game engine. Students will learn principles of Interaction Design and User-Centered Design to build interactivity into web pages for the purpose of advertising, training and entertainment. Prerequisite: DMA 201 or permission of instructor, open to all majors.

DMA 218: Motion Graphics3 credits
This course, open to all DMA majors, covers the fundamentals of key-frame based animation in Adobe After Effects. Students produce motion graphics for informational presentations, such as commercials and PSA’s, as well as typographic effects and logo spins for movie trailers, video intros and promotional digital marketing projects. There is no prerequisite for this course, open to all majors.

DMA 488: Internship I Seminar, 3-12 credits
Student experientially learns communication functions incompatibly matched professional setting, locally or out-of-town. Faculty and on-site supervision. Seminar required. Pass/fail. May be repeated as DMA 498, 12-credit limit for DMA 488/498 combined. Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior majors with G.P.A. of at least 2.50, Digital Media Arts average of 2.70 and approved by department faculty. Applications on Communication Studies Department website.

DMA 498: Internship II Seminar, 3-9 credits
Sequel to DMA 488 for students taking a second internship. Each student is limited to a combined total of 12 credit hours for DMA 488 and 498. Prerequisite: Same as for DMA 488.