Apr 11, 2021  
2019-2020 Cal State East Bay Catalog 
2019-2020 Cal State East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Multimedia, M.A.: Interaction Design Concentration

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Multimedia, M.A. Program

Program Description

The master’s degree in Multimedia is a unique interdisciplinary program at the intersection of interactive content development and interaction design. The program emphasizes the creative and technical aspects of current and emerging technology and its use in creating, controlling, delivering, and presenting compelling content in an interactive form. This degree draws upon elements from a number of fields including art, journalism, computer science, psychology, and telecommunications.

The master’s degree in Multimedia focuses on Interaction Design,  the creation of interactive applications and objects as part of designed user experience.

The Multimedia graduate program embraces industry skills and practices by emphasizing teamwork and project-oriented goals. Students learn the skills needed to adapt quickly to new environments - a valuable asset for any profession. Because multimedia is a rapidly developing and rapidly changing field, the program focuses as much on the enduring creative process as on the transient technology.

The Multimedia master’s is a two-year degree program. Most coursework is offered in the evening. During the first year, students develop a theoretical foundation in multimedia technology, enhance their creative skills and learn to work effectively in teams. During the second year, small teams of students with various backgrounds and talents create innovative, professional-quality interactive multimedia projects. Ideas for group projects can originate from students, faculty or external sources. Many of the program’s student projects have won national and international awards.

Students in the Multimedia graduate program enjoy a number of benefits including small student-teacher ratios and a dedicated interdisciplinary faculty. Thesis project students have 24-hour access to their own professional-quality multimedia production studio. These facilities are well equipped and maintained with the latest technology.

Career Opportunities

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the epicenter of the interactive digital media industry and technological innovation, the Multimedia graduate program prepares students for successful careers across multiple growing industries.

Interaction Designers create meaningful relationships between people and their interactive digital products, environments, systems, or services.

Creative Technologists are both strategists and innovators - technology-focused individuals integrated into a creative team.  They are integrators who blur the lines between technology and creativity and create new ways of telling stories using technology.

Multimedia M.A. graduates are skilled team members - innovators with a high degree of expertise in interactive content development. They are at home in film and video studios, graphic and exhibition design studios, production and post-production houses, publishers, training and communication groups, scientific visualization teams, support teams for educational institutions and business presentations, and advertising agencies and news outlets.


Applicants are individually evaluated for admission to the Multimedia graduate program using the following criteria:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester units of undergraduate work,
  • A portfolio of work reflecting the applicant’s talents and abilities in digital and interactive media,
  • Evidence of professional experience in relevant fields.

To apply for admission to the Multimedia graduate program, students must complete the online university application at CALSTATE Apply.  In addition, applicants must complete a departmental application and submit it along with a statement of purpose, resume, work sample, two reference letters and copies of academic transcripts. Applicants are selected by an admissions panel of the Multimedia Program Committee.

Students are admitted for the fall semester only. See the Multimedia Graduate Program website at http://multimedia.csueastbay.edu for the application deadline. No entrance exam is required for admission, however international students must take the TOEFL exam and achieve a score of 213.

Applicants who have not completed all prerequisite requirements may be placed in “Conditionally Classified Graduate” status if they can demonstrate the ability to complete these requirements.

Requirements for Continuation

Once admitted to the program, students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement. Students who have completed all the prerequisite requirements and the University Writing Skills Requirement are given “Classified Graduate” status. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call (510) 885-3661.

Advancement to Candidacy is a University requirement for graduation. A student with “Classified Graduate” status may apply for Advancement to Candidacy after completing at least 20 semester units towards the master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (a grade of “B” or higher). Before being Advanced to Candidacy, a student’s complete course of study and progress must be approved by the Multimedia Program Committee.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an M.A. in Multimedia from Cal State East Bay will possess the following skills:

  1. Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Graduates will research, assess, and ethically use information in the field of multimedia design and journalism.
  2. Creativity and Innovation:  Graduates will produce high-level work that demonstrates innovative and creative use of interactive technologies.
  3. Information Literacy: Graduates will analyze, interpret, evaluate, and reflect upon the effects of media and the historical evolution of information technologies.
  4. Craft: Graduates will demonstrate, through practical projects and written documentation,  comprehensive knowledge of digital imaging, interactivity, and web, video and audio production.
  5. Collaboration and Responsibility: Graduates will work in collaborative teams to analyze and present solutions to local, regional, national, and global problems.

Multimedia Degree Requirements (34 units)

Required Core Courses

The following 18 units of core coursework is required:

Interaction Design Concentration

Interaction Design, for 16 units, focuses on the creation of meaningful experiences expressed as interactive applications and objects. Students analyze interactivity in art, design, and everyday life; acquire skills and develop prototypes; and work in collaborative teams to creatively solve real world problems.

Interaction Design Core

Two (2) courses for 6 units are required:

Interaction Design Electives

Choose two (2) electives for 6 units:

Interaction Design Capstone

The following 4 units are required to complete the program capstone:

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the University requirements for graduation as described throughout this catalog. These include the 70% unit residence requirement; the five-year rule on currency of subject matter; the minimum number of units in 600-level courses; the “C” minimum grade for each graduate course; the 3.00 cumulative grade point average; and the University Writing Skills Requirement.

Note: For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call (510) 885-3661.

Department Courses Listed by Course Type

Arts and Media Courses


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