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Undergraduate Programs in Media, Social Practice, and Design

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The Media, Social Practice, and Design area is home to Animation, Design, Intermedia, and Photography. Studying in MSPD provides students the opportunity to develop the visual vocabulary, social responsibility, and cross-media literacies required by the rapidly changing contemporary world. Studio laboratories are updated annually with cutting edge digital imaging equipment and high-definition video production facilities to provide students in MSPD up-to-date learning environments. Our programs stress interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and the union between theory and practice. Our rich visiting artist series introduces students to national and international leaders in the field, while a varied, diverse, and professionally active faculty ensures that the area is contemporary in its approach and pluralistic in its scope.


Student wearing animation clothing to record movement on a computerThe Animation curriculum enables students to work across the disciplines Design, Photography and Intermedia as represented in the Media, Social Practice and Design Area. Wide varieties of skills are explored to animate images into motion graphics, produce digital video to create imaginative stories and adding voice and sound through the post-production process. Combining art and technology, students will use powerful computer hardware and industry level animation software to perform tasks in the entire animation pipeline from preproduction to post production. Concept art, storyboarding, character design, computer modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting, animation, rendering, compositing and sound design are all areas students will have the opportunity to conceptualize. The media theater showcases animation on a 40 foot screen and has advanced technology in place to support the concepts and practices of the future, such as motion capture cameras, stereoscopic imaging, face recognition software and advanced render farming. The Animation discipline understands its cross disciplinary nature and uses in visualization, education, commercials, TV, movies and video games in the context of history, culture and society.

Faculty: Peter Chanthanakone


Students working on a Graphic Design project in the classroomThe undergraduate experience in Design begins with fundamental concepts and principles of composition, color, and typography. Throughout the curriculum these principles are combined with contemporary practices of interactive, web, experimental, and environmental design—ensuring a holistic design experience.

Design studios are fully equipped with the latest hardware and software needed to prepare students to fully realize their creative vision through the use of contemporary processes. A robust offering of courses in print design and web/interactive design allows students to pursue a plan of study most appropriate to their individual creative interests.

Watch "In the Rearview," a video made by undergraduates in the Graphic Design program.

Faculty: Bradley Dicharry, Ab Gratama, Jeremy Swanston


A student exhibition in IntermediaThe undergraduate curriculum in Intermedia stresses conceptual development and critical thinking while teaching skills in time-based media production. BFA students enjoy shared studio space and extended access to digital production equipment and facilities. Emphasizing the union of theory and practice, Intermedia offers a holistic education in contemporary art practice, rooted in the avant-garde.

The creativity, breadth, and rigor of an undergraduate education in Intermedia prepare our graduates for success in many fields. In addition to pursuing graduate study in art, recent BFA graduates have found work in independent film and music production, education, publishing, nonprofit and arts administration, graphic design, computer programming, and commercial media production. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis for exceptional students to support their creative work.

Faculty: Rachel Williams, Jon Winet


A student removing a photograph from a printerThe undergraduate program in Photography prepares students to meet professional challenges and to pursue myriad career opportunities in fine art, commercial photography, digital editing and as entrepreneurs. Students are immersed in an environment that emphasizes studies of historical and contemporary photography in order to develop creative and critical thinking. Technical skills range from large format and traditional darkroom practice to cutting edge digital editing and printing. Additional facilities are available for digital and film based large format photography and studio lighting, black-and-white darkroom, film development and printing.

Students can augment their studies by using School and University resources, which include traditional media, video, cultural studies, film studies, classes in the writers program and the Center for the Book.

Photography 2-year Course Plan

Faculty: Rachel Cox

Visiting Speakers in Media, Social Practice, and Design