Online Digital Media Degree

Associate Degree in Digital Media

The Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in Digital Media degree prepares students for careers in digital media arts. You'll explore fundamental concepts in art and design, and apply your talent to projects that include digital video editing and production, 3D modeling, and motion graphics. Our aim is to get you comfortably creative with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate, Premier, and After Effects, as you develop a high-quality reel of motion art.

Student work by Austin Verburg, AOS in Digital Media

Launch Your Career with a Degree in Digital Media

Creative Classes, Expert Instructors

Focus on Career Preparation

Build Professional Skills and a Portfolio

Program Outline

Digital Media Major - Year One

First Semester

DES 104 Color Theory
DES 101 Typography I
DES 111 Drawing I
DES 121 Photoshop I
GEN 104 English Composition

Second Semester

DES 105 Design and Composition
DES 131 Logo Design I
DES 141 Illustrator I
DES 151 Digital Photography I
GEN 105 Computer Technology

Third Semester

WEB 101 HTML and CSS I
DES 102 Typography II
GEN 106 History of Art
GEN 107 General Psychology

Digital Media Major - Year Two

Fourth Semester

DIG 204 Digital Video Production
DIG 205 Intro To Motion
DIG 204 Animate I
PHO 104 History of Photography
GEN 204 Intro to Marketing
GEN 205 Business and Technical Writing

Fifth Semester

DIG 201 Digital Video Editing I
DIG 207 Maya I
DIG 208 After Effects I
Elective (Choose One): Web 231 Web Design I, Des 201 InDesign I, Web 211 Dreamweaver I, Web 207 Internet Marketing

Sixth Semester

DIG 209 Time-Based Media
DIG 214 Character Animation I
DES 102 Typography II
GEN 206 Design Business
DIG 259 Capstone Project
DES 260 Portfolio Review

Program Courses

Program highlights for Digital Media majors in the AOS program.

DIG 201 Digital Video Editing I - 3 credits

Learn the art and craft of editing videos from two award-winning filmmakers. The course explores techniques that can be applied in a range of non-linear editing programs, including Adobe Premiere Pro. Yet the main focus is not just on developing software skills; it's on exploring the magic behind video editing. Challenging projects including editing a commercial, an interview, a narrative scene, a music video, a video diary, and a text title sequence.

DIG 204 Digital Video Production - 3 credits

Learn how to control white balance, aperture, and shutter speed, to get high quality images from your digital video camera. You'll explore the different types of shots and camera motion techniques used by the pros and learn how to do location scouting, plan props, wardrobe, and sets, and work with talent. Course lectures challenge you to think about different storytelling conventions in narrative and documentary movie-making and address the fundamentals of sound recording.

DIG 206 Animate I - 1.5 credits

Get a thorough, hands-on introduction to Adobe Animate, learning how to draw and import artwork, organize it using symbols and layers, and animate it using a range of techniques from basic tweening to frame-by-frame animation. Animation techniques will include motion tweening, scaling and rotating objects, nested animations, shape tweens, masks, frame by frame animation, and lip syncing. You'll also learn how to add basic interactivity with JavaScript Code Snippets.

DIG 205 Intro to Motion - 1.5 credits

This course introduces topics of motion in animation and video through research and observation of real-life movement and movement in animation. Students learn basic principles of visible motion (including physics principles) and apply these principles to written analysis and practical explorations including flipbook-style animation. Topics include movement of objects and characters.

DIG 211 Maya I - 3 credits

Autodesk Maya combines powerful tools for the major areas in 3D content creation: modeling, animation, texturing, and rendering. Many of today's top video games are created in Maya, from characters, to models, levels, and more. You'll develop a thorough understanding of the Maya toolset, learning how to create, edit, and refine polygon models, add textures and apply UV maps, develop basic animations, and export scenes for team or client preview. Class projects include working with primitives, complex inorganic models, character modeling, texturing, animation studies, and exporting a scene.

DIG 209 Time-Based Media - 3 credits

This course teaches students how to apply their digital media skills to narrative contexts and build their portfolio with high concept work. Students will explore narrative theory, visual development, pipeline testing, iteration, and creative direction for digital media projects. They will also study conventions of time based media genres, including movie trailers, PSAs, commercials, and music videos.

DIG 214 Character Animation I - 1.5 credits

Learn how to apply the classic principles of character animation to 3D models using Autodesk Maya. Learn major principles of animation including squash and stretch and anticipated movement. Using Maya's high-level animation tools, you'll gain insight into the professional animator's approach, learning to work with hierarchical characters, create effective poses, and properly time your shots.

DIG 221 After Effects I - 3 credits

Adobe After Effects is a powerful application used to create motion graphics and visual effects for film and video. After Effects is used in a variety of contexts, including broadcast graphics, music videos, feature films, video rotoscoping, corporate presentations, and conferences. In this 6-lesson course, you'll learn how to use After Effects to create sophisticated motion graphics, using text and object animations, compositing videos and images, and adding audio and effects. You'll learn how to set keyframes on a timeline and work with transform properties, motion paths, masks, and effects, developing a solid foundation in this increasingly popular and versatile program.

Program Objectives

Need skills? Here’s an overview of what you can expect to learn:

First-year courses in the AOS in Digital Media program help you develop a foundation of digital design skills. You will focus on industry-standard imaging software, essential 2D design techniques, and the basics of Web publishing. A solid skill set in visual design will bring sophistication to your multimedia coursework in year two.

In the second year of the online Digital Media degree, you will challenge yourself to think in three and four dimensions, tackling coursework in important multimedia topics. Digital Media majors learn video production and editing, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, and more, all with intensive hands-on projects that build your portfolio.

The Digital Media program wraps up with studies in design business and portfolio building as well as a live online portfolio review and a capstone project. An elective course allows for further exploration of print design or Web design. The online Associate program at Sessions College is one of the most comprehensive, creative online digital media degree programs available. Read More

Digital Media majors develop the ability to:

  • Create sophisticated, appropriate color palettes and use color and contrast effectively in their work.
  • Design and lay out typography for readability, impact, or expression.
  • Create drawings in traditional media that show a command of proportion, perspective, and value contrast.
  • Prepare images for professional publication with Photoshop retouching, correction, compositing, or collage.
  • Create engaging and readable layout designs that attract the eye using fundamental design and composition techniques.
  • Develop effective logo designs from a client brief using an iterative design process.
  • Create simple, stylized graphics, icons, and illustrations in Illustrator.
  • Manipulate framing, perspective, distance, and lighting to take professional-level digital photographs in a range of settings.
  • Create standards-compliant Web page designs using HTML and CSS hand coding.
  • Develop interactive animations and multimedia using Adobe Animate software.
  • Explain how technological, social, and artistic changes have influenced the development of the field of photography.
  • Create engaging videos that incorporate skillful production, camerawork, audio, and non-linear editing techniques.
  • Enhance multimedia projects with sophisticated motion graphics and animated titles created in After Effects.
  • Create 3D, detailed character models, environments, and animations for use in professional video games and multimedia projects.
  • Combine multiple digital media genres into large-scale, professional creative projects with professional leaning.
  • Apply in their work an understanding of English composition, business writing, psychology, computer science, marketing, and art history.
  • Write papers and presentations that demonstrate critical thinking, clear organization, and professional style, grammar, and spelling.
  • Manage all aspects of the digital media creation workflow and effectively prepare projects for professional use.
  • Identify current areas of strength and prepare and maintain a portfolio of their best digital media work.
  • Develop competence in various digital media genres including animation, 3D modeling, and video.

Financial Aid

Did You Know? Eligible students entering Associate Degree programs may be entitled to Federal financial aid. Grants and loans can help you cover the cost of your education.

Student Feedback

"Every class I took during my time here has been a collaborative effort for everyone to learn the techniques and get better..." Kyle Gilbreath, Associate Degree in Graphic Design

Student Work

    Visit the Student Gallery

    "The Digital Media program at Sessions College is not designed to simply teach you how to use software. It is designed to teach you how to use those tools to communicate with your art. It is designed to empower you with the skills you need to convey your message in the way that only you can."

    Greg Marlow, Department Head of Digital Media

    Career Information

    Program graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in the field of digital media production. Potential employers include TV and broadcast media, game companies, Web design firms, publishers, schools and colleges, and Fortune 500 companies. Job titles include Digital Media Producer, Interactive Designer, Video Editor, and more.

    Visit our Career Center for more information, or browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or O*NET database. For Gainful Employment information on this program, visit this page.

    Take advantage of our award-winning programs. They’re accredited, affordable, and delivered 100% online.

    Getting Started

    Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

    Apply

    Complete your application with essay, work samples, and transcripts.

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    Ask us about program options and financial aid.

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    Select your start date and preferred study schedule.

    Program At a Glance

    Classes start in January, May, and September, with early start options in February, June, and November.

    To apply, you'll need to complete our convenient online application and provide an application essay, transcripts from high school or colleges attended, and 5-10 samples of your art/design work.

    Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

    To take this program, you’ll need the following:

    • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
    • A digital camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance .
    • A digital video camera and ability to connect it to a computer to capture footage.
    • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate, After Effects, and Premiere CC software.
    • MS word or equivalent application
    • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
    • A Web hosting account with an ad-free hosting service.
    • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

    Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

    The tuition for full-time Associate Degree students is as follows:

    Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Program
    $325 per credit
    $3,900 per semester
    $11,700 per year
    $23,400 total program tuition

    Tuition for part-time students is $350/credit and paid by semester. Federal financial aid available for eligible students. Ask about our $500-$2,000 scholarships for exemplary applicants.

    A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation

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