Penn State Behrend Opens New Major in Digital Media, Arts, and Technology


ERIE, Pa. — The doodles on Google’s homepage — animated tributes to Ronald Dahl, Les Paul and Ida Bell Wells, among others — show the value tech company executives see in the arts and sciences human. Google’s human resources department sees it, too: In 2010, then-VP Marissa Mayer said that 80% of hires that year would have a liberal arts background.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sought out similar graduates. “Technology alone is not enough,” he once said. “It’s technology married to the liberal arts, married to the humanities, that delivers the results that make our hearts sing.”

To prepare students for work on digital platforms, Penn State Behrend has developed a new major in Digital Media, Arts, and Technology. The program is Penn State’s only undergraduate degree in these subjects.

The program, abbreviated as DIGIT, combines the broad perspective and critical analysis of traditional liberal arts study with the technical skills required for working in digital media. Students can choose to study in two of four concentrations: digital humanities, including library and archival work; storytelling through films, videos and games; simulation and human-computer interaction; and data visualization and evaluation.

“The best thing about DIGIT is its flexibility: students combine digital skills such as animation, music production, text encoding, object-based programming and GIS mapping with virtually any subject that interests, including history, communication, psychology and game development,” said Sharon Dale, Associate Professor of Art History and DIGIT Program Chair. advanced techniques and know-how to think, write and collaborate creatively.”

The program is designed to allow students to pair their degree with a second major within Penn State Behrend’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students interested in working in interactive entertainment can add the campus game development minor.

DIGIT students will complete either a capstone project or a digital media internship. This experience, added to coursework in key digital programs including JavaScript, Transit, Maya, Ruby, Python, Pro Tools, and Final Cut Pro, will prepare them to work in a variety of digital specialties, including web content and design, social media, digital marketing strategy, digital art, advertising and graphic design.

To find out more, visit behrend.psu.edu/digit or call 814-898-6108.

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