Bachelor in Graphic Design (interactive Digital Media)


Program Description

The interactive digital media major at Northwest is an interdisciplinary program involving an emphasis in computer science, graphic design or new media. The courses offer a cross-section of skills in design as well as written and visual communication. The major produces graduates who are proficient in art, photography, design, communication, computer programming and legal or ethical considerations as they relate to media.

Northwest offers computer labs equipped with open source software that prevents students from having to purchase additional software.

campus March spring2016 tw000024B

Career Opportunities

100% of students graduating with a degree in interactive digital media continue their education or find employment within six months after graduation. Below is a list of job titles related to this major:

  • Web developer
  • Helpdesk
  • Instructional designer
  • Software developer

*Based on self-reported data.

Profession-based experiences

Knacktive combines six disciplines (computer science, English, graphic design, marketing, mass communications and public relations) into a one-semester interactive and collaborative course. The student-led teams conduct market research, analyze data, write creative strategies, and developed an integrated, digital marketing communication campaign and promotional materials for a real-world client.

At the end of each course, the team makes a formal presentation or client pitch in an attempt to convince the client to use their project. This experience aligns with the digital marketing and advertising agencies competing for clients.

The following organizations have been clients of Knacktive:

  • 2011 – Cincinnati-based LasikPlus Vision
  • 2012 – Science City, located in Kansas City at the Union Station
  • 2013 – Tri-State Ford
  • 2014 – Horace Mann Laboratory School
  • 2015 – DecisionFx, located in Kansas City

To ensure Northwest is performing at the highest level of education, the professional advisory team, a group of 40 expert employers, evaluates the curriculum and discusses the up-and-coming techniques and opportunities for faculty and students alike. Students are allotted an hour to meet and network with the employers.

The School of Computer Science and Information Systems’ “Road Show” group consists of six to eight students who prepare and present computing materials to students in local K-12 schools, connect with teachers, support efforts to incorporate computing into the curriculum and recruit students.

Teacher nights at Horace Mann Laboratory School provide Northwest students with opportunities present to parents and teachers about new technology tools.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.


Although internships are not required in the interactive digital media major, they are highly encouraged to gain real-world experiences.

finals studying fall2016 jb034


Computer Science Programming Concentration

This is an interdisciplinary major in conjunction with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, and the School of Communication and Mass Media. Three concentrations are available for this major: Computer Science Programming (Computer Science and Information Systems), New Media (Communication and Mass Media), and Visual Imaging (Fine and Performing Arts).

The Northwest Core (48-52 hours)

Must include the following:
CSIS 44101 Foundations of Computing


Required Core Courses

ART 13191 Introduction to Design
ART 13207 Digital Photography
MMED 20355 Photojournalism
ART 13292 Computer Graphics I
ART 13294 Typography I
MMED 20120 Introduction to Mass Media
MMED 20243 Media Design
MMED 20303 Introduction to Web Publishing
MMED 20314 Communication Law and Ethics
CSIS 44144 Web Development I
CSIS 44334 Web Development II
CSIS 44335 Script Programming
MKTG 55330 Principles of Marketing


Required Courses for Concentration in Computer Science Programming:

CSIS 44141 Computer Programming I
CSIS 44241 Computer Programming II
CSIS 44242 Data Structures
CSIS 44296 Professional Development Seminar
CSIS 44345 Computer Organization
CSIS 44356 Network Fundamentals
CSIS 44460 Database Systems
CSIS 44563 Developing Web Applications and Services

Choose one from the following electives:

CSIS 44349 A Survey of Algorithms
CSIS 44525 Theory and Implementation of Programming Languages
CSIS 44443 Mobile Computing-iOS
CSIS 44444 Mobile Computing-Android
CSIS 44550 Operating Systems
CSIS 44560 Advanced Topics in Database Systems
CSIS 44561 Software Engineering Principles
CSIS 44590 Current Topics in Computer Science
1 to 3

NOTE: All required and elective computer science courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better.

Concentration in New Media

see the School of Communication and Mass Media

Concentration in Visual Imaging

see the Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Last updated Sep 2018

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About the School

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University fo ... Read More

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day. It will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience. Read less