Media Design (major)

Good design is at the heart of effective communication, especially in today’s distraction-laden world. As a Media Design major, you’ll learn to express your creativity through graphic design, text, photography, video, digital illustration and animation — and how to integrate these elements into impressive multimedia communication that captures attention and engages users. This exciting field is ideal for inventive, tech-savvy women who love to communicate through digital and traditional media.

Customize your studies

This flexible interdisciplinary major allows you to blend courses in media design, art, art history, creative arts and communication, and there’s room to customize further based upon your career interests. For example, you might use your 12 credits of electives for a minor in business to work in e-marketing or content development, or in history or art history if you want to work with museums, or in political science if you want to get involved in political campaigns or math if you plan to focus on infographics.

Beautiful and useful

You’ll master the fundamentals of design and learn how to make beautiful, technically sophisticated digital media using creative tools from the Adobe Creative Cloud and other applications. You will expand your media design skills and cultural literacy through courses in digital and traditional arts, communication, art history, exhibition design and planning community events. Courses in self-employment, grant writing, internship and portfolio assessments advance your professional presentation skills.

As a media design major you will develop an expansive portfolio and the communication skills to present your wide range of media expertise. Because this major is rooted in interdisciplinary creative strategies you will develop confidence and fluency in the expression of your style and viewpoint across media. Your knowledge of design and communication theory will help you work in team settings to understand your audience and create useful media to meet the needs of diverse clients.

How you can use your degree

This versatile major prepares you for a variety of career paths. Depending on your area of interest, you might develop websites, create web content, design media in commercial spaces, theaters, museums or galleries, work on a video production team, plan or document special events though multi-media design or photography or run a social media campaign. Some of our graduates work for advertising agencies or marketing and communication departments of major companies and not for profit organizations, while others freelance in illustration or graphic design for a variety of clients. 

The skills you need to succeed

Thanks to Alverno’s unique abilities-based curriculum, you’ll develop excellent communication, leadership and problem-solving skills. These skills will serve you well in the workplace, where clients will ask you to identify communication or design problems and find their solutions. And because our students work on projects for actual clients, you’ll have experience solving real-world communication challenges before you even graduate. Many of our Media Design majors also sharpen their skills through other on-campus activities by designing websites and print marketing pieces for student organizations.

Internships for the Media Design major

You’ll find no shortage of internship opportunities in Milwaukee, the media hub of the state. Alverno’s Internship Office, which is connected to more than 2,000 partner sites, can help you find the right internship to advance your goals. Past students have interned at advertising agencies, at web development firms, in digital and social media marketing departments at companies, and in photography studios, as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, Marcus Promotions and the United Performing Arts Fund, among other sites.

Media Design Major Beginning
A-100Community Art/Design Midsemester 10
MDIA-193CMDIA in the Professions1
A-189SForm and Space 24
or FA-112 Intro to the Arts: Digital Art
A-146Self Employment in the Arts1
A-121Analytic Drawing3
MDIA-1342-D Design3
A-147Grant Writing for Artists & Educators1
AHS-251Pages Through Time: Art of the Book4
MDIA-2343-D Design3
MDIA-262Graphic Designs & Illustration3
MDIA-130Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 10
MDIA-230Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 20
MDIA-330Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 30
MDIA-395Ext Assessmnt Aesthetic Engagement Lev 40
Media Design Major Intermediate
A-100Community Art/Design Midsemester 40
A-140CCreativity Natural Environment1
or A-140G Glass Forming
or A-140S Special Projects
MDIA-381Content Development Media Design3
MDIA-359Digital Art for MDIA Majors3
COMM Production Labs: Take 6 credits of COMM Production Labs of the following:6
Production Lab 1: Visual Communication
Production Lab II:Emerging Technologies
Prod Lab III: Adv Audio&Internet radio
Prod Lab III:Adv Digital Publishing
Prod Lab III:Advanced Web Design
Intercultural Communication & Leadership
Communication Strategies
Media Studies
Persuasion and Advocacy
Logic & Argumentation
Project Management
Intercultural Communication & Leadership
Communication Foundations
Listening and Mindfulness
Communication Strategies
Logic & Argumentation
Project Management
Art Electives: Take any 300/400 level Art elective3
Choose 5-8 credits of MDIA electives from the following:5-8
Introduction to Business & Mgt
Creativity and Careers
Fundraising & Grantwriting:Princ & Prac
Collaboration: Produce Publish Perform
Advanced Digital Art
Advanced Digital Photography
Advanced Graphic Design
Advanced Content Development
Advanced Internship Seminar
Adv Art Gallery Mgt & Social Media
Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 3
Creativity Natural Environment
Glass Forming
Special Projects
INTERN-383Internship Seminar2
MDIA-399Formal Introduction to Advanced Work0
MDIA-400Ext Assessmnt Aesthetic Engagement Lev 50
Media Design Major Advanced
A-100Community Art/Design Midsemester 50
A-364Digital Photography3
MDIA-482Ext Assmnt of Effective Citzenship Lvl 40
MDIA-401New Media3
AHS-409Modern & Contemporary Art3
A-384Art Gallery Mgt & Social Media1
MDIA-491Media Design Senior Art Semina1
If you do not declare a minor, work with your advisor to build 4-5 courses of electives to enhance your Media Design major.12/18
MDIA-450Ext Assessmnt Aesthetic Engagement Lev 60
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
Form and Space
or Intro to the Arts: Digital Art
First Semester Seminar
or Liberal Learning for Transfer Student
CM-120 Communication Seminar 1 4
QL-122 Quantitative Literacy in Modern World 4
A-193C Art in the Professions 2
MDIA-130 Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 1 0
AC-151 Initial Social Interaction Assessment 0
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
HUM-150 Express/Interpretn Human Experience 4
CM-125 Communication Seminar 2 3
General Education Science Course 4
A-121 Analytic Drawing 3
A-134 2-D Design 3
MDIA-230 Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 2 0
Second Year
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
CM-225 Communication Seminar 3 3
General Education math or science course 3
A-147 Grant Writing for Artists & Educators 1
MDIA-381 Content Development Media Design 3
BSC-215 Working in Diverse Groups 2
QL-156 Mathematical Connections 3
MDIA-330 Aesthetic Engagement Ext Assessmnt Lev 3 0
ADV-299 Intermediate Level Event 0
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
MDIA-401 New Media 3
PSY-110 Life Span Development 4
Graphic Designs & Illustration
or Graphic Designs & Illustration
HFA-210 Humanities & Fine Arts Elective (Or HFA 250 to count for HFA 210 and HFA 310) 2
SSC-101 Introduction to Social Science 4
MDIA-399 Formal Introduction to Advanced Work 0
or MDIA-482MDIA-395
Ext Assmnt of Effective Citzenship Lvl 4
Third Year
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
A-251 Pages in Time: Art of the Book 4
Digital Art for Art Majors
or Digital Art for MDIA Majors
Course for minor 3
Media Design electives 6
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
COMM Core Course 3
COMM Production lab 3
Courses for minor 6
Art Elective: choose any 300/400 level art studio 3
or MDIA-146
Self Employment in the Arts
Fourth Year
A-100 Community Art/Design Midsemester 0
MDIA elective 3
Advanced Digital Art
or Advanced Digital Art
COMM Production Lab 3
Courses for minor 6
or MDIA-384
Art Gallery Mgt & Social Media
MDIA-400 Ext Assessmnt Aesthetic Engagement Lev 5 0
A-491 Senior Art Seminar 1
A-409 Modern to Contemporary Art 3
INTERN-383 Internship Seminar 2
HFA-310 Humanities & Fine Arts Elective 2
MDIA Electives 3-6
Courses for minor 3
MDIA-450 Ext Assessmnt Aesthetic Engagement Lev 6 0
 Total Credits126-129