Graduate Studies

Whether you want to take a weekend workshop, one course, a whole certificate or an entire MFA, AIMS is eager to engage you in cutting-edge courses and facilities.

Masters in Fine Arts in Experience Design (XD:MFA)

AIMS has partnered with the Graphic Design department to offer a Masters in Fine Arts in Experience Design (XD:MFA). The Miami University XD:MFA stands at intersection of design and technology. It is specifically designed to help designers expand their understanding of technology and for technologists to better understand design. The XD:MFA brings these two traditionally divergent disciplines together through project-based courses and a diverse set of crafted experiences.

Because of this partnership, the XD:MFA has a handful of particularly unique features:

  • Collaborate across disciplines: Interactive Media Studies, Studio Art, Social Entrepreneurship, Computer Science and Engineering and more
  • Engage with top talent, including visiting designers and technological thinkers
  • Pursue a specialized course of study: Option 1: designers who want to embrace interactive media; Option 2: technologists who want to develop their design skills
  • Shift your understanding and perspective on technology as a cultural force
  • Expand your skills in coding and designing interactive experiences
  • Co-create new technologies and systems as you engage in human-centered design
  • Design, develop, deploy and test your ideas through applied research

The program coordinates/overlaps with the Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies in the following two ways:

  1. Students in the XD:MFA program can earn the Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies, as part of their degree program in XD:MFA, by taking 5 IMS graduate courses (16 credits minimum), including one of the foundation courses (IMS 507, 518, 519, or 522) and the practicum (IMS 540).
  2. Students who complete IMS graduate certificate courses (or the entire certificate) as non-degree students, and who are then accepted into the XD:MFA program, can transfer up to 12 credits of IMS certificate courses into the XD:MFA. (Note: To be counted credits must have been earned within 5 years of MFA graduation date.)

Details about the XD:MFA program and application requirements

Contact Us | XD:MFA

Dennis Cheatham, Graduate Director, Experience Design xdMFA


Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies

AIMS also offers a Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies, as well as executive education workshops in a variety of topics essential to business professionals, including social media marketing, digital branding, interactive business communications, and design thinking. The Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies is designed for graduate students and working professionals who wish to gain knowledge about and develop management and leadership skills in developing digital media for social and organizational applications—for business, educational institutions, government, and community organizations and nonprofits. The program emphasizes multidisciplinary thinking, organizational problem-solving, research and inquiry, creative production and design, and communication skills. The graduate certificate is open to degree-seeking students as well as to non-degree-seeking students.

This program will help you develop your ability to think creatively, imaginatively, and practically about how interactive media can be deployed to address society’s needs as well as the client’s needs. You will learn how to design appropriate solutions and provide entrepreneurial leadership to move teams and organizations to action and implementation. You will learn basic principles of digital and interactive design. You will study and synthesize others’ research and conduct your own research projects on interactive media. You will learn to critique, test, and evaluate existing designs. You will learn best practices and principles for interactive design.

The program has a particularly strong emphasis on doing, creating, making, researching, and working within and for real clients and organizations. You will engage in real-world, client-based projects in nearly every course and will conclude your program with an extended client-based practicum designed to provide you with hands-on experience designing digital media for a real client.

This program is designed to be completed in one year of half-time student enrollment. Graduate courses will typically be offered in the evenings to suit student work schedules. Online courses will be available for students who wish to enroll from distant locations. Potential students should note that it is possible to complete the certificate entirely online.

Graduate Certificate Curriculum

The Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies requires a minimum of 16 credit hours of graduate course work, as follows:

Required Foundation Course

Students should take one of the introductory courses below (3–4 credits), preferably in their first semester enrolled in the program:

  • ENG/IMS 507, Interactive Business Communication (3)
  • IMS 510, Digital Development Methods: Theory and Practice (4)
  • IMS 518, Social Media Marketing and Online Community Management (3)
  • IMS/MKT 519, Digital Branding (4)
  • IMS 522, Advanced Web Design (3)

Elective Courses

Students should select three of the following courses (minimum of 9 credits), not already used above as their foundation course.

  • ENG/IMS 507, Interactive Business Communication (3)
  • IMS 510, Digital Development Methods: Theory and Practice (4)
  • ENG/IMS 511, Visual Rhetoric (3)
  • IMS 512, Advanced Game Studies (3)
  • IMS 513, Usability and Digital Media Design (4)
  • IMS 514, Web and Social Media Analytics (3)
  • IMS 518, Social Media Marketing and Online Community Management (3)
  • IMS/MKT 519, Digital Branding (4)
  • IMS 522, Advanced Web Design (3)
  • IMS 561, Advanced 3D Visualization and Simulation (3)
  • IMS 587, Game Prototyping, Pipeline, and Production (3)
  • IMS 590, Special Topics in Interactive Media Studies (3)
  • IMS 677, Interactive Media Studies Independent Study (3)
  • ENG 514, Usability and User Experience (4)
  • ENG 516, Writing and Designing for International Audiences (3)
  • ENG 760, Issues in Professional Writing (3)
  • MKT 632, Marketing in an Information and Network Economy (4)

Required Practicum

Students should take the practicum in their last semester of program work, or near the end of their program.

IMS 540, Interactive Media Studies Practicum (4)

Contact Us | Graduate Certificate

Jim Coyle, Associate Professor MKT & IMS
Gabe Lee, C Michael Armstrong Professor, Information Systems & Analytics