The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts


Bachelor of Design (in Interdisciplinary Digital Studio)

This degree represents an interdisciplinary approach to emerging technologies and the arts and design disciplines.

The iDS degree begins with a foundation in arts and design, ART 110 (3), ART 111 (3), a two-semester sequence of linked studio practice and theory courses that cover fundamental ideas and skills in the arts and design disciplines such as drawing, color theory, and 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D design within the context of art and design history and theory. Concurrent with these courses, students’ progress through the series of iDS studio courses.

Students in the iDS degree are encouraged to work on projects that cross over art and design so that they eventually develop a unique interest for a senior thesis. Students go through a rigorous review process in both terms of the school year. The entire digital art and media design faculty attend the review sessions and provide feedback. The faculty also express concern of students who are not doing well, so that appropriate advising may take place. Students are expected to have a strong understanding of digital art and media design tools. They are also expected to have strong critical analysis and research skills that will enable to keep up with the ongoing changes in digital art and media design.

.Students enrolled in the degree are expected to develop an advanced level of competency based on their engagement in a range of digital art and media design classes complemented with other studio electives that during their senior year enables them to complete a capstone thesis project demonstrates their ability to plan and apply creative design skills in the completion of a substantial research project.

The iDS program is designed to meet the technical, creative, and intellectual needs of students who decide to pursue careers in digital art and design. Professional opportunities open to iDS graduates include all areas of new imaging technologies, such as web-based design and communications, entertainment arts, marketing, 3-D modeling and animation, interface design, video and motion graphics, interactive media, and game development. SoVA offers students mentoring and professional guidance in career preparation during their degree.

An additional strength of the iDS degree is the continued reference and emphasis on critical theory and criticism that takes its cue from contemporary art and cultural discourse. These contextual inquiries help build strong connections between digital studio practices and media-based studio areas, as well as interdisciplinary links to subject areas across the university.