2022 Best Online New Media Studies Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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New media studies can help you stay one step ahead in the ever-changing digital world. Where and how people consume information continues to evolve and can be an exciting field of study.

Best Online New Media Studies Degrees

A bachelors degree in new media encompasses many areas of specialization, from online journalism to social media management and graphic design.

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No matter your specific area of interest, studies in new media can enable you to rise to the challenges of the changing digital landscape and to develop your expertise in the field.

Online New Media Studies Degrees

Man taking his New Media Studies Degree online

A bachelor’s in new media is an innovative degree that combines multiple areas of study, including English, visual arts, business, and computer sciences.

As a branch of communication studies, the aim of a new media degree is to learn how to effectively create and share information in the digital world. Since the world of digital media is always evolving, online new media degrees cover a wide range of content that prepares students for a variety of jobs in many different fields.

Common sectors related to new media studies include:

  • Web development
  • Game design
  • Graphic design
  • Online marketing
  • Film and television production
  • Social media management
  • Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Public relations

Courses in an online digital media degree program combine the latest methodologies and hands-on learning to develop your competency in digital media practices.

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You can also advance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills through hands-on experiences in relevant industry internships. Developing your expertise in new media can help you navigate the competitive world of digital media.

Your technical knowledge and communication skills can help you qualify for a range of career paths. Most programs in new media also offer you the chance to focus your studies on a concentration of your choosing.

Common New Media Studies Bachelor’s Concentrations

Game Designer/Developer working in the office

A bachelor’s degree in new media studies encompasses several fields of study and teaches you how to be an effective communicator in the digital world.

Many programs encourage students to choose a concentration that aligns with their career goals. Below are examples of some of the concentrations that are commonly offered:

  • Digital Media. Digital art is the focus of this concentration, and you’d likely take courses in graphic design, photography, and animation.
  • Promotional Communication. This concentration focuses on understanding the audience and messaging in new media, with an emphasis on social media and strategic campaigns.
  • Web Design. This concentration is focused on web development and provides a foundation in coding and analytics.
  • Game Design. This concentration focuses on computational skills in game development.
  • Multimedia Writing. The focus of this concentration is on digital writing, including journalism, electronic literature, and copywriting.

Concentration offerings vary by program, and each concentration has different course requirements. If you are interested in a specific concentration, it’s strategic to make sure it is available through the online programs you are considering.

New Media and Communications Careers & Salaries

New Media and Communications Careers & Salaries

By studying new media communications, you can develop a wide knowledge base and versatile skills that are relevant to a variety of professional fields.

Since new media encompasses so many aspects of communication, there is a wide range of careers that you may choose to pursue. The positions you can qualify for will likely depend on your location, chosen industry, degree specialization, and experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the career paths associated with new media and communications.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Art Directors $100,890
Special Effects Artists and Animators $78,790
Web Developers and Digital Designers $78,300
Writers and Authors $69,510
Editors $63,350
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Graphic Designers        $50,710
Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians $48,790
Photographers $38,950

No matter the size of the company, numerous businesses in all industries rely on digital communication to reach their target audience.

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The digital landscape is continually growing and changing, so the employment opportunities in this field will likely continue to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6% job growth for media and communication occupations and 15% growth for computer and IT positions over the next ten years.

New Media Studies Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses

graphic designers working on a project together

A new media communications program is interdisciplinary, so its coursework can be diverse and interesting. Every program varies in its requirements, but below are some examples of the courses you might take:

  • Digital Photography: This course introduces you to a variety of camera techniques to capture, edit, and produce digital photos.
  • Graphic and Visual Design: This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of typography, including theory and practice.
  • Web Design: This introductory course covers how to create engaging content on the internet, including the use of HTML.
  • Multimedia Writing: This course focuses on writing in the context of new media, with an emphasis on creative writing and electronic literature.
  • Video and Film Production: This course provides a foundation for film production and editing.
  • Computer Programming: This course serves as an introduction to the concepts of computer programming, including data types, arrays, and files.
  • Data Management: This course introduces you to a variety of structures and systems in information technology.
  • Social Media Strategies: This course focuses on the use of social media marketing to create engaging content and communication.
  • Organizational Branding: In this course, you’ll explore the role of branding to create effective and cohesive communication across an organization.
  • New Media Ethics and Politics: This course examines the ethical dilemmas that arise in the digital world as well as the role politics plays in new media.

The curriculum for a new media program is designed to include both conceptual and project-based learning so you can build a portfolio of relevant work. In addition to academic coursework, you may also participate in an internship to gain practical, hands-on experience in a prospective field.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for New Media Studies Bachelor

When applying for an online new media bachelors program, you’ll often be required to complete an online application and submit the following:

  • High school transcripts
  • Personal statement explaining your goals and interest in the program
  • Letters of recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)

The requirements above are a general guide for domestic students. International and transfer students may have additional or differing requirements. It’s helpful to check a school’s website or contact their admissions department for specific requirements.

Accreditation

University offering New Media Studies Bachelor Degree

Regional accreditation is an evaluation process that educational institutions can choose to go through to confirm they meet a strict set of quality standards. Since accreditation is a mark of a credible school, attending a school that’s accredited has a number of benefits. For starters, you can be confident that you’ll receive a high-quality education.

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Attending an accredited school is also a precondition for some forms of financial aid. It can also increase your chances of being able to transfer credits to other schools. To learn more or verify a school’s accreditation status, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

New Media Studies Bachelor Financial Aid

There are several financial aid options available to help qualifying students cover the upfront costs of a bachelors degree program.

You may qualify for loans, grants, or work-study opportunities through the federal or state government. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can determine your eligibility for federal aid and other forms of need-based aid.

You can also explore scholarship opportunities. Private scholarships are typically offered through schools, charitable organizations, and professional societies. In addition, if you are working while earning your degree, you can check with your employer to see if your company provides tuition assistance.

What Is New Media Studies?

Digital Designers discussing a project

New media studies is a program that explores all of the components of the digital world. You can learn how to effectively communicate through these new mediums to stay relevant in the constantly changing world of technology.

New media is a broad term that covers all of the digital information we see and interact with. While media used to be consumed solely via print, radio, and television, now information comes from a variety of digital sources—such as websites, streaming services, social media, and phone apps.

What Can You Do with a New Media Major?

Web Developers working on a new site build

The avenues for digital communication are constantly expanding and changing. Nearly all industries utilize digital media in order to reach their goals. Given the broad content covered in a new media degree, you may be able to explore careers in a variety of fields, including visual design, journalism, marketing, and social media management.

Professionals in this field may work as graphic designers, social media specialists, audio engineers, copywriters, editors, public relations specialists, animators, and marketers. Your chosen degree concentration may impact your career qualifications.

How Long Does It Take to Get a New Media Degree Online?

Woman pursuing New Media Degree Online

A bachelor’s degree program generally takes students 4 years to complete with full-time study. If you have AP credits or transfer credits, you may be able to earn your degree in less time. You may also choose to take classes during the summer in order to finish your program sooner.

Alternatively, many programs also offer part-time enrollment in order to meet the diverse needs of students. One of the benefits to earning a degree online is the flexibility to learn around your schedule, so you may choose to take a lighter course load. Part-time enrolment will often extend the amount of time it takes to complete your degree.

Is a New Media Communication Degree Worth It?

Art Director discussing with the team

Yes, a new media communication degree is worth it for many students. Media has shifted from print to digital modes of communication, and nearly all industries rely on digital technology to send and receive information.

Employment for web developers and digital designers is expected to grow 23% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Media and communication positions overall are expected to see 6% job growth over the same period.

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New media encompasses a variety of communication sectors, including online journalism, marketing, visual arts, public relations, and computer science.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in New Media Studies Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Brenau University

Brenau University campus

Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY School of Professional Studies campus

CUNY SPS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University campus

Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University campus

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Maharishi International University

Maharishi International University campus

MIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Colorado – Denver

University of Colorado Denver campus

The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Memphis

University of Memphis campus

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Texas – El Paso

University of Texas El Paso campus

The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your New Media Studies Degree Online

Man completing his New Media Studies Degree online

The world of digital media is continually evolving, requiring more and more industries to use digital communication to reach their target audiences.

If you have a passion for gaming, design, writing, or business, a new media degree can help you develop marketable skills that are applicable in many professional fields. Earning a new media degree can help set you apart in the job market and keep you one step ahead in the ever-changing digital world.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your educational journey, you can start exploring accredited schools that offer new media bachelors programs today!

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Katie Wilson
WRITTEN BY
Katie Wilson
Katie has a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Seattle University. A former elementary educator, Katie’s writing and research focus on a wide range of educational topics including early learning, literacy, and STEM.