Master of ScienceDigital Media

Students in computer lab

Level up your career with a Master's in Digital Media.

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Digital Media introduces the tools and theory of the complex and ever-changing world of digital communication. This dynamic program features hands-on learning and small group work in a mentoring academic environment, leading to tool acquisition and professional development for media professionals.

Students in the Master of Science in Digital Media program create, evaluate and utilize contemporary tools of communication, and they explore digital innovations and breakthrough technologies that are changing the way we do business. MSDM students study the practical application of digital media, ethical communication in a culturally diverse workplace, media convergence and its impact on the workplace, and strategies for utilizing media more effectively.

The curriculum includes 18 hours of required courses plus 3 hours of MBA elective credit with options for the remaining 9 hours to complete the degree. Of the remaining 9 hours, students will take three topics courses or take a combination of a topics course, thesis and/or an independent study. Topics courses will vary by semester and the specialty of the faculty member instructing the course.

Early Entry Dual Enrollment

This program offers an opportunity for all undergraduate students to complete their undergraduate degree (BA or BS degree) along with a Master of Science in Digital Media in four and a half to five years. Students who meet admission requirements (grade point average of at least 3.2 and pre-requisite scores of B or higher in PHIL 101 and MATH 200 or 205) may be admitted to the MSDM program in the second semester of their junior year and begin taking graduate-level classes at the beginning of their senior year. The MSDM courses take the place of up to 12 credits of undergraduate free, unrestricted, elective credits.


Program Highlights

At Bellarmine University, we value real-world experience and applied problem-solving. As a result, we require students in the program to gain practical experience via projects and/or professional work experience.

The Master of Science in Digital Media program is designed to accommodate working professionals with classes on weeknights. Part-time students may enroll in the spring or fall terms, and will take one or two courses per term until they've completed the 10-course program.

Program Outcomes

The learning outcomes for the Master of Science in Digital Media are:

  1. Students will demonstrate through critical thinking and hands-on projects, the application of digital media and technologies in a global and diverse workplace.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to use contemporary tools and apply theories of digital media practice.
  3. Students will evaluate the production and dissemination of digital media from multiple ethical and legal perspectives.

It is expected that all Masters students in the Department of Communication are aware of the program’s Academic Honesty Policy, which appears on each syllabus and is also located here.

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Kyle Barnett

Kyle S. Barnett, Ph.D.
Kyle Barnett’s research focuses on media history, cultural industries, and sound practices across media.

His publications include “Furniture Music: The Phonograph as Furniture,” in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, “The Selznick Studio, ‘Spellbound’ and the Marketing of Film Music,’ in Music, Sound and the Moving Image, and chapters in several book anthologies. Barnett is a former co-editor of the Velvet Light Trap, graduate editor and columnist for Flow, Antenna and In Media Res. Barnett serves as faculty adviser for Bellarmine Radio. His forthcoming book is Record Cultures: the Transformation of the U.S. Recording Industry (University of Michigan Press, February 2020).  

Barnett’s undergraduate courses include: Media and Society; History of Broadcasting; Film and TV Studies; The Film Musical; Popular Music and the Recording Industry; and Sound Studies. His graduate courses include Introduction to Media Studies and Cultural Industries.

Michael LaRocco, Ph.D.

Michael LaRocco, Ph.D.
Dr. LaRocco’s academic research and his creative work as a filmmaker and media artist investigate the evolution of film and video technologies and their application in media practice. His recent publications include articles in Film History and Spectator, and his current book project traces the evolution of digital video camera technology across various communities of practice, from home video to Hollywood.

Prior to his work in academia, he taught media study and production extensively at community-based organizations, art centers, and schools in Chicago, and served for many years on education advisory boards for the Chicago International Film Festival and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. He is an active member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and recently served on the screening committee for the Peabody Awards.

As a media producer, he trained at esteemed documentary production company Kartemquin Films and has since worked with many clients both behind the camera and in the editing room, including the Lollapalooza Music Festival, filmmaker Ondi Timoner/Interloper Films, Asylum Entertainment, Oxford University, the Chicago Tribune, and the Bebe Miller Dance Company.

Academic areas of interest: Film and television history, theory, and aesthetics; Media technology; Production studies; Practice-based theory; Virtual/augmented reality; Video games; Film and media education; Film, video, and music production; Heavy metal music and culture.

Shawn Apostel, Ph.D.

Shawn Apostel, Ph.D.
A graphic designer by trade, Dr. Apostel formerly served as the Communication Coordinator for the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University from 2010-2013, and the Information and Graphics Specialist for the City of Toccoa from 2008-2010.

Dr. Apostel's research interests include teaching with technology, applied creativity, digital ethos, e-waste reduction, and visual communication. He is chair of the Visual Rhetoric Panel for the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and serves as a reviewer for various journals and conferences. His work is published by IGI Global, CCDigital Press, Lexington Books, New Forums Press, and Computers and Composition Online. His co-edited book Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication was published by IGI Global in December, and his co-authored book Teaching Creative Thinking: A New Pedagogy for the 21st Century will be published by New Forums Press this Spring.


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