The Digital Media Program seeks to bridge the arts and sciences by providing students with technical skills along with an understanding of aesthetics and practical experience in digital media. The program brings together students, faculty, industry professionals to prepare students for the challenges of careers in game design, animation, digital video, visual effects, visualization, interactive design and other areas in digital media.
Our students are typically interested in some blend of technology and art applied to a digital media career. Strong technical skills and understanding combined with aesthetic judgement and experience enable our students to produce digital work at a high level. We give students the opportunity to study a specialty, like animation or game design, and get experience in other areas of digital media production, like digital film, scripting, or electronic publishing. It’s not uncommon for a student to come to the program interested in one area, and switch to another, previously untried, area that captured their interest and attention.
The Digital Media Program is very challenging as is the field in general. You’ll work with cutting-edge technology and high-end equipment to produce professional caliber work suitable for professional portfolios. You’ll work with faculty and be part of a team of 300 other digital media students as you progress through 4 years of increasingly challenging courses. The final course in the Digital Media curriculum is Portfolio Development for Digital Media (DIGM4930). In this class the faculty prepares each individual for entry into their professional world by focusing on their portfolio. Students in DIGM4930 present their work for critique twice during the semester to the complete faculty, all interested students, and local professionals.
If you have any questions, or if you are in the area for a campus visit, let us know so we can make time to talk to you while you’re here: DIGM.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For in-state freshman, a typical semester would cost approximately $3,771.50 in tuition, while out-of-state students would pay approximately $11,811.50 in tuition. You can do your own estimate using ETSU’s Tuition Estimator.
It’s possible for out-of-state residents to pay in-state tuition as digital media majors. If your state is part of the Academic Common Market Agreement, an out-of-state undergraduate digital media major can qualify for in-state tuition, giving you a very large savings. The current list of states in the Academic Common Market for digital media are:
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
You can read the official list, and get information on how to apply. There are also options for students in the border counties of Virginia and North Carolina to pay in-state tuition.
Creative Arts Scholarships
Out-of-State students can have the out-of-state portion of tuition covered by the Creative Arts Scholarships in Digital Media. This essentially allows students to pay in-state tuition as a Digital Media Major or Minor. More Information.
Basler Incentive Scholarhip
The Wayne G. Basler Incentive Scholarship was established in 1992 by a long-time friend of the university, Mr. Wayne G. Basler. The merit-based scholarship is specifically designed for students who have a declared academic major in the Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media. The Basler Incentive Scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to the student for four years of undergraduate education. As a means of providing incentive to the student, the scholarship amount will increase annually according to the scale below. The scholarship amounts are as follows:
- First year $2000 ($1000 per semester)
- Second year $2500 ($1250 per semester)
- Third year $3500 ($1750 per semester)
- Fourth year $5000 ($2500 per semester)
Digital Media Fees
Students taking courses in the Digital Media program will pay a program fee of $100 per credit hour for each DIGM course taken to cover program costs for software, hardware and other learning expenses. The income from this fee goes directly back into the program without any administrative overhead and is strictly for use in student’s education. It provides for:
- Very powerful computers (Eight core CPUs, dual monitors, 64-bit os, 32Gb ram, large HD) in all the labs.
- Current versions of industry leading software from Autodesk, Adobe, Unreal, and The Foundry among others.
- A full lab of Cintiq monitors.
- HD film cameras for checkout.
- Markerless motion capture from Organic Motion
- Qube 60-seat render farm.
- Green Screen and lighting.
- 18 MP raw still cameras for checkout.
- A lab with Wacom tablets.
- Large format photographic printers.
- Subscriptions for Digital Tutors in the labs.
- Drawing supplies.
- Visiting artists.
- Some student travel.
ETSU’s Digital Media Program is located in the mountains in the northeast corner of Tennessee, close to Virginia and North Carolina.
Locally, we’re across State of Franklin Rd. from the main campus and our building is part of the Johnson City Millennium Center. There’s a pedestrian bridge that takes you directly to campus and a large, grassy lawn in front of the building that is perfect for throwing frisbees.
Our recent grads speak for themselves:
“I graduated from ETSU with a B.S. in Digital Media and a Film Studies minor in 2016. In November of the same year I moved to Westminster CO to work as a Level Designer for the game studio Idol Minds. One of my favorite aspects of the job is working with all the different departments to create a cohesive and exciting final product. I am currently working on an undisclosed Cinematic Adventure Game in the Unity Engine. The fact that it’s top secret should be a good indicator that it’s pretty neato!”
“I graduated from ETSU in 2015 with a B.S. in Digital Media and interned with Ingenuity Engine in LA doing lighting and rendering in the summer before my senior year. After graduating I went back to work with Ingenuity. Now I’m full time freelancing in LA. I’d say my favorite job was working on the Xbox One S reveal for E3.”
Julia (B.S. Digital Media 2013)
Compositor, Blue Sky Studios
“I’m a compositor at Blue Sky Studios, currently working on the movie Rio 2. I love what I do – putting the final rendered layers together, making sure everything blends together seamlessly, and even creating some effects. I’ve also learned a lot about how the work gets passed through the pipeline of a large studio.”
Cory (B.S. Digital Media 2013)
3D Artist, RTT Detroit
“I used to say “I light things digitally” and then went to “I make things look pretty.” Now I say I’m a 3D Artist. What I do is assist in lighting and creating digital assets for vehicles and other objects in a digital space. This, for the most part, is cars but there have been other lighting situations, such as a kitchen, shoes, or a jet, that need to be realistically lit.”
Charlie (B.S. Digital Media 2013)
Creative Services Producer, WVLT Volunteer TV
“I’m working in the Creative Services department at WVLT – a CBS affiliate in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy the wide variety of small scale video projects while still having long term pieces to really invest my time into. My position requires a mix of graphic and stylistic 3D element compositing with live footage. At the same time, I am in charge of the full production of commercial and promotional spots. It keeps my hands busy in all aspects of video production on a daily basis.”
Ryan (M.S. Digital Media 2011)
Special Effects Artist, Vicious Cycle Games
“I’m a special effects artist at Vicious Cycle. What I like about my job is that there’s always a challenge—the effects have to look good but they also have to run in a real-time game environment. I get to use my artistic side to make something pretty and my technical side to make it work!”
Conor (B.S. Digital Media 2010)
3D Designer, Adidas
“I’m a 3D Designer at Adidas—part of small team of generalists. I translate footwear and apparel designer’s work into 3D renders. I also create visualization renders and animations. There is a lot of creative license with the viz projects, which is a fantastic change of pace.”
Joel (B.S. Digital Media, 2010)
Roto/Paint Artist Compositor, Luma Pictures
“I’m a roto/paint artist and compositor working for Luma Pictures in Los Angeles, California. My credits include Thor, Captain America, Xmen:First Class, Fright Night, and several others currently in production. I hope to someday be a director and use my storytelling skills to create the next generation of cinematic films.”
TJ (B.S. Digital Media, 2011)
Animator, Red Storm
“I am currently working as a contract animator at Ubisoft/Red Storm Entertainment in Cary, North Carolina. Part of my job as an animator is to clean up and polish motion capture data. We also do a lot of facial and creature animation for a number of games that will released in the coming months.”