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Home Academics Schools Department of Communication Studies and Theatre Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy

Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy

Gain expertise in digital media communication

The Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy is a professional digital media master’s program for anyone interested in designing, managing and measuring the effects of digital communication.

Learn to design effective digital media communication campaigns. Take courses in production strategies, multimedia storytelling, consulting strategies, interactive web development, and digital persuasion. Develop skills in digital writing, graphic design, sound editing, videography, and UX/UI design. Apply your knowledge when working with regional organizations and companies.

Applications for 2024-2025 are closed. Applications for 2025-2026 open August 1.

 May 30 
next start day
$640*
per credit hour
*2024-2025 tuition and fees
 33 
credit hours
 12* 
months
*4+1 program available

Fully Online

All classes for the Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy program are online and synchronous. The program’s design allows you to work during the day and take classes in the evening.

Enhance your career opportunities with Bridgewater College. Apply today by filling out our online application.

About This Program

As an MDMS graduate, you will:

  • Position yourself for careers in the expanding digital communications field, such as digital media strategist, social media coordinator or content marketing manager.
  • Study the key characteristics of interactive digital media.
  • Craft messages based on design principles and user experience data, allowing you to target specific audiences with multimedia materials.
  • Develop audio/visual production and project
    management skills.
  • Strengthen your effective communication and writing skills.

Build professional experience.

  • Apply your knowledge and skills in professional projects you’ll complete with regional organizations and businesses.
  • Build your professional portfolios working with real clients (not just classwork). Future employers will look at your portfolio and say, “I want this for my company.”
  • Complete projects related to web redesigns, social media campaigns, and other multimedia based on needs of real-world clients and audiences.
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Advantages to our Program

  • Fully online with accessible evening classes to accommodate the working professional’s schedule
  • Full and part-time options available
  • Current Bridgewater students can complete a B.S./B.A. + M.A. in only five years. 
  • 100% of MDMS students have found employment, 95% of those are working in the field of digital media and digital communication.
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Transparent red banner that reads No. 3 Best Media Studies School in Virginia with green and black PLEXUSS logo. Picture of a student and professor looking at a computer in the background

Rankings

Bridgewater College ranked third in Virginia for undergraduate media studies programs and in the top 100 media studies programs nationally from PLEXUSS, a global higher education database for prospective college students. The MDMS program builds on this foundation and prepares you for a career in digital media.

Faculty

The faculty of the MDMS program have experience that balances the theoretical research orientation of academia with practical results or orientation of the professional business world. In addition to the terminal degrees, PhDs, MFAs, etc. that the faculty hold they also have experience working as public relations professionals, as business consultants, CEOs of regional design companies, corporate and government technical writers, and so on.

Portrait of Ronald Alabanza Practitioner in Residence of Art
Portrait of Dr Melanie Laliker Professor of Communication StudiesDepartment Chair of Communication Studies and Theatre
Portrait of Scott Jost Professor of Art Department Chair of Art
Learn the cutting-edge skills and knowledge necessary to excel in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Technology Requirements

This program does require students to have a laptop, certain software, audio recorder, microphone, headphones and a camera. It is important to factor in the cost of the equipment students need to use during this program in order to ensure a seamless learning experience and equip students with the necessary skills for a career in digital media.

Laptop and Software

Suggested minimum system requirements:

  • Windows:
    • Intel i5 or i7 processor 6th generation or newer.  Model number i5-6XXX or i7-6XXX or higher.
    • Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (64bit)
    • 8GB Ram (16GB recommended)
    • 512GB internal hard drive
    • 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive for backup of digital media
    • Display capable of displaying a minimum resolution of 1280×800 (1920×1080 or larger recommended)
  • Mac:
    • Intel i5 or i7 processor 6th generation or newer.  Model number i5-6XXX or i7-6XXX or higher.
    • macOS X  v10.11, v10.12 or v10.13
    • 8GB Ram (16GB recommended)
    • 512GB internal hard drive
    • 1TB USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt external hard drive for backup of digital media
    • Display capable of displaying a minimum resolution of 1280×800 (1920×1080 or larger recommended)
  • Software requirements: Will be communicated to students in early core courses.

Audio Recorder, Microphone and Headphones

  • 1 digital audio recorder such as a Zoom H4n or H2n. You may also use a smart phone for audio recording instead.
  • An external lavalier (clip-on) microphone made for your smartphone or digital recorder. There are range of options and price-points, from $25.00 to over $100. Be sure any lavalier mic is compatible with the recording device (smart phone or purpose-made audio recorder) you intend to use.
  • 1 pair of professional closed-back studio headphones such as the Audio Technica TH-M20x, Sony MDR-7506, TASCAM TH-02, AKG K240, Mackie MC-100 or comparable model.

Camera 

Mirrorless digital camera with the following features:

  • 1080p HD video recording. 4K video is okay but not required
  • Raw image capture (still images)
  • Ability to focus manually
  • Manual exposure controls
  • Microphone port (recommended but not available on all models)
  • Headphone port (recommended but not available on all models)
  • 2 or 3 batteries
  • At least 2 32gb or 64gb memory cards

A few lower-end to mid-level mirrorless camera options include:

  • Canon EOS M50 Mark II with 15-45mm lens
  • Canon EOS R50 Mark II with 18-45mm lens
  • Fujifilm X-S10 with 18-55mm lens
  • Fujifilm X-T30 II with 15-45mm lens or (better) 18-55mm lens
  • Sony a7 II with 28-70mm Lens
  • Sony ZV-E10 with 16-50mm Lens

If you already own a DSLR camera you may use it instead of a mirrorless camera.

Student looking at Mac desktop
Portrait of Kaley Saxton standing in front of brick sign
From consultant to manager, MDMS graduate Kaley Saxton works to make better digital experiences for all. Read more.

A lot of people think that once you get into a graduate program, you’re locked into that career forever. But the MDMS program is locking yourself into an experience that will let you go in a multitude of directions. Now looking back, I can’t believe I did all of that while I was in school, but I am so thankful because I would not be where I am today without it.

Kaley Saxton ’19, M’20
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Careers in Digital Media Strategy

The benefits of obtaining an online degree – Online degrees give students the flexibility to get an education while working and/or raising a family but provide the credibility of a diploma from a traditional four-year institution.

Top careers for a digital media strategist (and how to get them) – Four categories in which you might find your dream job following graduation include sales, PR, interorganizational communication and makers.

Four Jobs in Digital Media Strategy – Four exciting careers in digital media field are digital media communication coordinator, content marketing manager, social media coordinator and digital media strategist.

Digital media jobs are in demand. In early 2020, the field of digital media communication was predicted to add 140,000 new jobs in the US by 2026. As even more of our daily life and work has shifted online since then, the number and need for these jobs has only increased.

FAQs

The Bridgewater College MDMS program operates on a rolling admissions process.  Applications open August 1 each year and are reviewed until the cohort is filled.  It is best to submit your applications early to ensure the best opportunity to be admitted.

In addition to the college’s graduate admission requirements listed earlier in this catalog, admission to the MDMS program requires:

  • A complete online graduate application.
  • Application Fee of $50.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submission of official sealed transcript of all undergraduate and graduate course work completed.
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework with a minimum grade of C or better:
    • An undergraduate course in media writing (BC’s COMM 255W fulfills this requirement.)
    • An undergraduate course in visual design (BC’s ART 120 fulfills this requirement.)

Applicants who have not completed these undergraduate courses may submit a portfolio of professional work for the admission committee to consider in lieu of coursework. Applicants may be accepted into the program contingent on completion of coursework in progress. Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Sam Hamilton at shamilton@bridgewater.edu to discuss alternative ways to fulfill prerequisite requirements.

  • PERSONAL STATEMENT:
    • Option 1: Write an essay no longer than 700 words in which you:
      • Demonstrate you have the ability to be successful in this program
      • Demonstrate how this program will help you achieve your career goals
      • Describe specific past experiences with digital media, citing examples of you producing multimodal messages and/or learning theories about digital technology.
      • Please cite academic, news and/or web articles in your discussion as appropriate
    • Option 2: You may submit a multimodal composition instead of a written essay that satisfies the same objectives listed above.
      • Please keep in mind the piece you submit should demonstrate the same level of structured argument and specificity that a written essay would display. (including appropriate oral or written citation of sources)
  • OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: You may submit a sample of a multimodal composition to demonstrate your production skills or an undergraduate writing sample to demonstrate your academic writing skills in addition to your personal statement.
  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Three letters of recommendation should be submitted with your application. At least one letter should be from an internship supervisor, field experience supervisor or employer. At least one letter should be from an undergraduate professor. Letters may not be written by faculty serving on the Admissions Committee during the application cycle when a student applies. Please view your application as a persuasive argument about why you will succeed in the program. Choose letter writers who can speak specifically to skills and knowledge you have that fit our program objectives. Your letter writers will be contacted automatically after you enter their name and email address into the online application.
  • Current Bridgewater undergraduate students may apply for the MDMS program once they have completed 75 credits. Applicants must have completed all prerequisites with a grade of C or better in order to be admitted unconditionally to the program. Applicants who have not completed all prerequisites at the time they apply can only be admitted conditionally until prerequisites are completed (see the MDMS program catalog).
  • Admitted undergraduates (at BC or another institution) may begin taking cross-listed undergraduate/graduate electives once they are unconditionally admitted to the program. (Students enrolled at another undergraduate institution will pay the full graduate rate for all electives.)
  • All admitted applicants must complete an undergraduate degree before enrolling in core MDMS courses.

For more information about Bridgewater College’s graduate admission requirements, visit the Graduate Student Admission page.

A common degree completion path is outlined in the chart below for full-time BC students looking to complete the B.A./B.S. + M.A. in five years. However, interested students should contact the program director, Dr. Sam Hamilton (shamilton@bridgewater.edu), to discuss an individualized degree completion plan.
Spring 1 (second semester of senior year) DMS 505: Digital Writing Genres & Process (3)
Summer 1 DMS 500: Studies in Digital Media (3)
DMS 542: PR Strategies & Tactics (3)
DMS 515: Digital Media Production Strategies (3)
Fall 1 DMS 520: Multimedia Storytelling (3)
DMS 541: Consulting Strategies (3)
DMS 551: Digital Persuasion (3)
DMS 591: Master’s Project Proposal (2)
Spring 2 DMS 528: User Experience Web Design (3)
DMS 546: Digital Media Campaign Targeting and Analytics (3)
DMS 592: Master’s Project Implementation (3)
May 2 DMS 593: Master’s Project Evaluation (1)
Graduate!

A common degree completion path is outlined in the chart below for full-time students who already have undergraduate degree either from BC or another school. However, interested students should contact the program director, Dr. Sam Hamilton (shamilton@bridgewater.edu), to discuss an individualized degree completion plan.
Summer 1 DMS 500: Studies in Digital Media (3)
DMS 542: PR Strategies & Tactics (3)
DMS 515: Digital Media Production Strategies (3)
Fall 1 DMS 520: Multimedia Storytelling (3)
DMS 541: Consulting Strategies (3)
DMS 551: Digital Persuasion (3)
DMS 591: Master’s Project Proposal (2)
Spring 2 DMS 505: Digital Writing Genres & Process (3)
DMS 528: User Experience Web Design (3)
DMS 546: Digital Media Campaign Targeting and Analytics (3)
DMS 592: Master’s Project Implementation (3)
May 2 DMS 593: Master’s Project Evaluation (1)
Graduate!

A common degree completion path is outlined in the chart below for a part-time student of the program. However, interested students should contact the program director, Dr. Sam Hamilton (shamilton@bridgewater.edu), to discuss an individualized degree completion plan.
Summer 1 DMS 500: Studies in Digital Media (3)
DMS 542: PR Strategies & Tactics (3)
DMS 515: Digital Media Production Strategies (3)
Fall 1 DMS 520: Multimedia Storytelling (3)
DMS 541: Consulting Strategies (3)
Spring 2 DMS 505: User Experience Web Design (3)
DMS 528: Interactive Web Development (3)
May 2
Summer 2
Fall 2 DMS 551: Digital Persuasion (3)
DMS 591: Master’s Project Proposal (1)
Spring 2 DMS 546: Digital Media Campaign Targeting and Analytics (3)
DMS 592: Master’s Project Implementation (3)
May 2 DMS 593: Master’s Project evaluation (2)
Graduate!

Part-time students may take any number of the non-project sequence core courses during the Fall & Spring semesters of their first and second years. The project sequence courses (DMS 591, DMS 592, and DMS 593) must be taken in order during the student’s last year in the program.

The 2024-2025 tuition and fees are $640 per credit hour. The total budget for the program includes direct charges (tuition and fees) and estimated indirect costs (eg., equipment, books, travel). It is important to factor in the cost of equipment for the MDMS program. For the total budget visit Graduate Student Tuition and Fees.

Ready to learn more? Contact us!

Headshot of Dr. Sam Hamilton

Dr. Sam Hamilton

Director, Digital Media Strategy Program
540-828-5354
shamilton@bridgewater.edu

Tori Hudson

Victoria Hudson

Assistant Director for Graduate Recruitment
540-828-5375
vhudson2@bridgewater.edu