What Schools Offer Multimedia Degrees in Chicago, Illinois?

Learn about multimedia degree programs in the Chicago area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Students looking into multimedia programs in the Chicago area can find degrees in a wide variety of relevant subjects offered at a number of schools, four of which are profiled here. Use this article to compare program length, potential portfolio requirements and tuition for the programs covered below.

Essential Information

Multimedia is a very broad field, and students can study its principles in a range of different degree programs. For example, community colleges offer associate's degree programs in fields related to multimedia, such as digital media, graphic design and web development. Private and public 4-year universities offer degree programs in multimedia that might award graduates with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. These schools often allow students to choose a multimedia focus, such as fine arts or computer graphics. Graduate degree programs are also available for students who already have a bachelor's degree and who are interested in refining their skills in an area of the multimedia field. These programs often require the completion of a portfolio.

Multimedia Associate Degree Programs in Chicago, IL

College of Lake County

College of Lake County, located in Chicago's northern suburb of Grayslake, offers multimedia associate programs in digital media and design and digital A/V production and editing. The digital media and design program's animation specialty focuses on drawing, video editing, 2D and 3D animation, 3D modeling, special effects and digital sound. While the program's graphic design specialty focuses on electronic publishing, typography, web design and color, the web development and interactive design specialty includes a mix of graphic design, animation and web design courses. Both the graphic design and web development and interactive design specialties provide opportunities to participate in a practicum or cooperative work experience. Additionally, you can complete an Associate of Applied Science in Digital A/V Production and Editing program, which explores concepts in animation.

  • Program Name: Associate in Applied Science in Digital Media and Design
  • Specialization Areas: Animation, graphic design, web development and interactive design
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $3,612 per year in-district, $8,358 per year in-state, $11,046 per year out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Secondary school reference for students under 18 or in high school, letter of recommendation for students under 16
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 15,410 students (all undergraduate)

Multimedia Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago, IL

Calumet College of St. Joseph

Located in an Indiana town southeast of Chicago, this Catholic college offers a media arts concentration in its media and fine arts bachelor's degree program. The program includes coursework in art history and mass media, along with a design workshop. Concentration courses include video production and editing, cinema, animation, multimedia and computer graphics, and you can choose from other courses in drawing, photography, public relations and writing. In addition to building a portfolio during the program, you will also complete an integrated project and participate in an internship.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Media and Fine Arts
  • Specialization Area: Media arts
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $17,000 per year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 1,072 students (907 undergraduate)

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College has a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers interactive arts and media programs that include internship opportunities. The BA program is suitable for those interested in programming or interactive design, and it offers courses in digital image design, web programming, animation, C++ programming, game design and sound. The BFA program requires that you already have a portfolio of work and offers courses in 2D imaging, robotics, interactive media, story development and programming. While both the BA and BFA programs require a team-based capstone project, the BFA also requires a practicum.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Arts and Media
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $24,344 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: 60 credit hours with B average for BFA admission
  • Admission Requirements: Essay, letter of recommendation, web-based portfolio (for BFA only), artist statement or statement of intent (for BFA only)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 9,440 students (9,003 undergraduate)

DePaul University

DePaul's computer graphics and motion technology program focuses on graphics creation, but also covers 3D animation and modeling, human-computer interaction and computer programming. While the technical designer specialization focuses more on visual aspects, the developer specialization focuses on graphics software development and requires more courses in mathematics and programming languages.

The BS and BA in Animation programs focus on 3D and hand-drawn animation. The BA program provides a wider liberal arts background, and the BS program allows you to specialize in creating art for videos games or digital characters for the cinema. In addition to specialization courses, both animation programs include courses in storyboarding, figure drawing, 3D design and animation history. You will also complete a senior animation project in both programs.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics and Motion Technology, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Animation
  • Specialization Areas: Technical designer, developer, cinema, game art
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition & Fees: $36,361 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: English proficiency test scores for international students
  • Admission Requirements: High school counselor recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 23,799 students (16,153 undergraduate)

Multimedia Master's Degree Programs in Chicago, IL

DePaul University

DePaul's graduate animation programs are designed for students with a bachelor's degree in graphic design, art, animation, game development or a related field. The MA program with an animator specialization focuses on creating 3D characters, modeling and animation, as well as features courses in visual storytelling, animation mechanics and animation techniques. The program has electives that may include motion capture, 3D scripting and 3D rigging. The MA program with a technical artist concentration prepares you to both create and troubleshoot 3D animations, and it includes courses in 3D scripting, visual design, pipelining, effects, modeling, rigging and animation. The MFA program can prepare you to both create films and teach courses in the field. While both the MA and MFA programs require the creation of an animated short film, the MFA program also requires a thesis.

  • Program Name: Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Animation
  • Specialization Areas: Animator, technical artist
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $18,330 per year (2015-2016 graduate rate)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree with 2.5 GPA, English proficiency test for international students, prerequisite animation and 3D design courses before graduate-level coursework
  • Admission Requirements: Submission of reel or portfolio of work including information sheet, letters of recommendation, statement of creative purpose and description of possible animation project additionally required for MFA applicants
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 23,799 students (16,153 undergraduate)

In short, an associate's degree in multimedia can be found at the College of Lake County, bachelor's degree programs can be studied at Calumet College of St. Joseph, Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University, and a master's degree program in the field is available at DePaul University.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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