UNCW Announces New Program in Digital Arts

Monday, May 22, 2017

A new UNCW bachelor’s degree in digital arts will provide students with an artistic avenue into a growing technology-centered workforce, the university announced today. At its meeting on May 19, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved the innovative program, expected to launch in the fall of 2017. It will be the 55th baccalaureate degree offered at UNCW.

“UNCW continues to expand academic programming to fit both student interests and workforce trends,” said Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. “This new degree will position students to excel in burgeoning career fields that require professionals with artistic vision and technical savvy to succeed in a knowledge-based economy.”

With the purpose of producing well-rounded and adaptable experts, the bachelor’s program will train students extensively in all facets of digital art through integrated coursework like calculus, creative writing, information technology, programming and design. Graduates will be prepared for careers as web developers, graphic designers, game artists and mobile developers, among other professional opportunities. 

The UNCW Department of Computer Science and the Department of Art and Art History developed the program in concert, with the hopes of expanding the arts into new areas of the university and enriching inclusion, diversity, instruction and interdepartmental collaboration.

“Our new joint major is different than others in the state,” said Laurie Patterson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Over the past couple of years, I have been inundated with students asking about the prospect of a digital arts major. The program has been a long time coming.”

The university currently offers a minor in digital arts, but the new bachelor’s program will provide increased opportunities for post-graduate career placement, a priority identified in UNCW’s Strategic Plan. Students completing this degree will receive in-depth training in both the technical and aesthetic elements of the digital design and production process, better equipping them to compete for today’s highly collaborative jobs.

-- Christina Schechtman