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Bachelor of Science in Digital Narrative and Interactive Design

The Digital Narrative and Interactive Design (DNID) major harnesses the narrative, world-building, and media studies strengths of the English department and the coding, software development, and human computer interface strengths of the School of Computing and Information. Students will learn how to build interactive narrative systems such as games, interactive literature, virtual reality environments and other interactive media experiences in a variety of fields. This major is operated jointly by the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (DSAS) and the School of Computing and Information (SCI). It offers training that builds a solid foundation in English (Writing, Composition, Film and Media Studies, and Literature), Computer Science, and Information Science.

View a PDF version of the degree requirements for this major.

Required Courses


Electives/Available Tracks

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) may require prerequisite courses. Students should check with their advisors.

The Critical Making track focuses on understanding code as creative and expressive of social relationships. The coursework addresses human interfaces within cultural and social contexts, particularly the historical and contemporary relationship between social interaction and platform design. Students will innovate new forms of human-machine interaction, apply or develop new tools to analyze cultural works (texts, images, moving images, etc.), express code in the creation and functioning of material objects or assemblages (haptic feedback systems, robotics, etc.), and analyze ways that gender, race, and other social categories and assumptions are “hard-coded” into both hardware and software.

The Game Design track focuses on situating game production, advertising, and playing into current and historical social and cultural contexts. Coursework analyzes and evaluates the relationship between narrative and gameplay, and articulates critical facets of game design such as gameplay mechanics, balance, fairness, narrative, pacing, character, and aesthetics. Students will analyze both the narrative and design implementation challenges of game design and propose strategies for meeting those challenges, particularly in the case of social, medical, environmental, and educational problems (serious games).

The Online Media track skills will range from developing digital format narrative to communicate on behalf of organizations (for-profit or non-profit) and innovating online interactions to creating and critically analyzing content and data across the variety of specific digital formats. Students completing this track will be able to design distribution vectors for digital content, propose solutions to design and implementation challenges, and ultimately design media-rich web and mobile app content and implement their use.


Admissions Information

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Tuition and Fees

Information regarding tuition rates, fees, and financial aid can be found on the University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (OAFA) Web site.