UNCW to offer digital arts major

UNCW to offer digital arts major

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNCW students interested in getting into a burgeoning field will be able to obtain a degree focused on that type of work in the not too distant future.

The university announced Monday that it will offer a bachelor's degree in digital arts. At its meeting on May 19, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved the program, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2017.

It will be the 55th baccalaureate degree offered at UNCW and will provide students with an artistic avenue into a growing technology-centered workforce.

"UNCW continues to expand academic programming to fit both student interests and workforce trends," UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli said. "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."

Students majoring in digital arts will learn all facets of the field through integrated coursework like calculus, creative writing, information technology, programming and design. Jobs suited for digital arts graduates include web development, graphic design, game design and mobile development.

The UNCW Department of Computer Science and the Department of Art and Art History developed the program 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 students, including expanded career paths and more specialized experiences. Students completing this degree will receive in-depth training in both technical and aesthetic elements of the digital design and production process.

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