The Design Media Arts (DMA) undergraduate program emphasizes innovative creation with digital and mass media within the context of a public research university. The curriculum features a solid foundation in form, color, space, motion, typography, and interactivity, followed by a broad selection of area studies courses in video, visual communication, network media, game design, and narrative. The program culminates with the Senior Projects classes where each student defines their own senior project based on individual interests within the areas of interactivity and games, video and animation, and visual communication and image.
This uniquely challenging and diverse program invites students to balance aesthetic sensibility with logical reasoning, formal theories with practical application, and contemporary thought with historical perspective. Most courses are taught as studios of no more than 22 students, which encourages individual growth and fosters a sense of community within the department.
Rather than focusing on narrow professional development, our curriculum fosters experimentation across a range of different media. We privilege a social outlook, process, experimentation, and personal growth over conservatism and commercialism and we search for students who share the same goals. We strive to provide a broad education that encourages young people to make new connections, to analyze complex situations, and to think critically.
The undergraduate curriculum begins with a series of foundational courses in preparation for the major, and moves into core upper-division classes which comprise the major itself.
Preparation for the Major
- 8Media Histories
- 10Design Culture
- 21Drawing and Color
Core Lecture Courses
- 101Media Arts Introduction
- 104Design Futures
Core Studio Courses (choose 6)
- 152Tangible Media
- 154Word + Image
- 1563D Modeling and Motion
- 157Game Design
- 161Network Media
- 155Interactive Animation
- 158Game Engine
- 160Special Topics in Design Media Arts
- 172Topics in Video and Animation
- 173Topics in Visual Communication and Image
- 171Topics in Interactivity and Games
- 159Capstone Senior Project in Design Media Arts
In addition to classes taken within the DMA department, students complete a series of general education courses and are encouraged to take other electives from the university to broaden their experience. A complete list of all DMA classes with descriptions is available in the UCLA General Catalog and individual class websites can be found on the DMA Classes website.
The Department of Design Media Arts accepts first year and transfer applications for Fall quarter only. Each applicant must complete the University of California Application and the DMA Undergraduate Supplemental Application, including a creative portfolio.
WHO CAN APPLY?
- High school graduates
- Students transferring from California community colleges or other accredited universities
How do I apply?
Admission to the Department of Design Media Arts is a two-step process.
Students must complete the University of California Application. The University of California uses a single online application for all nine undergraduate campuses. The UC application opens August 1, and the regular filing period is October 1 - November 30. Please note that only applicants who indicate Design Media Arts as their first choice major to UCLA on the general application are considered for admission to the Design Media Arts.
All applicants for the Design Media Arts major must also complete the DMA Undergraduate Supplemental Application. The DMA Undergraduate Supplemental Application Worksheet, which includes detailed information about the portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio using SlideRoom, can be found in the Important Documents section below.
Applicants must select DESIGN|MEDIA ARTS as their first choice major to UCLA in order to be eligible for the departmental review.
Your supplemental application must be submitted by DECEMBER 15, 2023 (11:59pm PST).
The Department of Design Media Arts emphasizes visual, audio, analytical theoretical, and technology-mediated work in design and media arts. This is a three-year program that fully integrates computers and other digital technology into the curriculum. While some students can graduate in less than three years, the majority of transfer students do take the full three years to complete their coursework.
Design Media Arts will consider sophomore transfers. For more information about admission criteria for sophomore transfers, please visit https://arts.ucla.edu/resource/prospective-students/.
Admission to the Design Media Arts major is based on evidence of creative talent and academic achievement and is very competitive. The most important admission criteria is the supplemental application which requires a portfolio of creative work. While it may be beneficial to complete the courses listed below as recommended preparation, there is no guarantee they will transfer as exact UCLA equivalents. Substitutions for lower division requirements will be determined by the department in the summer following admission. Syllabi or other descriptive course documentation may be required for consideration.
Recommended (not required) preparation for the major: one course each in drawing, color theory, two-dimensional and three dimensional form, digital media computer design, programming for media arts, letter forms and typography, design culture, and interactivity and media arts, and two courses in design history.
The department has prepared a help document for Transfer Students, to assistant in identifying relevant coursework.
Non-UCLA students may also take DMA preparation for the major courses here at UCLA during Summer Sessions: https://summer.ucla.edu/.
Change of Major
THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR CHANGE OF MAJOR TO DESIGN MEDIA ARTS IS MONDAY, NOV 6, 2023. THOSE WHO DO NOT REGISTER BY THE DEADLINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR THE DMA CHANGE OF MAJOR. Register HERE.
Change of major applications will be considered only for current UCLA students who have successfully completed at least one quarter at UCLA and are in good academic standing. The number of accepted applicants is based on the current total enrollment of undergraduates in the department. If there is no additional enrollment space for a specific year, change of major applications will not be considered. The next application date will be for consideration of admission for the Spring Quarter 2024. Students may not apply for admission to Design Media Arts more than two times during their residency at UCLA. Previous coursework in Design Media Arts does not guarantee admission, but DESMA 8 and 10 are highly recommended.
The Department prefers that students have fewer than 90 units at the time of application to ensure a normal degree completion time. Students with more than 121 units (excluding AP and Design Media Arts courses) will not be considered. The supplemental application is considered most heavily in the admission process and will be reviewed by the senate faculty of the Department.
Students who would like to change their major to add Design Media Arts as a major must attend a mandatory information sessions on one of the dates listed below. Please register through link on the date you will be attending. Info sessions are held in Fall quarter only and will be held on Zoom.
Fall 2023 Design Media Arts Change of Major Information Sessions:
Wednesday, October 11, 12:00-12:45pm
Thursday, October 19, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, October 27, 12:00-12:45pm
Tuesday, October 31, 12:00-12:45pm
When you are ready to apply, please use this link. Design Media Arts uses SlideRoom to collect Change of Major application materials. If you do not have a SlideRoom account, you will be prompted to sign up for one for free. There are no costs associated with applying for a Change of Major.
ESSENTIAL DATES FOR NEW STUDENTS
- UC General Undergraduate Application due
- DMA Undergraduate Supplemental Application due
ESSENTIAL DATES FOR CHANGE OF MAJOR
- Register for Change of Major (use Google Form link above)
- DMA Change of Major Application Due