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, can be found in the Important Documents section below.
The supplemental application is only available after submitting the general UC application with DMA selected as the major.
The DMA Supplemental Application submit window is NOVEMBER 15 - December 15. On November 15, all applicants who have completed the UC Undergraduate Application and selected Design Media Arts as their first choice major may access their department supplemental application at https://supplemental.arts.ucla.edu. To log in, you will need your UC Application ID. Please note that the UC application can often take up to 10 business days to process, especially if you are submitting close to November 30, so please plan accordingly in order to meet the DMA's supplemental application deadline of December 15.
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 SUBMIT YOUR UCLA UNDERGRADUATE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF MAJOR TO DESIGN MEDIA ARTS (email to DMA Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org) IS MONDAY NOV 7, 2022
THOSE WHO DO NOT SUBMIT A PETITION BY THE DEADLINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR THE DMA CHANGE OF MAJOR.
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 2023. The Supplemental Application will open November 15. Supplemental Applications must be submitted online no later than December 15 at 11:59 pm Pacific. 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. More information on the change of major process and the portfolio requirements can be found in the Change of Major Supplemental Application Worksheet available in the Important Documents section below.
Students who would like to change their major to add Design Media Arts as a major must attend a mandatory information session on October 5, 20, 28, or 31, 2022. Info sessions are held in Fall quarter only and will be held on Zoom. Students can RSVP for the Change of Major Info Sessions here.
ESSENTIAL DATES FOR NEW STUDENTS
- UC General Undergraduate Application due
- DMA Undergraduate Supplemental Application due
ESSENTIAL DATES FOR CHANGE OF MAJOR
- Change of Major Petition Due to Helen Tran
- DMA Supplemental Application Due