Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

New master’s degree to be offered in digital entertainment

NEWS

FAU’s newest degree combines art and engineering.

A master of fine arts in media, technology and entertainment was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) — FAU’s 13 highest-ranking decision-makers — on Dec. 15.

The degree, expected to begin in the fall of 2011, will be jointly offered by the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The required courses will be taught by faculty from the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies as well as faculty from the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, according to a report presented by Diane Alperin at the Dec. 15 BOT meeting.

“This degree is brought to you from both those programs,” said the associate provost, “and that’s what makes this degree so unusual.”

The intensive program will take at least two years to complete, as it requires 52 credits plus a six-credit thesis, Alperin’s report said. It targets students who want to go into the growing digital entertainment field, which includes areas like film and video production, video gaming, web-based interactive media, and mobile media.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for multimedia artists and animators is projected to increase by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018. Jobs for computer software engineers are projected to increase by 32 percent.

The University of Florida and the University of Central Florida offer similar programs, but only in connection with outside companies like Disney and Universal Pictures, which means FAU’s degree will be the only one of its kind in the state.

“The difference between the UCF and UF programs and the one proposed at FAU is that we do not wish to prepare our graduates to fit into existing media companies,” Alperin’s report read. “We want them to invent new applications that can be tried out at FAU and can be capitalized and become new business ventures in South Florida.”

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