First year students do not need to separately apply for entrance into the program. The process is that you select New Media as your entering degree and you will be automatically enrolled in the required classes for your first year of study, the “Year-One” study track. If new or prospective students would like to meet with someone about New Media as a major please contact the New Media office (below) or the Chair of the program (Link here) and a meeting can be arranged.

For more information, Contact Susan Smith in the New Media Department Office.

Susan Smith
5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 426
Orono, ME 04469
(207) 581-4358





The New Media Program at the University of Maine offers an interdisciplinary course of study in the systems, technologies, history, design, and theory of information. The curriculum enables students to investigate the creative and applied processes essential to this area of study. It prepares students to be technologically capable, articulate thinkers, and creative media professionals.

Today, information is becoming fluid, continuous and instantly accessible. This has caused a shift in the ways in which we create, access, use, understand and distribute information. The advent and convergence of new ideas, technologies, and information systems has rekindled the relationship of the applied and creative arts and sciences. This renewed bond presents new collaborative opportunities for artists, scientists, communicators, and other creative thinkers. Our program provides an interdisciplinary, experiential approach to learning that emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and entrepreneurship.


All pre-portfolio students in the program share a common experience of courses in applied process and theory. After their first year, each student gathers work samples from her or his courses to date in an online portfolio that is reviewed by the faculty.

Students who pass the portfolio review continue as New Media Majors in years 2 through 4, choosing among five course sequences to develop a broad awareness of this evolving discipline.

From time to time students are brought together in core courses that explore the collaborative process. In the final year, a six-credit senior capstone course completes the BA. Here, students design and produce advanced projects ranging from online communities to mobile games to interactive installations.

Majors are required to explore more than one of five multi-level course sequences, as described below in “sequence requirements”.

  • Interaction Sequence (x42): INFORMATION & INTERACTION DESIGN
  • Narrative Sequence (x43): DIGITAL NARRATIVE
  • Time-based Sequence (x44): TIME ART AND DESIGN
  • Network Sequence (x45): NETWORKS & CREATIVITY


Overall requirements for the New Media Major are:

  • 5 pre-portfolio courses (15 credits) and portfolio acceptance.
  • 4 NMD core courses (12 credits).
  • 5 NMD sequence courses (9 credits at 34x and 6 at 44x).
  • 2 NMD elective courses (6 credits; see list)

Subtotal credits for Major: 48

Subtotal credits outside Major: 72

Total credits to graduate: 48 + 72 = 120


First Year Requirements:

  • NMD 100 Introduction to New Media
  • NMD 102 Fundamentals of Information Systems
  • NMD 104 Design Basics for New Media, [GE credit]
  • NMD 150/160 Scripting for New Media
  • NMD 200 New Media Strategies


Majors must take a minimum of three 300- and two 300-level sequence courses from the following list:9 req. – Choose 3 of the following:
NMD 341 Digital Reporting 1
NMD 342 Internet tech/ Interactivity
NMD 343 Digital Narrative I
NMD 344 Design Synectics
NMD 345 Networks & Creativity I

6 req. – Choose 2 of the following>
NMD 441 Digital Reporting II
NMD 442 Interactive Technologies
NMD 443 Digital Narrative II
NMD 444 Explorations in Time-Based Design
NMD 445 Networks & Creativity II


NMD ELECTIVES: (does not include all NMD electives; a minimum of 6 credits required)3NMD 250 Digital Music [GE]
3NMD 270 Digital Art I [GE]
3NMD 295 Digital Publication Design
3NMD 295 Recording Arts
3NMD 344 Year in Film I
3NMD 370 Digital Art II-A, Modeling, Animation [GE]
3NMD 371 Digital Art II-B, Video [GE]
3NMD 372 Digital Art II-C, Interactivity [GE]
3NMD 398 Topics in New Media
3NMD 430 Topics in New Media
3NMD 444 Year in Film II


Experimental Film

The New Media Department sponsors an active Film Minor that draws collaborators from several departments. The foundation course Year in Film teaches students a range of techniques and formal considerations through direct experience writing scripts and behind the camera. Upper-level New Media majors play a more directorial role in film production and often go on to present their work in film festivals.

Game Design

Now that the market for electronic games has surpassed that of the movie industry, it is all the more critical to understand the appeal of this new form of storytelling as well as the ideologies hidden or overt in commercial games.

Still Water co-director Joline Blais’s research takes a hard look at the dangers inherent in this addictive medium, but also explores its potential by envisioning games that go beyond the shoot-em-up model to investigate alternative forms of conflict resolution.

Genre-breaking game designs that UMaine students are developing in conjunction with this research include Breakdown, whose protagonist is a five-year-old girl with the capacity to remake the world, and Eagle and Condor, a conflict resolution game based on an ancient Hopi prophecy.

Interactive Education

The New Media Department takes the view that the future of education may be very different from the way universities work today. Apart from encouraging curricular innovations such as collaborative test-taking and interclass collaboration, the department’s research arms have explored interactive education beyond default applications like PowerPoint, which offer limited interactivity at best. The Still Water team developed The Pool as an online mechanism for sharing art, code, and text. ASAP’s numerous interactive educational systems include X-Power, a collaboration between U-Me, the University of Hawaii, and the Department of Defense Educational Activity for developing a CD-web synchronous distance learning Algebra I course; and 100 Years of Bangor History, a conceptual analysis for integrating interactive technology into the Bangor Museum Permanent Exhibit.

Internet Art

Art made for the Internet, known variously as online, Internet, or net art, has matured at the same breakneck pace with which digital technology itself has expanded. Less than a decade after the introduction of the first image-capable browser for the World Wide Web, online art has become a major movement with a global audience and has spawned countless critical discussions on e-mail-based communities such as the Thing, Nettime, 7-11, and Encouraged by a growing excitement over the Internet as a social and economic phenomenon, proliferating news articles and museum exhibitions have brought online art to the forefront of the discussion of art’s future in the twenty-first century. Apart from the department’s courses in Net Art and Web development, Still Water has organized conferences with many of the most respected Internet artists and curators of our time, from individuals like Christiane Paul, John Klima, and Alex Galloway to collectives like, MTAA and

Network Studies

The battle lines between network and hierarchic culture are drawn across much of today’s technological landscape–from the crackdown on filesharing networks, to the surge in open software development, to military attempts to defeat terrorism with an “army of one.”

In all of these clashes, Still Water researchers see their role as demonstrating how networks can help us learn, create, and even survive. Networks are here to stay. We can resist them in vain, or we can embrace them, adapting them to constructive purposes like building communities or waging politics.

Networks are proliferating and evolving so quickly in contemporary culture that it is difficult even to list their many mutations–instant messaging, blogs, wikis, mobile-phone texting, social networks, trust metrics, broadcatching. Still Water researchers investigate these forms not by conducting controlled experiments in a laboratory, but by introducing experimental ideas and applications into the uncontrolled wilderness of today’s new media ecosystem.

Open Software

Open software is an important focus of research for UMaine’s research group Still Water for network art and culture.

The success of free and open computer applications such as Apache, Gnu/Linux, and Firefox proves that economies outside the capitalist model are not merely possible but also extraordinarily productive.

Still Water co-director Jon Ippolito investigates open software both as a theoretical paradigm and as a practical method for building applications.

Still Water projects frequently run on PHP, MySQL, and other open server languages, but Ippolito is especially interested in hybrid client-side techniques such as DHTML, object-oriented JavaScript, and remote scripting.


One of the New Media Department’s sequences focuses on documentary photography, sound, and video. Bill Kuykendall, the professor who oversees that sequence, has decades of experience as a professional photojournalist. See courses in the x01 sequence for more information.