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Digital Media

The College of Design’s undergraduate minor in Digital Media is intended to familiarize students with the use of digital media in the design process. This minor is open to all undergraduate students at Iowa State University. It covers the knowledge and techniques necessary to generate digital representations for a wide variety of disciplines.


This minor requires at least 15 credits of coursework. Students are required to complete three (3) credits of fundamental courses at the 200 level, and then at least nine (9) credits of elective courses at the 300 level or above. At least nine (9) credits must not be used to meet any other college or university requirements except the credit requirement for graduation.

College of Design Majors & Non-Design Majors

Because this is a multidisciplinary minor, with courses provided from all departments in the College of Design, some fundamental and elective courses may be limited to their respective majors or have limited or no space available to outside majors. Most courses have prerequisites, but some of those are also listed courses that are part of the minor.

Therefore, to aid in selection, the Fundamental courses are divided into two categories: College of Design majors, and courses that are open to all majors. The Elective courses are divided into courses with prerequisites, courses with no prerequisites, and courses restricted by major. However, it should be understood that any student, from any major, can still use any of the courses listed below if they are able to complete the prerequisites and/or get into a course through permission of instructor.

Any student can contact course instructors and ask to be admitted via permission of instructor, usually done through an add slip. We cannot guarantee that courses will have room or that course instructors will sign add slips.

Fundamental Courses (Choose 3–6 credits)

College of Design Majors
(courses may be restricted to their respective majors)

  • ARCH 230: Design Communications (3 credits)
  • ARTGR 272: Digital Photography for Graphic Design (3 credits).
    Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in ARTGR 270 or 271
  • ARTIS 227: Introduction to Creative Digital Photography (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DSN S 102, DSN S 131 and DSN S 183 or by instructor permission
  • ARTID 263: Graphic Communication for Interior Design II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: ARTID 261: Graphic Communication for Interior Design I

Open to All Majors

  • DSN S 232: Design Communications (3 credits)
  • ARTIS 212: Studio Fundamentals: Computers (2 credits)
  • CRP 251: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • LA 211: Digital Design Methods for Landscape Architecture (3 credits)

Elective Courses (Choose 9–12 credits)

Courses with prerequisites:

  • ARCH 330X: Advanced Design Representation (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 230
  • ARCH 432: Advanced Computer Lighting and Rendering (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 230 and ARCH 301
  • ARCH 433: File to Fabrication (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 230 and ARCH 301
  • ARCH 434: Computer-aided Architectural and Environmental Design (3 Credits); Prereq: ARCH 334 or by instructor permission
  • ARCH 436: Advanced Design Media (3 credits); Prereq: ARCH 230
  • ARCH 437: Architectural Photography (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 202: Architectural Design II
  • ARCH 439/539: Computational Design Theory (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 221, ARCH 222 or senior classification or graduate standing
  • ARCH 534: Topics in Computer-aided Architectural Design (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARCH 434 or by instructor permission
  • ARTIS 308: Modeling, Rendering & Virtual Photography (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARTIS 230 Drawing II
  • ARTIS 407/507: Principles of 3D Character Animation (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARTIS 308
  • ARTIS 408/508: Principles of 3D Animation (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARTIS 308
  • ARTIS 448/548: Digital Textile Design (3 credits)
    Prereq: Junior classification in either College of Design or Apparel, Merchandising & Design
  • ARTIS 473/573: Video Art (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARTIS 212 or by instructor permission or graduate standing
  • ARTIS 475/575: Interactive Art (3 credits)
    Prereq: ARTIS 212 or by instructor permission or graduate standing
  • CRP 351: Intermediate Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
    Prereq: CRP 251
  • CRP 452/552: Geographic Data Management and Planning Analysis
    (3 Credits); Prereq: CRP 451
  • CRP 454/554: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing (3 credits)
    Prereq: CRP 351 or equivalent
  • CRP 456/556: GIS Programming and Automation (3 credits)
    Prereq: CRP 351 or CRP 551 or NREM 345 or NREM 546 or GEOL 552
  • INDD 341: Computer Aided Industrial Design I (3 credits)
    Prereq: INDD 301
  • INDD 541: Computer Aided Industrial Design (3 credits)
    Prereq: Completion of industrial design studio or instructor permission
  • LA 458/558: Web Mapping/GIS (3 credits)
    Prereq: CRP 451/551, LA 302, GEOL 452/552 or instructor permission
  • LA 457/557: Landscape Parametrics and Design Coding (4 credits)
    Prereq: LA 202 or equivalent studio in another design major, or senior or graduate classification
  • DSN S 332: Multi-Dimensional Digital Design Communication
    (3 credits); Prereq: ARCH 230, ARTGR 275, DSN S 232, or instructor permission
  • DSN S 333: Time-Based Digital Media (3 credits)
    Prereq: DSN S 232 or equivalent

Courses with no prerequisites:

  • ARCH 334: Computer Applications in Architecture (3 credits)

Courses restricted by major:

  • ARTGR 463/563: 3D Motion Graphics (3 credits); Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in ARTGR 370, ARTGR 371 or ARTGR 470
  • ARTGR 464: Digital Imaging (3 credits); Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in ARTGR 370, ARTGR 371 or ARTGR 470
  • ARTGr 473/573: Multimedia Design (3 credits)
    Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in ARTGR 370, 371 or 470
  • ARTGr 484/584: Selected Studies in Graphic Design (3 credits)
    Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in ARTGR 370, ARTGR 371 or ARTGR 470

Example Coursework for Non-Design Majors

Even though many courses have prerequisites, some of those are also part of the minor. Here is an example of what a non-design major might take:

  • CRP 251
  • CRP 351
  • DSN S 232
  • DSN S 332
  • DSN S 333

How to Apply for the Digital Media Minor

If you are interested in registering for the Digital Media minor, print and fill out Step 1 of the minor form, which includes the classes you plan to take, your signature and the date. Step 2 requires a signature and date from the Digital Media minor program coordinator, Pete Evans, Step 3 requires a signature and date from your adviser.

After completing Steps 1–3, hand the form in to your college’s student services. You can cancel the minor with the same form.


For more information, contact:

Pete Evans, assistant professor, industrial design

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