The Master of Liberal Arts, Digital Media Design degree field consists of 12 courses (48 credits), one of which is required on campus. Weekend options available.
12 Graduate Courses
- 2 Computational design courses
- 2 Animation, film, or virtual reality courses
- 1 Emerging media and technology course
- 1 Instructional design course
- 2 Design and application development for the web courses
- 3 Electives
- EXPO 34 is an elective option
- Precapstone tutorial (noncredit)
- The final capstone
You enroll in the precapstone and capstone courses in back-to-back semesters and in your final academic year.
Admissions: Earn Your Way In
To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two, graduate-level degree courses (available online):
- 1 computation design course
- 1 animation, film, or virtual reality or design and application development for the web course
The two courses don't need to be taken in a particular order or in the same semester, but each course must be completed with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0.
Eligibility: Before you enroll in any degree-applicable courses, you must possess a four-year regionally accredited US bachelor's degree. You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master's degree in Digital Media Design or a related field. Foreign bachelor’s degrees must be evaluated, and the Admissions Office makes final determinations about eligibility. Refer to Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.
Applying to the Degree Program
During the semester of your second degree course, submit the official application to the program. Don't delay! It is critical to your successful admission and degree completion to prioritize the two degree courses for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.
If you submit a complete and timely application, you will be admitted, after which you’ll have 10 more courses to take to earn the degree. A complete application includes required Harvard courses, grades, cumulative GPA and a passing score on our online test of critical reading and writing skills or completion of the program elective EXPO 34 Business Rhetoric with a grade of B or higher. Tip: Take the test right away, in your first semester at Harvard.
For more details about eligibility, the application process, and the delayed application fee, visit Admissions.
The Harvard On-Campus Experience
Many courses can be taken online, but the degree requires a Harvard campus experience. You come to Cambridge for at least one course (4 credits), which offers you in-person access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community.
On-campus course requirements can be completed through:
- 15-week fall or spring semester course that meets only on campus. Course with the format "on campus or online" do not fulfill this requirement.
- Courses that combines weekly online classes over a semester with an intensive weekend on campus.
- Three-week January session courses that meet only on campus.
- Three- or seven-week summer courses that meet only on campus.
Accelerated on-campus path: typically one or two intensive weekends on campus.
International Students Who Need a Student Visa
To meet the on-campus requirement, you study with us in the summer. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School's three- or seven-week sessions. For more details, see the important visa information on the International Student Study Options page.
To Complete Your Degree
Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher
Earn a B or higher in each of the two degree courses and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. You are allowed to receive two withdrawal (WD) grades without them affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.
Your capstone will have a main focus on (1) web and mobile applications (2) animation, film, or virtual reality, (3) instructional design, or (4) emerging media and technology. Whatever focus you choose, you must have at least two courses completed in that area of interest before enrolling in the precapstone tutorial.
Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years
You have five years to complete your degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any two degree-applicable courses, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to a degree program. Moreover, courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.
Potential degree candidates must plan accordingly and submit their applications to comply with the five-year course expiration policy or they risk losing degree credit for completed course work. Additionally, admission eligibility will be jeopardized if, at the point of application to the program, the five-year degree completion policy cannot be satisfied.
Graduate with Your Harvard Degree
When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Digital Media Design. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May, with the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May.
Degree Guidelines & Policies
For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.