Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The Master of Liberal Arts, Digital Media Design degree field consists of 12 courses, 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

Search Digital Media Courses

Admissions: Earn Your Way In

To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two, graduate-level degree courses:

  • 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 need to possess a four-year, regionally accredited US bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent. You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master's degree in digital media design or related field.

Applying to the Degree Program

During the semester of your second degree course, submit the official application to the program. Don't delay! We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.

If you submit a complete and timely application—which includes the two required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you'll have 10 more courses to take to earn the degree.

A complete application also requires 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 and the application process, visit Admissions.

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, typically in one, three-week course. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School. 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.

Capstone Preparation

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.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts 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.