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California State University, East Bay

Multimedia Graduate Program

Hayward, CA


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California State University, East Bay


Master's Degree in Multimedia

The Master or Arts (MA) in Multimedia with a Concentration in Interaction Design is a unique interdisciplinary program that focuses on creating interactive applications and objects as part of a designed user experience. It emphasizes the creative and technical aspects of current and emerging technologies and their use in creating, controlling, delivering, and presenting compelling content in an interactive form. Plus, it draws from elements in a number of fields including art, computer science, journalism, psychology, and telecommunications.

In addition to a focus on Interaction Design (IxD), the master's degree in Multimedia draws heavily from User Experience (UX) and Human Centered Design (HCD) as well as design thinking strategies used to create interactive applications and objects as part of a designed user experience. Key program features include the following:

- Access to student research grants and mentorship
- An artists studio and fabrication spaces
- An engaged faculty
- Contemporary art and theory
- Courses in emerging methods

Multimedia is a STEM field, which means it integrates elements of four disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This designation makes it possible for international students (with F-1 status) to apply for the 24-month Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT). The program allows students who've completed their degrees to obtain practical training through jobs that directly pertain to their fields of study. 

Multimedia Curriculum Requirements

The MA in Multimedia with a Concentration in Interaction Design consists of a minimum of 52 units of coursework. Most students choose to complete more than the minimum courses, which are divided into five categories:

- Technical Preparation: 12 units
- Project Preparation: 12 Units
- Thesis Project: 16 units
- Multimedia Forum: 4 units
- Electives: 8 units

Teamwork and Project-Oriented Goals

The MA in Multimedia with a Concentration in Interaction Design program embraces industry skills and practices by emphasizing teamwork and project-oriented goals. Students learn the skills needed to adapt quickly to new environments - a valuable asset for any profession. Because multimedia is a rapidly developing and rapidly changing field, the program focuses as much on the enduring creative process as on the transient technology.

The Multimedia master's is a two-year degree program. Most coursework is offered in the evening. During the first year, students develop a theoretical foundation in multimedia technology, enhance their creative skills, and learn to work effectively in teams. During the second year, small teams of students with various backgrounds and talents create innovative, professional-quality interactive multimedia projects. Ideas for group projects can originate from students, faculty, or external sources. Many of CSU Eastbay's student projects have won national and international awards.

Benefits of the CSU Eastbay Graduate Program

Students in the Multimedia graduate program enjoy a number of benefits including small student-teacher ratios and a dedicated interdisciplinary faculty. Thesis project students have 24-hour access to their own professional-quality multimedia production studio. These facilities are well equipped and maintained with the latest technology. Students can use the full maker space with a 60 watt laser cutter, many 3d printers, and CNC milling machines. They have access to the bronze foundry, a full metal shop, and a wood shop.

Participation in events like Game Jams and Hackathons enables students to gain hands-on experience; strengthens their team building skills; and provides networking opportunities with fellow students, faculty members, and industry professionals. Students also participate in faculty-led research initiatives including collaborations with other disciplines that enhance their theoretical education and provide research experience.

Career Opportunities

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the epicenter of the interactive digital media industry and technological innovation, the Multimedia graduate program prepares students for successful careers across multiple growing industries.

Interaction Designers create meaningful relationships between people and their interactive digital products, environments, systems, or services. Creative Technologists are both strategists and innovators - technology-focused individuals integrated into a creative team. They are integrators who blur the lines between technology and the creative to create new ways of telling stories using technology.

Multimedia MA Graduates are skilled team members - innovators with a high degree of expertise in interactive content development. They are at home in film and video studios, graphic and exhibition design studios, production and post-production houses, publishing companies, training and communication groups, scientific visualization teams, support teams for educational institutions and business presentations, and advertising agencies and news outlets. They work as Interaction Designers, Creative Technologists, Entrepreneurs, and User Interface (UI) Designers in top companies like Google, General Electric, Facebook as well as a host of smaller, lean startups.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Arts (MA)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 11

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Multimedia project or thesis


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline May 15th May 15th No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 2.5; resume; 2 letters of recommendation; multimedia portfolio; statement of purpose

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards March 2
Types of financial support available Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 17.65%
Black or African American 11.76%
White or Caucasian 29%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 11.76%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown Not Reported


Male (52%)
Female (47%)

Location & Contact

Address 25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA  94542-3000
United States
Contact Ian Pollock
Phone: 510-885-2427