Study Media Arts at the University of Montana
Prepare for a creative career in digital media with a bachelor’s degree in media arts from the University of Montana. As a media arts major, you’ll learn to maximize your creative potential through the study and artistic application of emerging digital technologies — learning from experts in gaming, internet technology, graphic arts, experience design, sound design, virtual and augmented realities, and other forms of interactive media. Recent graduates of our media arts program are working as film producers and editors, creative directors, animators, graphic designers, video game developers, and more.
In addition to being offered on UM’s main campus in Missoula, Montana, our bachelor’s degree in media arts is also available fully online.
projected growth in the media and technology occupations from 2020 to 2030
of School of Visual and Media Arts graduates say their current job is creative, fits their values and interests, and contributes to the greater good
Missoula’s ranking among Most Arts-Vibrant Cities in the U.S.
Other degree options for media arts at UM
Bachelor of Fine Arts with track in Digital Filmmaking
Bachelor of Fine Arts with track in Digital Arts and Technology
Bachelor of Fine Arts with track in Sonic Arts
Bachelor in Media Arts with Game Design and Interactive Media Concentration
Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts
What can you do with a media arts degree?
Prepare for exciting, high-demand careers in film, advertising, graphic design, and more when you earn your degree in media arts at UM. Our program provides the knowledge and hands-on skills that will help set you apart in the job market and prepare you for long-term career success.
Media arts jobs
Media arts is a versatile degree that allows you to apply your creativity in many different forms. From graphic design jobs to film production, this program will prepare you for a wide range of career options. These are just a few:
- Creative director
- Web designer
- Film editor
- Video game developer
- Film or TV producer
- Film director
- Media manager
- Film festival director
- Sound engineer/designer
- Experience designer
- Camera operator
- Lighting technician
Media arts salary
How much can you make with a media arts major? It depends on what you want to do.
If your goal is to become an art director, the median pay is $100,890 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Web developers and digital designers earn a salary of $77,200, and the BLS reports that the average graphic design salary is $52,110.
If your passion is game design, the salary range typically falls between $51,192 and $74,797 according to Salary.com. The average salary for a user experience designer is $96,977.
Special effects artists and animators earn an average of $75,270 nationally, while lighting technicians and media communication and equipment workers make $73,460. PayScale.com reports that film and TV producers can expect to earn $70,093 on average each year.
Alumni Success Story
Six filmmakers with degrees from UM – including three with media arts alumni – were part of a crew that shot 400 hours of footage in and around Lincoln, Montana, for the 2022 feature-length movie “Ted K” about Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. For media arts alum Caelan Fisher, it was his first experience working on a feature film. He credits the connections he made as a film student at UM for being able to join the crew.
“It was my first job working in the assistant camera department and it was a wild ride,” Fisher said. “They gave me opportunities to camera operate which is pretty uncommon for someone just starting out. They actually let me shoot.”
Experiential learning in the media arts degree at UM
Produce films on-campus and across Montana. Compete nationally against gaming teams at other colleges. Take on graphic arts jobs working with design firms in Missoula and beyond. Develop game experiences, build software and create interactive content with local businesses and national companies.
Our students work across academic departments to learn their field from all angles. Film students study with journalism faculty. Sound students take classes in the School of Music. Students focusing on animation learn art fundamentals from painting and drawing professors.
As a media arts major at the University of Montana, you’ll also have countless opportunities to learn using state-of-the-art industry technologies, develop your creativity, and build your professional portfolio. You’ll also be surrounded by people from a wide range of creative backgrounds who are working to cultivate unique, dynamic artistic practices and create innovative work of lasting value. Learn more about internship opportunities for media arts majors.
Career development in the media arts bachelor’s degree program
We are one of the largest creative schools in the Rocky Mountains, but we’re also a close-knit community. When you earn your degree in media arts at UM, you will receive the support you need to find the career you want.
Our faculty are accessible teachers and mentors who are excited to work with you one-on-one. They’re also experienced, award-winning professionals in diverse areas of digital media arts. Our film faculty regularly work on major features and documentaries, and our design faculty are commissioned nationally. These industry connections translate into real-world opportunities for our students, most of whom quickly find jobs in the media arts field.
For media arts majors at UM, this diversity translates into a well-rounded, cross-disciplinary education in the arts that also allows them to build project management and creative problem-solving skills.
Media arts scholarships
Get help paying for your degree in media arts. We offer several scholarship opportunities specifically designed for media arts majors, ranging from $500 to $2,000. Learn more about media arts scholarship opportunities at the University of Montana.
Explore classes in the media arts major
The media arts degree at UM provides learning opportunities in interactive media, web and internet technologies, gaming and a variety of digital design applications including sound, still image, motion and animation.