What is DMA?

The Digital Media Art program at San José State University is a multidisciplinary BFA degree offering digital art and design curriculum in the areas of computer graphics, web development, programming, physical computing, 3D printing, fabrication, prototyping, interactivity and computer games. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the DMA program is dedicated to the advancement of contemporary technologies through research and experimentation at the intersection of art and science.

The BFA Concentration in Digital Media Art teaches technical, creative, and critical thinking skills to empower our students as problem solvers and innovators in the field of digital technology. Students graduating from the program develop real-world skills in graphics, programming, digital video, interaction design, and computer game design using a wide range of tools, technologies, and techniques. Our curriculum is hands-on, providing project-oriented learning in collaborative workshop environments.

DMA operates several labs including the CADRE Physical Computing Lab and the DMA Game Design Lab providing research based pedagogy in microcircuits, fabrication and prototyping, computer games and interactive programming. We offer fabrication facilities through our comprehensive wood and metal shops including laser cutters, CNC routers, and vacuform, in addition to metal and large-scale sculptursl fabrication.

What is CADRE?

CADRE stands for Computers in Art, Design, Research, and Education. Established in 1985, CADRE is the second oldest education art media lab in the US (MIT’s Media Lab was the first). CADRE currently consists of the Physical Computing Lab (Art 237) and the Game Development Lab (Art 241) on the campus of San José State University

Applying to the DMA BFA

How do I become a DMA student? When should I apply to the DMA program?

To become a DMA BFA student, you must first enroll in our introductory course - Art 74/ Introduction to Digital Media Art. During Art 74 you will be required to create and submit a digital media art portfolio for faculty review to be admitted into the DMA Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program area.

If you transfer into SJSU, and have an approved transfer course for Art 74 (see http://www.assist.org), you should submit your portfolio while taking Art 75.

How do I apply for the DMA major?

The BFA Art - Programs Admission Procedures and Application [pdf & doc] can be found here: http://www.sjsu.edu/art/documents/forms/ Please follow the departmental instruction to complete the required department forms and submit by the deadline along with a portfolio.

When do I submit my portfolio for admission to the DMA BFA program area?

The Art Department accepts applications each semester for review. The deadlines are in late October, and early April. Notification will be posted throughout the art building about upcoming deadlines.

What are you looking for in the DMA BFA application portfolio?

You must include at least 10 images in your portfolio created using some form of digital media. The best way to present a broad range of digital media is through an online website featuring artworks created in software, code, and/ or digital fabrication mediums. You can include computer graphics, websites, software, code, 3d printing, digital fabrication and computers games, among other digital art forms.

Your portfolio should include at least 70% digital material. Note: If your primary focus is painting, drawing, illustration, photography, sculpture, clay, glass, metalwork, or other traditional mediums, we encourage you to apply to the Pictorial, Photo, or Spatial program areas.


Who is my major advisor and how do I seek advising?

Please review the current Major Advisor List and Guide [pdf] located here: http://www.sjsu.edu/art/documents/forms/

1) Advising is divided up by student last name. Please located your DMA advisor based upon the first letter of your last name.

2) Once you locate your DMA Major Advisor, please visit during their open office hours.

3) For course advising, please visit the respective faculty for that course (DMA or otherwise)

What about GE advising?

DMA Major Advisors do not advise for GE courses. Please visit the College of Humanities and the Arts (H&A) Student Success Center for GE advising: http://www.sjsu.edu/ha-advising/index.html The College of Humanities and the Arts (H&A) Student Success Center is the central advising resource for students in the College. They can answer your questions about general education requirements, selecting or changing majors, filling out petitions and forms, and planning a course of study that leads to timely graduation.

Completing the DMA BFA Degree

Download the DMA BFA Major Form here: http://www.sjsu.edu/art/documents/forms/

SJSU Art and Art History requirements are located here: http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/ART-section-4.html

How do I complete the DMA major?

Using the DMA Major Form, a fill-in-the-blank PDF document, complete the section entitled Preparation for the Major (24 Units), and then continue with Requirements in the Major (52 Units) - for a total of 76 units to complete the major (approximately 2.5 years assuming 15 units per semester in the major).

How do I use the DMA Major Form?

Use the electronic version of the current DMA Major form located here: http://www.sjsu.edu/art/documents/forms/ Updating the form electronically, and then print it out when you need advising or signatures.

Update the major form in Adobe Acrobat Reader only! https://get.adobe.com/reader/

(Note: The form will not work correctly in Mac Preview)

What classes should I take?

This is a common advising question, but the answer is quite simple. You must take all of the classes on the DMA BFA major form. All courses on the DMA Major Form + completion of all GE requirements are required to receive the BFA degree.

Are all DMA courses offered in both both Fall and Spring semesters?

Yes, with the following important exceptions ~

DMA courses only offered during the Fall semester include:

Art 103, Art 105

DMA courses only offered in the Spring semester include:

Art 106, Art 107, Art 173

What courses transfer into DMA?

If you have courses that transferred into the DMA major from a community college, you can locate those courses here: http://www.assist.org It will take some time for the transfer courses to show up on your official MySJSU transcript, but you can determine in advance which course will transfer using http://www.assist.org

What is Art 198?

Art 198/ Interdisciplinary BFA Seminar is required to be taken the semester prior to your planned graduation. For example, if you plan to graduate in the Spring you must take Art 198 in the Fall prior (and vice-versa).

What is Art 199?

Art 199 is your BFA Thesis project and gallery exhibition conducted in your final semester of study. It is conducted as a 3-unit independent study with at least one full-time DMA faculty member, and one other faculty member (DMA or otherwise). Your thesis project must demonstrate professional competence in digital media art. A gallery exhibition with the approval of the student’s advisory committee is required.

How do I prepare a to take Art 199?

You are required to produce a one-page project description and a sketch of your proposed BFA thesis project for faculty review and approval. Once the project is approved, you must then complete the purple Art 199 form available from the Art Office and have it signed by your sponsoring faculty one semester prior to graduation.

Discuss your idea for your BFA thesis show with faculty well in advance of this deadline, and well before the form is due. Faculty must approve the BFA thesis show project proposal before you can apply for Art 199.

NOTE: Do not wait until the end of the semester to complete the Art 199 form! If you project is not approved, you will not receive the required signatures which could delay your graduation. Instead, begin planning your BFA thesis show with faculty one year before you plan to graduate.

What about reserving a gallery space for Art 199?

Once you have received approval for your Art 199 application, and the form is signed by all sponsoring faculty, you may reserve a gallery space at the beginning of the semester in which you will exhibit. Please contact SJSU Student Art Galleries regarding reserving a gallery space.