Published on Jan 1, 2020

About the Graduate Program

  • Overview

    Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art 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), our Master's degree 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
  • STEM Designation (CIP 09.0702)

    STEM Designation (CIP 09.0702)

    Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art is a STEM Designated (CIP 09.0702) program and qualifies for the STEM OPT extension.

    Interaction Design 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.

  • Degree roadmap for M.A. Interaction Design and Interactive Art

    Degree roadmap for MA IxDIA 2020 – 2021

    3-Year Option
    (units vary)
    Art Whichever ART courses were required of you in your acceptance letter These MUST all be taken in this year
    Complete your University Writing Requirements in your First Year or you will be BLOCKED from signing up for Second Year
    First Year
    (10 units)
    MM 601 Theory and Practice of Interaction Design and Interactive Art 1.2
    First Year
    (10 units)
    MM 602 Project and Story Development
    MM 640 Forum MM 640 Forum
    MM 621 Screen Based Interaction MM 622 Physical Prototyping
    MM 66x Experiments in ... (take 665, 666 or 667) MM 66x Experiments in ... (take 665, 666 or 667)
    Complete all Upper Division Courses before commencing your Capstone
    Year First
    MM 682 Individual Research & Practice 2.2
    Second Year
    (6 units)
    MM 693 Interaction Design Capstone Project
    MM 640 Forum MM 640 Forum
    MM 680 Interactive Content Development MM 694 Project Documentation
    MM 694 Project Documentation
  • 2019-2020 Estimated Cost of Attendance

    Estimated Cost of Attendance

    The graduate 2019-2020 estimated tuition & fees at Cal State East Bay is $8,569 for California residents and $18,071 for out-of-state students. The in-state graduate tuition and fees at California State University-East Bay are lower than the average tuition in the Bay Area.

    Estimated Cost of Attendance

    Tuition and fees are based on residency status, class level (undergraduate, graduate or credential), and number of enrolled units.

    Resident Tuition
    Non-resident Students (U.S. and Foreign)

    Nonresident Tuition of $396 is paid on a per unit basis (in addition to basic tuition and system wide fees charged all students) for all campuses. The total nonresident tuition paid per term will be determined by the number of units taken.

    Non-Resident Tuition
    Graduate Opportunities and Financial Resources

    California State University, East Bay offers numerous forms of financial support for current graduate students. The Academic Programs and Graduate Studies (APGS) Student Services office coordinates the many programs which provide financial resources and educational opportunities in support of your graduate education.

    Graduate Opportunities

    The average cost of a 1 bedroom apartment is: $2,022 per month. The room and Board expenses included in the off-campus cost of attendance represent the typical costs students pay when enrolled a CSU East Bay. Actual costs of room and board will vary. Many students living off-campus have roommates, which decreases their housing costs.

  • Two Year M.A. in Interaction Design and Pathways for Non-majors

    Two Year M.A. in Interaction Design and Interactive Art

    The M.A. IxDIA is a two-year degree program. Most coursework is offered in the evening. During the first year, students develop a theoretical foundation in interactive 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 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.

    Pathways for Non-majors

    For students who have compelling backgrounds in other disciplines, we also offer pathways to an Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art that includes additional coursework.

    Based on review and consultation with the admission committee, we can offer a 3-year program starting in the preceding fall to students who have the passion but lack prior experience in the production and design of interactive experiences. A three-year option means that you will start in the fall semester and complete a year of preliminary courses before joining the regular cohort in the following year.

  • Teamwork and Project-Oriented Goals

    Teamwork and Project-Oriented Goals

    The Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art 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. Interaction Design is a rapidly developing and rapidly changing field. Our program focuses as much on the enduring creative process as on the transient technology.

  • Impressive Ideas, Innovative Results

    Impressive Ideas, Innovative Results

    Creativity, innovation, critical and design thinking about the intersection of technology and humanity are values that are hard-coded into today’s forward thinkers. See yourself contributing your skills with others towards crafting ideas and making new interactive content development at CSU East Bay’s Master of Arts in Interaction Design and Interactive Art Program.

    Youtube Channel of Thesis Videos

    For a collection of videos documenting past work by our graduate students check out this YouTube Channel.

    Thesis Video YouTube Channel
    Repository of Graduate thesis documents

    We are curently working on making the last 20 years of graduate work available online. To see the beginning of this effort check out the repository.

    Thesis Project Repository
  • Benefits of the CSU East Bay Graduate Program

    Benefits of the CSU East Bay Graduate Program

    Students in the MA IxDIA 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 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

    Career Opportunities

    Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the epicenter of the interactive digital media industry and technological innovation, the MA IxDIA 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.

    Our 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.