SJMC Announces New Digital Media Innovation Major


Students in the Coding and Data Skills course work on Web application projects.

At its February 18, 2016 meeting, the Texas State University System Board of Regents approved a new degree in Digital Media Innovation (DMI) in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  The new degree, which is scheduled to launch in Fall 2016, is pending final approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in May.

At the heart of the Digital Media Innovation degree is the professional demand for graduates who possess an intersection of technology expertise and strong communication skills – for jobs that include news application developers, data and social media analysts and mobile experience producers. Graduates with excellent communication skills are also in demand at technology companies and in startups, and the new DMI major will prepare students with the conceptual, strategic and practical skills for new and emerging careers.

Associate Professor Cindy Royal is leading digital innovation initiatives in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  “I am pleased the Board of Regents values this innovative, new approach to media education,” Dr. Royal said. “I am confident that this program will result in excellent career opportunities for students who receive a degree in Digital Media Innovation.”

Required Coursework – Coming Soon!


The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will continue to develop innovative courses that support the degree including current topics and technologies in the areas of drone journalism, data visualization, sensors, virtual reality and more. Students may take electives in one of the traditional majors, to provide an industry focus, if desired.


Faculty used Design Thinking exercises in developing the requirements for the Digital Media Innovation major.

“Dr. Royal and other faculty began working on the curriculum for the DMI major in 2014 while she was working on the Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, where innovation is ingrained in the culture”, said School of Journalism and Mass Communication Director Judy Oskam.  “Our faculty used collaborative documents and design-thinking exercises to develop the curriculum plan that resulted in this degree.”

“I’d like to thank the faculty who worked on and provided input to this degree, as well as the professionals who supported our efforts,” Dr. Royal added. Professionals from organizations including the Austin American-Statesman, The Guardian, Knight Foundation and Investigative Reporters and Editors provided letters of support, and the degree received unanimous endorsement from the SJMC Advisory Council.

Additional information about the new Digital Media Innovation degree can be found at

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