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2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog
University of Pittsburgh
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Dec 08, 2022
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Digital Narrative and Interactive Design, BA/BS

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Digital Narrative and Interactive Design

The Digital Narrative and Interactive Design major (DNID) harnesses the narrative, world-building, and media studies strengths of the English department and the coding, software development, and human computer interface strengths of the School of Computing and Information. It draws upon existing initiatives in game design at SCI and critical game studies, making, and media production within the English department. Students will learn how to build interactive narrative systems such as games, interactive literature, virtual reality environments and other interactive media experiences in a variety of fields. They will learn to creatively combine design with narrative, code with story. This uniquely positions majors in today’s workforce: game and interactive media design is booming in nearly every field and sector. What these positions require, and what is currently in short supply, are individuals capable of both understanding the intricacies of narrative and implementing that knowledge in the form of computational media (coded interactive systems).

The DNID major is managed jointly by the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computing and Information. This program offers training that builds a solid foundation in English (Writing, Composition, Film and Media Studies, and Literature), Computer Science, and Information Science.

Core and Upper Level Courses

Elective courses

Students must complete two elective courses from the School of Computing and Information and two elective courses from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Courses offering a depth of knowledge in pre-identified areas of interest are clustered together to provide a guide for students; Students are not required to follow nor declare a specific track.

Online Media track

Game Design track

Critical Making track

Capstone sequence

The Capstone sequence allows students to design and implement a signature project to complete the major. Students start with the design project (Project 1) and complete the sequence with the implementation project (Project 2) in consultation with their advisors. Students seeking Independent Study or Directed Study options for the capstone sequence should work with their advisors to ensure that the work done in these courses will complete the sequence.

Project 1

Choose one of the following courses.

Additional Information

Writing (W) requirement

Dietrich School students must complete at least one W-course in the major. ENGCMP 0610  fulfills this requirement.

Grade requirements

Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in all courses that apply toward the major.

Satisfactory/No Credit option

There is no limit to the number of English (ENGCMP, ENGFLM, ENGLIT, ENGWRT, FMST) courses that can be taken on the S/NC basis for this major. No School of Computing and Information courses (CMPINF, CS, INFSCI) courses may be taken on an S/NC basis.


Digital Narrative and Interactive Design is a joint undergraduate degree between the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computing and Information. Students enrolled in each school are advised by advisors within that school.

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