Digital Narrative and Interactive Design Major

Alexander Grattan and Crystal Li

What is this major?

The Digital Narrative and Interactive Design (DNID) major converges Computer Science, Information Science, and English into one program that prepares students for various creative technological endeavors. Courses include topics such as interactive literature, virtual reality, and human-computer interaction. The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computing and Information jointly manage the major since its inception in 2019. The schools offer the major in both a Bachelor of Arts (DSAS) and a Bachelor of Science degree (SCI).

DNID Major Sheet

The DNID program consists of three academic tracks, each with its own set of courses aligning toward a career path (there is a "build your own track" if desired as well).

Online Media Track

The Online Media track focuses on fostering communication and narrative skills while creating and designing digital content. This track is for students who mainly to be a designer but still understand some coding fundamentals.

This track is for:

  • Graphic Designers
  • UX Designers
  • Content Creators
  • and Social Media Managers

Online Media Sheet

Game Design Track

The Game Design track is quite frankly the most self-explanatory of the three. Students learn how to produce games, design for human interaction, and construct a narratively emotional experience.

This track is for:

  • Game Designers (duh)
  • Virtual Reality Programmers
  • 3D Artists
  • Game UI Programmer
  • and Game QA Tester

Game Design Sheet

Critical Making Track

The Critical Making track forms the basis of creative coding within the DNID major. These courses place technology in the context of social interaction and cultural relationships while giving you the tools to test these theories with code.

This track is for:

  • Web Developers
  • Creative Coders
  • Project Managers
  • Data Visualization Developers
  • and UI/UX Designers and Developers

Critical Making Sheet

Still New...

Digital Narrative and Interactive Design as a major is still in its infancy and currently has only one specialized course, aptly named "Digital Narrative and Interactive Design" (ENGCMP 1201). As time passes, more specialization in the course options and more graduates will hopefully appear for students who want a more catered experience. However, this allows the tracks to be far from permanent once chosen. A student can easily change their path due to the shared general education requirements between them.

Before Declaring

Students must take one of two Gateway courses before declaring the DNID major. Either Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0512) or Digital Humanity (ENCGMP 0425 or HAA 0425) fulfill this requirement. Beyond the other gen-eds required for the major, the world is your oyster! There are a variety of electives to choose from that suffice the tracks previously mentioned.

Some Courses You'll See

ENGLIT 0512 Narrative and Technology serves as an introduction to the fusion of literature and technology and is one of the two available Gateway courses. This class's content closely integrates with the major's purpose and, therefore, is one of the pinnacle courses. Though this class tasks its students to make some interesting (and also weird) projects, it is also a "writing-intensive" class, as the course catalog describes, so be prepared to read many different pieces of text. ENGCMP 0425 (or HAA 0425) Digital Humanity asks its students to look at the societal context of technology and analyze how it affects their everyday lives and relationships. This class is theory-heavy and philosophical. Topics range from the history of computers, surveillance, content moderation, and human-computer interaction. If you want to put your mind to the test, this is your class. ENGFLM 0570 (or FMST 0505) Introduction to New Media takes what you learn from the Gateway courses and applies it to traditional media and what is considered "new media." Though the class is in the film department, it jumps between various forms of media week to week, going between video games, streaming (both music and video), journalism, memes, and social media.

Extra notes

For students within the School of Computing and Information attempting the Bachelor of Science, advisors will be from SCI. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences students going for the Bachelor of Arts will have English advisors, but they will have access to drop-in hours with SCI advisors who will have a better understanding of CS and INFSCI courses. The DNID major has connections to the many labs on campus including, The Open Lab, the Vibrant Media Lab, and the Learning Technologies Lab. In-class projects might require special equipment, so it's important to remember the Hillman Library's Equipment Collection has whatever you might need.


Further DNID resources can be found here For any questions regarding the major, reach out to the DNID Assistant Director, Dr. Jessica FitzPatrick, at

Last updated: Jul 21st 2021