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Master of Science in Digital Production Arts (M.S.)

Program Overview

The Master of Science (MS) in Digital Production Arts (DPA) Program is a technical professional degree aimed at producing graduates who intend to seek employment in the software development of the electronic arts industry. Its focus includes the technical components of visual effects production for the film, electronic games, and commercial video industries. The MS in DPA is designed primarily to attract technically-minded students interested in learning applied technical knowledge and gaining the related experience to become competitive and pursue employment as a 3D graphics programmer, software engineer, tool builder, and/or technical director in the digital production entertainment industry, but interest may also include related fields, such as commercial virtual reality, 3D printing, and visualization.

Students can choose to study DPA MS in either Clemson or Charleston, SC.

The objectives of the MS in DPA program are:

  1. To produce highly trained students who have mastered the technical concepts and approaches behind visual entertainment software and digital media
  2. To engage students in hands-on, problem-based experience with an emphasis on graphics system engineering and tool development, team-based projects, and troubleshooting
  3. To provide training in, and extensive experience with the professional workflows and tools used in the animation, visual effects, and video game industries

The MS requires 30 credit hours and has both a thesis and a non-thesis option.

Total credit hours: 30

Core Courses (12 credits required):

  • CPSC 6040 Computer Graphics Images (3);
  • CPSC 6050 Computer Graphics (3);
  • DPA 8070 3D Modeling and Animation (3); and
  • DPA 8150 Special Effects Compositing (3)

Technical Courses (Select from List: 9 to 15 credit hours + 6 thesis course credits required):

  • CPSC 6110 Virtual Reality (3);
  • CPSC 6140 Human and Computer Interaction (3);
  • CPSC 6160 2D Game Engine Design (3);
  • CPSC 6780 General Purpose Computation on Graphical Processing Units (3)
  • CPSC 8040 Visualization (3);
  • CPSC 8050 Advanced Computer Graphics (3);
  • CPSC 8170 Physically Based Animation (3);
  • CPSC 8110 Character Animation (3);
  • CPSC 8190 Physically Based Visual Effects (3);
  • CPSC 8700 Software Construction (3);
  • DPA 8920 (variable credit) Thesis* (1-6)

*DPA 8920 Thesis Research (variable credit hours) (1-6 cr hrs): Master’s thesis research work. May be repeated. Six hours is required for graduation under the thesis option.

Non-Technical Electives (Select from List: up to 6 credit required):

  • DPA 6020 Visual Foundations for Digital Production I (3);
  • DPA 6030 Visual Foundations for Digital Production II (3);
  • ART 6050 Advanced Drawing (3);
  • ART 6070 Advanced Painting (3);
  • ART 6090 Advanced Sculpture (3);
  • ART 6110 Advanced Printmaking (3);
  • ART 6170 Advanced Ceramic Arts (3);
  • THEA 6720 Improvisation (3);
  • THEA 6870 Stage Lighting (3);
  • THEA 6970 Scene Painting (3);
  • AUD 6800 Audio Engineering (3);
  • ART 8210 Visual Narrative (3);
  • DPA 8080 Advanced Animation (3)

Please refer to the Graduate School website for information on how to apply and a list of all required materials.

In addition to the standard application and supporting materials required by the Clemson Graduate School, you may also choose to submit a portfolio (optional), details of which can be found under the DPA MFA portfolio page.

Cost information can be obtained by visiting the Tuition and Fees section of the Clemson Graduate School website.  Digital Production Arts is a Premier program.

Students can now choose to study in Clemson or Charleston, SC and we offer financial support in both locations. This level of support is dependent on the student’s application materials, however, we will strive to make costs competitive and affordable to all qualified students. We accept applications throughout the year on a rolling admission basis for the nearest term (Spring or Fall), however, our standard deadline for full consideration is January 15.

For More Information

Victor Zordan, Director Digital Production Arts



For more information regarding the Master of Science in Digital Production Arts (M.S.), visit the departmental website.