Interactive Media Arts

Interactive Media Arts (IMA) encourages students to explore the expressive possibilities of emerging media. Our students are challenged to combine practice and theory, connecting technical skills with historical knowledge, cultural understanding, and conceptual thinking. Areas of expertise include the development of software, the manipulation of digital media, the fabrication of material objects, the production of electronic devices, the construction of virtual and physical spaces, media theory, interactive installation, and the philosophy of technology. Our curriculum, community, and active learning environment facilitate student acquisition of both conceptual insights and practical skills, encouraging our students to explore their personal interests whilst engaging both critically and creatively with new technologies. You can find out more about the program at

Requirements for the Major

Students can choose to follow the academic bulletin from the year that they were admitted or a more recent academic bulletin. For example, if you were admitted to NYU Shanghai in Fall 2019, you can choose to follow the academic bulletin 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022.

Planning the Major

To declare the Interactive Media Arts major, students must have a final grade of C, or currently enrolled in the following courses in Interaction Lab or Communications Lab or Creative Coding Lab.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors are the leading faculty and experts in the major disciplines. Students can reach out to faculty mentors for specific questions about the major, and references for connecting with relevant discipline resources. If you have specific questions about specific fields of study within the major, you can search for faculty through the faculty directory.

Interactive Media Arts FAQs
Foundation Courses

All IMA majors take a required foundation course, What is New Media? A course designed to give students a strong theoretical and historical background in new media arts. They may then choose between 3 other foundation courses. Interaction Lab, Communications Lab, and Creative Coding Lab. Interaction Lab introduces students to the fields of interaction design, physical computing, and digital fabrication and provides students with foundational skills in electronics prototyping and an introduction to basic computer programming. Communications Lab introduces students to concepts and tools in order to produce multimedia content for print, photography, audio, and video. Creative Coding Lab introduces students to the fundamentals of computation, software design, and web technologies.

Elective Courses

Students then choose from a range of electives across the disciplines of art & design, humanities, science, and computation, with great freedom to make selections based on their personal interest and future career goals. Starting from their sophomore year, students are introduced to advanced labs and seminars where they can sharpen their technical skills, learn about professional environments and develop richer and more complex conceptual frameworks. Every student will receive guidance in their choices and - in their junior and senior years - be encouraged to specialize in a particular area of concentration. 

Course Prerequisites

* = offered in Fall ’23 in Shanghai

The requirements below are from the online version of the 2023-2024 bulletin. Note that the online version has some updates not in the printed version so you should consult the online version.
The below courses are not an exhaustive list and only include existing Shanghai courses. More Shanghai courses will be created in future semesters. To search for courses in the Global Network which fulfill this requirement, click here.

This foundation is required. 


What is New Media*

4 credits, 

Prerequisites or Corequisites: Writing as Inquiry

Students may choose any two of the following courses:


Interaction Lab*

4 credits

INTM-SHU 103 Creative Coding Lab* 4 credits


Communications Lab*

4 credits

ELECTIVES: 20 credits

Please note that starting from Fall 2019 semester, IMA/IMB elective courses will no longer have categories. Therefore, you will be expected to complete 20 credits without being accountable to the categories.

Example Courses:
 INTM-SHU 125 Digital Arts and New Media* 4 credits
INTM-SHU 195 After Us: Post-human Media 4 credits
INTM-SHU 200 Topics in IMA:
Algorithmic Cultures
4 credits
INTM-SHU 201 The Minimum Viable Product 4 credits
INTM-SHU 258 Machine Learning for Artists and Designers* 4 credits, Prerequisite: INTM-SHU 103 Creative Coding Lab OR CSCI-SHU 11 Intro to Computer Programming
INTM-SHU 266 Digital Heritage* 4 credits


VR / AR Fundamentals

4 credits 

Example Courses:
INTM-SHU 301 Advanced Lab: Open Project Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
INTM-SHU 304 Advanced Lab: Web Page to Web Space* 4 credits, Nature of Code, Machine Learning for New Interfaces, Critical Data and Visualization, ABC Browser Circus, Kinetic Interfaces, Machine Learning for Artists and Designers, Expanded Web, or Movement Practices and Computing or ICS.
INTM-SHU 305T Advanced Seminar: Hello Metaverse 2 credits, Prerequisite: Instructor Consent
Again, they are not exhaustive lists and only include existing Shanghai courses. More Shanghai courses will be created in future semesters. To search for courses in the Global Network that fulfill the categories, click the Global Courses Satisfying Shanghai Degree Requirements spreadsheet. If you find a course that's not on the list and you would like it to be reviewed to count for an IMA requirement, please email the course number, full course name, and location where it is taught to your advisor.
CAPSTONE: 8 credits


Capstone Studio I*

4 credits,  

Senior students with primary or secondary major in IMA


Capstone Studio II*

4 credits,  

Senior students with primary or secondary major in IMA


Senior Project

All majors finish with a two semester Capstone Studio course based on a topic of their own choosing. The IMA capstone synthesizes theoretical research and practice to produce an emerging media project that is critically informed by a related research essay.

Information for Advisors [Log-in Required]