Specialty Area

Specialty Areas - Non-IMD Courses: 15 credits

Specialty areas are groups of courses offered outside of the IMD degree that may be linked to a form of media that the student wishes to study in more depth. A set of selected knowledge specialty areas will be determined by the faculty in such areas as interactive narrative, art, 3‐D graphics, data visualization, geographic information systems, cultural studies, film or other areas. Students will be required to take a minimum of three courses in a selected area and must seek pre‐approval from the IMD Academic Oversight Committee (or its designee). This will provide the students with the opportunity to study a companion knowledge domain that will be the focus of their fourth year Integrative Studio project. A specialty area must include at least two‐200 level courses or one 300‐level (or above) course or other combination may be approved by the AOC upon review. Again, specialty area courses can only be completed and satisfied after being admitted into the IMD degree AND with an approved Specialty Area Proposal Form. See IMD advisor for more information.

Examples of specialty areas may include:


Geographic Information Systems Specialty

Location plays an important role in connecting people, facilitating business, and navigating real and virtual worlds. In this specialty, students study geography and learn contemporary tools to understand how to use spatial data in interactive media applications with emphasis on structures, visualization, and the human element.

Math Specialties

The Math specialty track is for students who are interested in exploring the mathematical framework of interactive media and design, and/or in acquiring the ability to analyze and visualize statistics. Several math tracks can be chosen depending on the interest of the student, including the ability to communicate quantitative information effectively, gaming mathematics, probability, etc. Preparatory courses may be taken during the freshman/sophomore year and subsets of courses may be selected as determined by the student’s academic level/proficiency/interests. For example, students wishing to complete a more advanced math specialty may be required to take the CUSP 124, 125 and 126 sequence as a pre‐IMD major – and then get pre‐approved for three additional math courses that will meet the student’s specialty interests.

Physics Specialties

Physics provides elegant ways of describing the world around us, as well as providing students the opportunity to hone their critical thinking and problem solving abilities. This specialty will allow students to incorporate physical phenomena into all aspects of interactive media and design. Various tracks allow for different backgrounds in mathematics from conceptual physics, through algebra‐based physics, to calculus‐based physics – depending on student’s background and interests.

Other Options

Other specialty areas may include selected courses (and their pre‐requisites) in the following areas:

Database programming
Art Studies
Computer Networking
Diversity Studies
Media/Cultural Studies
2D/3D Animation


Did You Know?

Nine out of 10 of UW Bothell's 14,000 alumni live and work in the state of Washington.