Jul 15, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Interactive Media (Games and Health) (MFA)

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The Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media with an emphasis in Games and Health is administered in conjunction with the Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center. The curriculum is based on center crosscutting initiatives that represent the broadest descriptions of our vision and mission. Students benefit from emerging research, tools and methodologies that converge at the center, as well as the wide range of backgrounds represented by faculty, students and visiting scholars. Research is prioritized based on a combination of factors, including potential impact and benefit to society, and overall alignment with center priorities. Some center initiatives include:

  • Sports and Exercise for Wellness: investigation of novel assessment and treatment techniques using entertainment and technology for improvement of health outcomes related to obesity, nutrition and physical activity
  • Healthy Brain Architecture: production and dissemination of innovative storytelling products toward promotion of healthy behavior for brain development and affect regulation during the entire human lifespan
  • Social and Sensorimotor Play: investigation of novel assessment and treatment techniques using interactive play for improving social skills, visuospatial navigation and motor coordination in physical space
  • Games for Health: promotion, development and assessment of innovative games with behavioral health applications
  • Storytelling for Mobile Health (mHealth): mobile interactive entertainment with general health and wellness applications, or a specific chronic illness focus
  • The Future of Health Care: re-imagining the patient/user/player experience within and beyond healthcare settings

This emphasis aims to provide specialized training and hands-on experience to enrolled MFA students toward design, development and evaluation of interactive entertainment for health and happiness. Students will obtain a broad perspective on theory, methods and practice through an intensive overview of core concepts of science with a lifespan perspective on brain development, lifelong resilience, wellness and illness. On a practical level, students will learn how to: (a) perform transdisciplinary formative research (e.g., literature reviews, prior art analyses) in order to establish background data and rationale for design and evaluation; (b) tailor intervention design and program design requirements to target population using transdisciplinary methodologies (e.g., ethnography, surveys, observation studies); (c) iteratively develop and/or adapt existing interventions focused on health and wellness in transdisciplinary team environments; (d) design and administer small studies for ecologically valid assessment of interventions (e.g., feasibility pilots, experimental designs, pilot clinical studies).

The degree requires 50 units.

Requirements for the MFA in Interactive Media (Games and Health)

Total units: 8 - 12

Total units: 10

Total units: 10

Year Two, Second Semester

Total units: 8 - 10

Year Three, First Semester

Total units: 4 - 6

Year Three, Second Semester

Total units: 4 - 6


*Courses not listed may satisfy this requirement with approval of the program chair.

**Prerequisite required.

Additional Requirements

Grade Point Average Requirement

An overall GPA of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) must be maintained in all USC course work toward the master’s degree.

A minimum grade of C (2.0) must be earned in all required courses. Students who do not achieve a grade of C (2.0) in the core courses CTIN 532 , CTIN 534 , CTIN 542  and CTIN 544  after repeating these requirements will be disqualified from the program. The core courses as well as CTIN 594a , CTIN 594b  cannot be waived or substituted with transfer credits under any circumstances.

Time Limit

Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward their master’s degrees at all times. The degree must be completed three years from the first course at USC applied toward the Master of Fine Arts degree. Course work more than seven years old is invalidated and will not be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Review

One year prior to graduation, students are required to file MFA forms for a curriculum and graduation review. Contact the Interactive Media Program Office for forms.

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