What is .ids?

The .ids Major

The .ids major is a customizable program of study that can be personalized to your own interests. It consists of three foundation courses, any two digital “bundles” of your choice, and a practicum.

The .ids Minor

The .ids minor is a great tech-fueled addition to any specialized major program of study. It consists of three foundation courses and one “bundle” of study.

The .ids Foundation

First our students take foundation classes in the “4 C’s”: Communication, Context, Culture, and Code.


Interactive Digital Communication (COMM 2555) gives you a solid foundation in creative digital production skills and creative problem solving that you’ll need for all your other .ids classes. This is where you will learn Photoshop to manipulate digital images, Dreamweaver and WordPress to master the design and coding of websites, and After Effects to get a taste of motion graphics and animation. But it’s not just a skills class - You’ll also learn about visual design, writing, and graphic design history to give you powerful visual communication strategies to amplify your ability to articulate and communicate big ideas.


Mass Communication and Society (COMM COR 1010) acknowledges that every media industry has been drastically impacted by the Internet and the digital turn. It combines discussions about the media, history and culture, and focuses on how both media industries and audiences create our shared entertainment and information culture. The core ideas of this course are that a diverse media is essential to democracy, culture is an ongoing and cyclical process, and media convergence is the future of mass communication.


Digital Culture and Communication (COMM 4544/5544) gets you to begin thinking seriously about how the Web connects us, and what kinds of digital innovations are shaping our future. You will learn about the Internet as a positive, social networked sphere with a thriving creative commons, but you will also begin to see the dark side of our hyper-connected world: a digital culture plagued with questions about copyright, government and corporate controls, and issues about privacy and unethical digital citizenship. You will also begin to consider how a life increasingly connected to digital tools is affecting our daily lives.


Interactive Digital Communication II (COMM 3159) Building on Interactive Digital Communication, this class offers students a more comprehensive understanding of web frameworks, content management systems, code (HTML, CSS, and beginning Javascript) and digital skillsets.

Please contact Lori Johnson (Communication Studies advisor, lori.johnson@uni.edu) to help you register for the IDC II class.  

The .ids Bundles

What are Bundles?

Each IDS “bundle” is made up of five courses in eight different areas of emphasis. Each bundle is sponsored by a different UNI department. There are also global bundles offered through partner institutions.

How do Bundles Work?

IDS majors select any two bundles - creating their own personalized program of study. Minors select one bundle.

Click on a bundle below to view more:

digital advertising bundle digital computation bundle digital imaging bundle digital learning bundle digital music bundle digital history bundle digital writing bundle digital visualization bundle web development bundle

The .ids Practicum

This course is the culminating experience for the .ids major. It’s an applied, project-based course that brings together .ids Majors across the concentrations into a tech-startup type atmosphere where expectations are high. Working with a real client (within the University or the community), students collaborate on a content-driven, interactive online project that transforms (and makes accessible) the research of a UNI professor (e.g., an expert in art history or developmental psychology) or a UNI Institute (e.g., UNI’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education) into interactive digital media form. The .ids Practicum is a professionalization experience, where you apply all your digital, collaboration, and project management, skills, plus a great deal of creativity and critical thinking, to some really important content, and do it all under tight deadlines. Your work will generate a tangible portfolio piece as you graduate from the University.

Core Values

Student Life

.ids-related speakers are invited every semester to highlight the latest trends in digital communication, inspire us about our own futures, and get us talking across disciplines. There are also options for weekend workshops to maximize our (faculty and students) “digility,” and resumé-building opportunities through .ids-related student organizations like The Digital Collective, American Advertising Federation (AAF-UNI), and Cedar River Productions.

Most of the core classes are taught in the fantastic ITTC Studio spaces, where you’ll have access to all the software necessary.

Also, there are a number of study abroad opportunities that allow you to study in Florence (for example) and transfer courses back to UNI. Here is a blog post with more information and photos about the Florence program (DIVA) and the beautiful study environment in one of the world's favorite Italian cities. For even more information, visit the Digital Imaging and Visual Arts program at the Palazzi Florence Association for International Education, and set up an appointment with our Study Abroad Office at UNI.

Join Us

Become an .ids major

Please visit our current web-page for current contact information.