No previous experience in computer science or digital arts is required. Our goals are to (1) teach students the principles, aesthetics and practice of digital art, modeling and animation through hands on exercises and assignments, (2) provide an understanding of technical concepts in order to allow students optimal control over the tools being used to create digital art, (3) offer an opportunity for students from different disciplines to work together, and (4) create a minor that is comprehensive and deep, through focused assignments and a demand for proficiency and high production values.

The Digital Arts minor is structured around three core courses (COSC 22, 24 and 27) plus two courses from a list. All courses in the DA minor are practical, hands-on, project-based courses. COSC 1 or COSC 2 are prerequisite to the minor. For a formal description of the minor requirements, please consult the ORC.


Three Core Courses

  1. COSC 22 (3D Computer Modeling)

  2. COSC 24 (Intro to 3D Computer Animation)

  3. COSC 27 (Projects in Digital Arts)

COSC 22 and 24 can be taken in any order.  They are offered in multiple terms. COSC 27 is offered in the Spring term.  Students must have completed either COSC 1 or 2 plus at least one of the two courses from the list of additional courses, before taking COSC 27.  COSC is the culminating experience for the minor.  Most students in COSC 27 work in small teams to make a short computer animated film, but it is also possible to make a game, use digital tools to create art, design and develop mobile applications, or other digital arts projects.

Two Additional Courses

The list of additional courses includes courses that teach the principles and practice of art, design, filmmaking, animation, music, games, and theater.  These courses offer students an opportunity to enhance the skills needed to create digital arts.  A full list of approved courses can be found in the ORC.  Additional courses may be approved by the Director of the Digital Arts Minor (Professor Lorie Loeb).

Prerequisite Course

One prerequisite course must be successfully completed before taking COSC 27.  COSC 2 offers an introduction computer science through projects in interactive art and music.   It is designed for students with no computer science experience and is generally taught in the winter term.  COSC 1 is the introductory course offered by the Computer Science Department.  COSC 1 is offered in the fall, winter and spring terms.


One of the following courses, one course:

Computer Science 1: Introduction to Programming & Computation (Dist: TLA)

This course introduces computational concepts that are fundamental to computer science and are useful for the sciences, social sciences, engineering, and digital arts. Students will write their own interactive programs to analyze data, process text, draw graphics, manipulate images, and simulate physical systems. Problem decomposition, program efficiency, and good programming style are emphasized throughout the course. No prior programming experience is assumed.

Engineering 20: Introduction to Scientific Computing (Dist: TAS) (Pre-requisites: MATH 3 and prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH 8)

This course introduces concepts and techniques for creating computational solutions to problems in engineering and science. The essentials of computer programming are developed using the C and Matlab languages, with the goal of enabling the student to use the computer effectively in subsequent courses. Programming topics include problem decomposition, control structures, recursion, arrays and other data structures, file I/O, graphics, and code libraries. Applications will be drawn from numerical solution of ordinary differential equations, root finding, matrix operations, searching and sorting, simulation, and data analysis. Good programming style and computational efficiency are emphasized. Although no previous programming experience is assumed, a significant time commitment is required. Students planning to pursue the engineering sciences major are advised to take ENGS 20. Students considering the computer science major or majors modified with computer science should take COSC 1 and COSC 10.  Enrollment is limited to 50 students. May not be taken under the non-recording option.

Computer Science 2: Programming for Interactive Digital Arts (Dist:TLA)

This course presents topics related to interactive visual art generated on a computer. Although it briefly covers computer-generated media art, the course focuses on the programming skills required for creating interactive works. Rather than using commercial software, students write their own programs, using the Processing language, to create compositions with which users can interact. The course introduces fundamental concepts of how to represent and manipulate color, two-dimensional shapes, images, motion, and video. Coursework includes short programming assignments to practice the concepts introduced during lectures and projects to explore visual compositions. The course assumes no prior knowledge of programming.

Of these, Computer Science 2 has been designed specifically to support this minor.


Computer Science 22: 3D Digital Modeling  (Dist:TLA)

This projects-based lab course teaches the principles and practices of 3D modeling. Lectures focus on principles of modeling, materials, shading, and lighting. Students create a fully rigged character model while learning their way around a state-of-the-art 3D animation program. Assignments are given weekly. Students are graded on the successful completion of the projects, along with a midterm examination. Work will be evaluated on a set of technical and aesthetic criteria.

Computer Science 24: Computer Animation, The State of the Art (Dist: ART)

This hands-on course focuses on state-of-the-art computer animation, presenting techniques for traditional animation and how they apply to 3D computer animation, motion capture, and dynamic simulations. Facial and full-body animation are covered through projects, readings, and presentations, including physical simulation, procedural methods, image-based rendering, and machine-learning techniques. Students will create short animations. This course focuses on methods, ideas, and practical applications, rather than on mathematics.

Computer Science 27: Projects in Digital Arts (Dist: ART) (Pre-requisities: COSC 22 and COSC 24)

This is the culminating course for the Digital Arts Minor. Students from Arts and Sciences come together to complete projects in digital arts, including: 3D computer animations; innovative digital installations; creative mobile media; interactive pieces; 2D digital projects. Students work in small teams to complete work of a high production quality or work that incorporates innovations in technology. This course has a required laboratory period.


Film Studies 30: Documentary Videomaking
Film Studies 30: Documentary Videomaking
Film Studies 31: Film Making I: Basic Elements of Film
Film Studies 32: Film Making II
Film Studies 35: Animation: Principles and Practice
Film Studies 36: Videomaking
Film Studies 38: Advanced Animation
Film Studies 39: Advanced Videomaking (Documentary and Experimental)
Film Studies 51: Game Design Studio
Music 9: Music and Technology
Music 14: Music and Science
Music 31: Digital Music Composition
Music 34: Advanced Sound Design
Studio Art 15: Drawing I
Studio Art 16: Sculpture I
Studio Art 20: Drawing II
Studio Art 21: Sculpture II
Studio Art 22: Figure Drawing
Studio Art 23: Figure Sculpture
Studio Art 25: Painting I
Studio Art 29: Photography I
Studio Art 30: Photography II
Studio Art 31: Painting II
Studio Art 65: Architecture I
Studio Art 66: Architecture II
Engineering 12: Design Thinking
Engineering 75: Product Design
Theater 26: Movement Fundamentals I
Theater 27: Movement Fundamentals II
Theater 30: Acting I
Theater 31: Acting II
Theater 34: Acting for the Camera
Theater 42: Scene Design I
Theater 43: Scene Design II
Theater 44: Lighting Design I
Theater 45: Composition and Design
Computer Science 20: Motion Study: Using Motion Analysis for Science, Art and Medicine (Formerly Computer Science 12)
Computer Science 29: Topics in Digital Arts
Computer Science 77: Computer Graphics (Formerly Computer Science 52)
Computer Science 83: Computer Vision (Formerly Computer Science 64)
Computer Science 129: Foundations of Digital Design

No more than one of the two courses may be in Computer Science.

Additional courses other than these may be approved by the Computer Science Department Undergraduate Advisor: Devin Balkcom.

Learn more about Dartmouth Computer Science at