New media studies is a fairly recent academic discipline that explores the intersections of computing, science, the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. Janet Murray, a prominent researcher in the discipline, describes this intersection as "a single new medium of representation, the digital medium, formed by the braided interplay of technical invention and cultural expression at the end of the 20th century...."
In a course on New Media Studies, students are exposed to ideas and insights on media from communication theorists, programmers, educators, and technologists. Among others, the work of Marshall McLuhan is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory. McLuhan’s slogan, "the medium is the message" (elaborated on his 1964 book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man),  calls attention to the intrinsic effect of communications media.His other book, The Media is the Massage makes the point that the message is the message and the media manipulates the message. This is a powerful variation and needs to be understood.
A program in New Media Studies may incorporate lessons, classes, and topics within Communication, Journalism, Computer Science, Programming, Graphic Design, Web design, Human-computer interaction, Media theory, English, and other related fields. Bernard Luskin, president of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology of the American Psychological Association and founder of the first PhD program in Media Psychology and EdD program in Media Studies at Fielding Graduate University continually underlines the importance of understanding and applying theories in psychology to media in examining the implications of media studies. Examples of theories are persuasion, attention, control, color, sound and many more. Psychology is fundamental to research in media studies.