Department of Film-Video and Media Studies

Media Studies Options and Courses

B.A. in Media Studies (MEDIA)
Minimum 120 Credits

The media studies major emphasizes academic development by introducing a wide range of approaches (such as aesthetic, humanistic, social-behavioral or legal-policy) to understanding media, culture and society. Several options are offered to allow students to identify their own media-related questions and acquire the tools to answer these questions.

Academic Services Advising

Scheduling, and a successful academic career, starts with meeting an adviser.

Eight full-time employees in the Office of Academic Services assist students and all aspects of their academic pursuits.

Please contact them before scheduling, and remain in contact with questions about course selections, major options and anything else all the way until you complete your final meeting with an adviser for your "senior checkout."

Our media studies faculty prepare students to excel in careers in the academy, business, government agencies and the law by teaching them to think critically, to express their unique voice, to advocate ideas with rhetorical skill and to appreciate the international diversity of media practices.

The media studies program is connected to the Media Effects Research Laboratory, a facility established in 1997 and dedicated to conducting empirical research on the psychological effects of media content, form and technology. Numerous experimental studies involving hundreds of subjects have been conducted in the lab since it began operating. Experiments are executed by faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students taking classes in communications theory, media effects and research methods, along with students undertaking independent projects.

Experiments with television and computers in the “traditional” wing have tested the effects of structural features such as modality, and psychological outcomes of various content. More recently, research in this lab has also tested various psychological effects of videogame play. Experiments in the “new media” wing have involved studying the effects of animation on websites, loading time of websites on subjects’ attention, arousal, memory, and content perception and effects of content on stimulation of stereotypical thoughts.

Planning Your Curriculum

  1. Review Recommended Academic Plan
  2. Review Core Classes
  3. Review Course Tracks & Options
  4. Schedule your Classes

1. Recommended Academic Plan

The recommended academic plan offers semester-by-semester recommendations for course scheduling and the major checksheet provides a printable list of course options and descriptions.

Film/TV Studies Recommended Academic Plan

International Communications Recommended Academic Plan

International Study Abroad Semester Recommended Academic Plan

Media Effects Recommended Academic Plan

Media Effects Society and Culture Academic Plan

Checksheet (all options)

2. Required Common Requirements - 15 Credits

All Media Studies students must take the following prescribed courses:

  • COMM 100 – The Mass Media and Society
    Mass communications in the United States: organization, role, content, and effects of newspapers, magazines, television, radio, books, and films. 3 Credits
  • COMM 304 – Mass Communication Research
    Introduction to research methods in mass communications. Prerequisite:3 credits from STAT 200, SCM 200 or PSYCH 200; and 3 credits from COMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 260W, COMM 320 or COMM 370 3 Credits
  • COMM 405 – Political Economy of Communications
    Structure and functions of American and other mass communications systems and their relationship to political and economic systems. Prerequisite: ECON 102 3 Credits
  • COMM 411 – Cultural Aspects of the Mass Media
    The mass media as creators and critics of mass culture in American life; relationships between the media and mass culture. Prerequisite: 6 credits in the arts or the humanities; and 3 credits selected from the followingCOMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320 orCOMM 370 3 Credits
  • COMM 413W – The Mass Media and the Public
    Social-level and political theories of the relationships between media and public; media influences on public opinion; social pressure on the media; political communications. Prerequisite: select 3 credits from the following COMM 100, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320 or COMM 370 and select 3 credits from the following:COMM 304, COMM 420 3 Credits

3. Options - 21-30 Credits

Several options are offered to allow students to identify their own media-related questions and acquire the tools to answer these questions.

In addition to the prescribed courses, media studies majors must complete 21-30 credits of prescribed and additional courses. These are requirements for the major ONLY, please check the Undergraduate Bulletin for complete degree requirements.

  • Film and Television StudiesOpen or Close

    This option is designed for students interested in studying the art, history, and criticism of film and television. Electives offer students the opportunity to pursue a related field, such as art, art history, creative writing, speech communication, or theatre arts. This option merges aesthetics and social sciences and is appropriate for those seeking a more theoretical/critical approach to the study of film and video.

    Prescribed Courses (9 Credits)

    • COMM 150 – The Art of the Cinema
      The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present. 3 Credits
    • COMM 242 – Basic Video/Filmmaking
      Introduction to basic motion picture techniques, emphasizing practical experience in filmmaking. Prerequisite: COMM 150 and second third or fourth semester standing 3 Credits
    • COMM 250 – Film History and Theory
      Exploration of film theory and criticism in the context of aesthetic, technological, and economic evolution of film history. Prerequisite: COMM 150 3 Credits

    Additional Courses (12 Credits)

    Select 9 Credits From

    • COMM 451 – Topics in American Film
      Critical and historical studies of American films. Analysis of directing, cinematography, editing, screenwriting, and acting. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6
    • COMM 452 – Topics in International Cinema
      Critical and historical studies of topics in non-American film. Analysis of theory, direction, cinematography, editing, and screenwriting. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6
    • COMM 453 – Narrative Theory: Film and Literature
      Comparative study of the aesthetics and techniques of film and literature; close analyses of masters of each art form. Prerequisite: COMM 150 or 3 credits in literature3 Credits
    • COMM 454 – Documentary in Film and Television
      Study of representative films from various documentary movements, examining form, technique, trends, and audience objectives. Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing 3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6
    • COMM 455 – Advanced Film Theory and Criticism
      Close examination of classic and contemporary film theory and critical perspectives. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6
    • COMM 495 – Internship
      Supervised practicum with newspapers, broadcasting stations, public relations, and advertising agencies. Prerequisite:1-3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6
    • COMM 496 – Independent Studies
      Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses. 1-18 Credits

    Select 3 Credits From

    CAS 415(3), CHNS 121 GH;IL(3), CMLIT 153 GH;IL(3), ENGL 403(3), FR 138 GH(3), FR 487 IL(3), FR 488 IL(3), IT 475(3), JAPNS 453 IL(3), MUSIC 004 GA(3), PHIL 005 GH(3) (Sem: 5-8)

    See the University Bulletin for course descriptions of courses from other departments

  • International StudiesOpen or Close

    This option is designed for students who want to study the mass media systems of the world and their role in international affairs. The option offers students an opportunity to enhance their occupational opportunities in international business, organizations, or government and to be better prepared to participate in the world community. Students must select either a University-approved minor in a foreign language, area studies, or international studies; a University-approved education abroad program; or other international-related courses or programs with prior departmental approval.

    Prescribed Courses (9 Credits)

    • COMM 110 – Media and Democracy
      This course considers the role of the mass media with regard to developing civic awareness and engagement in democratic societies. 3 Credits
    • COMM 410 – International Mass Communications
      The role of international media in communication among and between nations and people. Prerequisite: Select 3 credits from the following COMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320 or COMM 370 3 Credits
    • COMM 419 – World Media Systems
      Comparative study of modern media systems of mass communications in selected foreign countries. Prerequisite: COMM 410 3 Credits

    Additional Courses (3 Credits)

    Select 3 Credits From

    • COMM 118 – Introduction to Media Effects
      Examination of individuals' selection, uses and perceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. 3 Credits
    • COMM 150 – The Art of the Cinema
      The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present. 3 Credits
    • COMM 205 – Women, Minorities, and the Media
      Analysis of historical, economic, legal, political, and social implications of the relationship between women, minorities, and the mass media. 3 Credits
    • COMM 320 – Introduction to Advertising
      Advertising management in business, including communication theory; common industry practices; basics of copy, media, and budget decision; and environmental influences. A student may not receive credit for both COMM 320 and MKTG 322. Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing 3 Credits
    • COMM 381 – Telecommunications Regulation
      Overview of the regulation of electronic media. Prerequisite: COMM 180; ECON 102 or ECON 014 3 Credits
    • COMM 452 – Topics in International Cinema
      Critical and historical studies of topics in non-American film. Analysis of theory, direction, cinematography, editing, and screenwriting. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per Semester, Maximum of 6

    Supporting Courses and Related Areas (9-18 Credits)

    Select at least one of the following for a minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 18 credits, no more than 9 credits in COMM.

    • University approved minor in foreign language, area studies or international studies
    • University approved education abroad program
    • Other international related courses or programs with prior departmental approval

    More than one of the above is strongly recommended.

    See the University Bulletin for course descriptions of courses from other departments

  • Media EffectsOpen or Close

    This option focuses on the social and psychological effects of media messages and technologies. Students progress through a general introduction to problems and issues, such as the effects of televised sex and violence, to courses that emphasize more theoretical approaches and advanced applications. A minor in a complementary area of study, such as Psychology or Sociology, is encouraged.

    Prescribed Courses (9 Credits)

    • COMM 118 – Introduction to Media Effects
      Examination of individuals' selection, uses and perceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. 3 Credits
    • COMM 418 – Media Effects: Theory and Research
      Investigation of social and psychological effects of media messages and technologies via theories and empirical evidence pertaining to processes of effects. Prerequisite: COMM 118 and COMM 304 or equivalent 3 Credits
    • PSYCH 100 – Introductory Psychology
      Introduction to general psychology; principles of human behavior and their applications. 3 Credits

    Additional Courses (9 Credits)

    Select 6 Credits From

    • COMM 110 – Media and Democracy
      This course considers the role of the mass media with regard to developing civic awareness and engagement in democratic societies. 3 Credits
    • COMM 150 – The Art of the Cinema
      The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present. 3 Credits
    • COMM 180 – Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications
      The development of electronic media and telecommunications, emphasizing social, economic, political and global impact. 3 Credits
    • COMM 205 – Women, Minorities, and the Media
      Analysis of historical, economic, legal, political, and social implications of the relationship between women, minorities, and the mass media. 3 Credits
    • COMM 320 – Introduction to Advertising
      Advertising management in business, including communication theory; common industry practices; basics of copy, media, and budget decision; and environmental influences. A student may not receive credit for both COMM 320 and MKTG 322. Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing 3 Credits
    • COMM 403 – Law of Mass Communications
      Nature and theories of law; the Supreme Court and press freedom; legal problems of the mass media. 3 Credits
    • COMM 412 – Sports, Media and Society
      Sport and media relationship in American culture. 3 Credits

    Select 3 Credits from

    • PSYCH 221 – Introduction to Social Psychology
      Research and theory on topics including interpersonal attraction, aggression, helping, attitudes, attribution, cooperation, competition, and groups, from a psychological perspective. Prerequisite: PSYCH 100 3 Credits
    • PSYCH 256 – Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
      Introduction to study of such higher mental processes as thinking and reasoning, imagery, concept formation, problem solving, and skilled performance. Prerequisite: PSYCH 100 3 Credits

    Supporting Courses and Related Areas (3 Credits)

    Select 3 credits in research methods from an approved department list.

    A minor in a complementary area of study is encouraged (e.g. Psychology or Sociology)

    See the University Bulletin for course descriptions of courses from other departments

  • Society and CultureOpen or Close

    In this option, a student and faculty adviser work together to tailor a program of courses to meet the student's individual interest in a coherent theme in media studies. These courses are usually selected in tandem with a minor or other supporting cluster of non-major courses in the area of specialization. Examples of themes include, but are not limited to, communication and the environment, communication and health campaigns, sports and the media, minorities and the media, and gender and the media. A minor in an area of specialization is encouraged.

    Additional Courses (21 Credits)

    Select 6 Credits From

    • COMM 110 – Media and Democracy
      This course considers the role of the mass media with regard to developing civic awareness and engagement in democratic societies. 3 Credits
    • COMM 118 – Introduction to Media Effects
      Examination of individuals' selection, uses and perceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. 3 Credits
    • COMM 150 – The Art of the Cinema
      The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present. 3 Credits
    • COMM 205 – Women, Minorities, and the Media
      Analysis of historical, economic, legal, political, and social implications of the relationship between women, minorities, and the mass media. 3 Credits

    Select 15 Credits from

    • COMM 110 – Media and Democracy
      This course considers the role of the mass media with regard to developing civic awareness and engagement in democratic societies. 3 Credits
    • COMM 118 – Introduction to Media Effects
      Examination of individuals' selection, uses and perceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. 3 Credits
    • COMM 150 – The Art of the Cinema
      The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present. 3 Credits
    • COMM 170 – Introduction to the Sports Industry
      The course provides a basic understanding of how the principles of business apply in the industry of sports. 3 Credits
    • COMM 180 – Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications
      The development of electronic media and telecommunications, emphasizing social, economic, political and global impact. 3 Credits
    • COMM 408 – Cultural Foundations of Communications
      Examination of oral, scribal, print, industrial, and electronic cultures; analysis of impact of technology on communications and social structure. Prerequisite: select 3 credits from COMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320, COMM 370; or 3 credits of S T S 3 Credits
    • COMM 409 – News Media Ethics
      Ethical problems in the practice of journalism; principal public criticisms of news media; case study approach. 3 Credits
    • COMM 410 – International Mass Communications
      The role of international media in communication among and between nations and people. Complement to COMM 419. Prerequisite: select 3 credits from the following COMM 100, COMM 110, COMM 118, COMM 150, COMM 180, COMM 251, COMM 260W, COMM 320 or COMM 370 3 Credits
    • COMM 412 – Sports, Media and Society
      Sport and media relationship in American culture. 3 Credits
    • COMM 417 – Ethics and Regulation in Advertising and Public Relations
      Ethical issues in practice of advertising and public relations; legal and regulatory issues; case studies. Prerequisite: COMM 320 or COMM 370 3 Credits
    • COMM 418 – Media Effects: Theory and Research
      Investigation of social and psychological effects of media messages and technologies via theories and empirical evidence pertaining to processes of effects. Prerequisite: COMM 118 and COMM 304 or equivalent 3 Credits
    • COMM 419 – World Media Systems
      Comparative study of modern media systems of mass communications in selected foreign countries. Prerequisite: COMM 410 3 Credits
    • COMM 451 – Topics in American Film
      Critical and historical studies of American films. Analysis of directing, cinematography, editing, screenwriting, and acting. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per semester, maximum of 6
    • COMM 452 – Topics in International Cinema
      Critical and historical studies of topics in non-American film. Analysis of theory, direction, cinematography, editing, and screenwriting. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per semester, maximum of 6<
    • COMM 453 – Narrative Theory: Film and Literature
      Comparative study of the aesthetics and techniques of film and literature; close analyses of masters of each art form. Prerequisite: COMM 150 or 3 credits in literature 3 Credits
    • COMM 454 – Documentary in Film and Television
      Study of representative films from various documentary movements, examining form, technique, trends, and audience objectives. Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing 3 Credits per semester, maximum of 6
    • COMM 455 – Advanced Film Theory and Criticism
      Close examination of classic and contemporary film theory and critical perspectives. Prerequisite: COMM 250 3 Credits per semester, maximum of 6

    [At least 9 credits must be at the 400-level]

4. Schedule Your Classes

Schedule Your Classes

Page last updated: December 16, 2013