Courses / Degree Requirements for the BA in Media & Communications
To graduate with a BA in Media and Communications, students must successfully complete:
- All general requirements for a bachelor’s degree
- 48 credits of coursework from the list of courses shown below:
8 credits of these Core Courses:
MC—W250: The Power of the Word (4 credits)
In this course, students will be introduced to persuasive communication. Methods of evaluating and responding to arguments will be covered. Students will learn the fundamentals of effective speech, writing and presentation, and examine those fundamentals in the contexts of storytelling, activism, advertising, and business.
MC—W300: Narrative 1 (4 credits)
This course examines the essential role of narrative in the creation of all forms of media. From the very beginnings of human records, whether it is mythology, scripture, literature, or the earliest cave paintings, the creators of these works have always told their audience a story or imparted a message by the use of narrative. In order to work in any creative medium, understanding the various ways in which narrative is used is a great advantage. This course will examine the range of narrative forms and narrative devices that have been used since the dawn of time right up until the modern day. We will discover that although the forms and types of media used might have changed as technology has advanced, in fact, most of the essential forms of narrative used in creative works have been with us for ages. Understanding why will reveal how narrative reflects both the universal and unique aspects of the experience of human life. As part of the course students will be required to undertake projects that aid the development of their own narrative skills.
4 credits from Business Courses (pick one):
MC—W251: The Power of Social Media Marketing (4 credits)
In this course, students will learn to harness the power of media marketing in the Internet age by using social sites — such as YouTube, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn — for their current, future or imagined businesses. Students will learn key marketing and branding concepts, and gain hands-on experience with visual marketing and modern content marketing. Topics of exploration include: attraction-based marketing vs. push-based marketing; organizing followers and friends; the visual 2016/17 224 marketing creation process using, for example, large images and infographics; ecommerce tools for each social site; developing a social media marketing strategy. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
MGT 200: Growing a Business (4 credits)
This course provides a holistic overview of business for new management majors or students from other majors. Principles of marketing, finance, operations, accounting, and human resources are taught in the perspective of an integrated business strategy and are illustrated by lively examples from videos, case studies, guest speakers, and field trips.
MGT 201: Business Communication Skills (4 credits)
Effective communicators are skilled at both informing and inspiring other people. This course provides instruction and practice in making oral and written presentations based on the principle that ideal communication is a frictionless flow that nourishes both sender and receiver. Topics include: word processing and presentation software; library and Internet research skills; oral presentations; writing letters, reports, proposals, and manuals; and the principles of ideal communication. Prerequisite: WTG 192
MGT 230: The Successful Entrepreneur (4 credits)
This course is an introduction to the life of the entrepreneur as told through case studies and personal histories. Topics include: the mindset required of an entrepreneur, how to recognize a good idea for a business, issues in managing people and getting funding, balancing work and family life, entrepreneurship in international business and in the nonprofit sector.
4 credits from Film Courses (pick one):
MC—F282: Video Production (4 credits)
Students learn the basic skills of video production by participating in the production of a variety of different scenes and subjects. They will learn to handle and care for production apparatus including lights, cameras, and sound equipment, and will learn the different roles to be played in the process of shooting a video, including director, director of photography, gaffer, grip, electrician, art department, assistant directors, and production assistants. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
MC—F284: Video Editing (4 credits)
Video editing requires the student to be able to synthesize all the different elements of their video into a greater whole. The emphasis of this course is on exploring the craft of editing and the techniques used to maximize the emotional impact of the story. Students will study examples of work by accomplished editors and discover ways to build momentum and render the cut ‘invisible’. Topics include: the language of the cut, the 180-degree system, and Murch’s Rule of Six. Students will become expert in utilizing non-linear editing tools through daily editing assignments. Students will learn keyboard shortcuts and advanced trimming tools, transitions, filters, titles, keyframes, compositing tools, audio mixing, color correction, capturing and outputting. Towards the end of the course some production time will be allotted so that students may edit a final piece of their own. Students may also bring in footage that was shot previously for their final project. Prerequisite: MC—F282
4 credits from Design Courses (pick one):
MC—D366: Graphic Design 1 (4 credits)
This course provides students with the basic practical knowledge and skills needed to create effective visual design using current and critical tools and techniques. Students focus on developing their graphic design skills for personal and professional usage using Photoshop and InDesign. Topics include: digital imaging and page layout tools; principles and elements of visual design; color theory, layout design; basic principles and history of typography; brand design; use of digital photography; and copyright law. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
MC—D368: Graphic Design for the Web (4 credits)
Students learn a process that allows graphic designers to create websites without writing HTML code. This course focuses on understanding the graphic design process of converting Photoshop files into working Web pages. Students learn how to create graphic design web templates and easily turn them into highly functional Web pages using Adobe Muse software. Topics include: layering imagery; the ingredients of interaction; creating elegant, highly interactive Web site content without writing code; video and audio for the Web; defining features; budgets, pricing and the Web design marketplace; and 2016/17 217 communicating with clients and programmers. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
4 credits from Music or Sound Courses (pick one):
MC—M232: Sound Design for Visual Media (4 credits)
In this course students will dive deep into the auditory world of sound design for visual media. We will analyze, explore and break down the fundamental categories of Dialog, Sound Effects, & Music/Score that when accompanying visual media will bring a sense of wholeness to the creative project. This class will offer each student the opportunity to work in a controlled live recording environment where they will learn how to perform and record ADR, Foley, walla, and music/score. Throughout the course students will gain detailed knowledge of dialog editing, cueing, and sound effects, giving each student a solid foundation to continue their growth in sound design for visual media. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
MC—M233: Digital Music Production (4 credits)
With modern music recording and production being more accessible than ever, anyone with a computer can share the melodies in their head with the world. Be it a symphony or the next number one hit single, students will learn to use music creation software to make their dreams come true. Minor knowledge of music preferred. Students will learn basic compositional techniques as well as production and sound engineering methods to bring as much clarity to their vision as possible. Prerequisite: basic computer skills
4 credits from Writing Courses (pick one):
MC—W215: Journalism 1 (4 credits)
This course will prepare students to write nonfiction stories for publication. Students will understand the importance of reporting and ethics, learn AP style, and examine the formats of traditional and new media outlets. During the course, students will generate story ideas, collect information through research and interviews, fact check, and then compose final copy for a variety of news stories.
MC—W245: Writing for the Screen (4 credits)
Students will be introduced to the process of preparing a story to be told in a visual medium. Students will learn the basics of script and screenplay writing by participating in basic skills exercises, including dialogue emulation and performance, script-to-screen analysis, and scene adaptation. To produce effective screenplays, students will develop their own toolkit for overcoming challenges in idea conception, story structure, and dialogue. Course work will result in scripts suitable for production in later courses.
MC—W252: The Power of Imagination (4 credits)
This is a writing course that looks at the power of the human imagination and its role in fiction writing. The first part of the course will examine the function of imagination in human evolution and what parts of our physiology are involved with imagination. We will then look at some of the most imaginative writing that has been produced and how imagination plays a crucial role in the ability of the writer to create compelling and enriching narrative prose. We will discover that imagination is at the very core of the creative process and therefore developing our imaginative abilities will greatly enhance and develop the power of our writing. Throughout the course students will engage in exercises to express their imagination and develop great imaginative power. Students on the course will also undertake a writing project for the course, and there will be writing days to work on this project.
MC—W345 Creative Process (4 credits)
In Creative Process, students study their own creative process as well as what artists, writers, and filmmakers have shared about creative inspiration. The purpose of this class is to break boundaries and rediscover an easy relationship with the inner Muse. The primary textbook is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Syllabus Reader contains material by a wide range of authors such as Annie Dillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, Ann Patchett, Patricia Hampl, William Saroyan, John Ciardi, Frank Conroy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, William Stafford, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lu Chi, Mark Strand, Jane Hirshfield, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Gilbert, plus interviews with great authors by Bill Moyers and material from creativity experts Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. A variety of guest lecturers working in different media will come to the class to discuss their work, career paths, and creative process. Students will keep a daily journal and engage in various creative projects during the course. As a final project, students produce a portfolio and can choose to participate in a group installation/exhibit on creativity. Prerequisite: ART, LIT, or MC major, or permission of instructor
12 credits of Elective Courses:
In the electives, students develop their skills in one or more of the foundational areas of their choosing by completing 12 credits from among courses in the list below:
- Any MC course
- Any design, media, or photography course from the Art department
- Any course on entrepreneurship, marketing, business law, or advertising from the Business department
- FA 204: The Spiritual Quest
- Any LIT course on film history or media
8 credits from Studio/Project Courses:
MC 380: Media Projects (may be repeated for credit)
This is a senior project course in which individuals who have taken the courses in Media and Communications come together to envisage and then realize a set of core projects across a range of media. These projects are formulated among the student group with the aid of faculty members. The first stage of the course will be the generation of the project ideas, which can include ideas that utilize a range of media or ideas that are focused on a particular medium. The central goal of the course is for students to apply everything they have learned to these projects. You may be a director on a documentary, an actor in a drama feature, or a producer on a Web-based animation series. There is a wide range of possibilities. You imagine it, and we will make it happen as a team. The idea is to produce great projects that get noticed. Prerequisites: MGT 200 or MGT 201 or MGT 230 or MC 251; MC—W250; MC— W300; and 12 credits in one of the four concentrations; or consent of the instructor
A portfolio of work is also required for graduation. All students in each MC class are required to post and maintain a record of their work in a private section of the departmental website to facilitate assessment by the department.
Presentation of Capstone Project
Students are required to present their capstone project by the end of their senior year. Additional details of the capstone project may be found in the department office.
To graduate with a minor in Media and Communications, the student must take MC— W300: Narrative 1 plus 16 credits of other courses listed as required or elective for the BA in Media and Communications.