You are not just a consumer. Your media contributions to our culture can be thoughtful even as they are powerful.
The Department of Media Studies specializes in sophisticated, cutting-edge research on the media technologies that underlie contemporary culture, economy and politics. Learn how media industries, practices and narratives shape how we think about and relate to the world around us. Enter our tight-knit community and participate in innovative research projects that engage emerging technology practices, seek to understand new digital cultures and strive to change society in meaningful ways.
Our Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies emphasizes the creative and analytical skills needed to make sense of current and future trends in media and to gain a deep understanding of the history and development of various means and forms of communication.
Explorations of media theory, history, criticism, practices, popular culture, technology and emerging cultures are enhanced by the access to all the departments within the College of Media, Communication and Information, giving you opportunities for practical training in media design, storytelling, digital art, information science, documentary filmmaking and journalism.
You’ll gain conceptual, technical and practical skills in media analysis, production and management, but you’ll also learn to think critically about the creation, distribution and reception of contemporary and emergent media cultures across a global context.
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Media Studies Minor
The minor in Media Studies (MDST) allows students to choose from among a wide array course offerings, which focuses on contemporary media topics in one of three recommended concentrations:
- Media, Technology and Society
- Global Media Industries and Culture
- Advocacy, Entrepreneurship and Social Change
In the Department of Media Studies, graduate students work with faculty to design a program of study that fits their individual interests by taking advantage of the expertise and intellectual opportunities offered within the department, CMCI and other academic programs on campus. Our faculty provide an environment in which graduate students receive optimal opportunity for study, research, teaching and the production of creative work.
The department’s scholarly and teaching interests focus on the cultural, social, economic, political and discursive environments in which communication systems, industries, texts and audiences operate. We examine national, international and global media institutions; the role, development and evolution of communication and information technologies; the political economy behind media content production; the nature and effects of media representations and the way media issues create publics and counterpublics. We investigate how various communities receive, interact with, interpret and produce media texts and address these interests from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.
The Department offers two main graduate tracks within Media Studies:
The MA in Media and Public Engagement (MAPE) is a 2-year immersion in the practice and theory of media advocacy. It offers critical study of the history, institutions, economics and social implications of the media, nationally and globally, combined with a practice-based media training geared toward civic engagement and community building. In addition to completing courses in media theory and other fields of interest, students will have the opportunity to create thoughtful and engaging projects using a variety of media practices including documentary film, multimedia websites, interactive video installations and digital platforms.
In their two years in the program, MAPE students will collaborate with faculty, community leaders, nonprofit organizations and socially engaged corporations to devise innovative pathways to the study, commentary and presentation of social issues. They may also choose to focus on environmental issues and complete the Graduate Certificate in Environment, Policy and Society (EPS), which consists of 18 credit hours met by taking courses both inside and outside CMCI.
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The PhD in Media Studies is a distinct track within the umbrella PhD in Media Research and Practice (MDRP). Drawing largely from contemporary cultural and critical theory, the Media Studies PhD program focuses on interactions among the major components of modern communication — media institutions, their contents and messages, and their audiences or publics — as a process by which cultural meaning is generated. It examines that process on an interdisciplinary basis through social, economic, political, historical, legal/policy/regulatory and international perspectives, with a strong emphasis on issues involving new communication technology and policy.
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