Media Studies

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate major

About this program

The Media Studies major is designed to merge practical application of media technology and production practices with a basis for practice built on critical thinking and awareness of the latest in media theory. As a Media Studies major, you obtain broadly applicable skills and knowledge for a wide variety of communications careers. 

Professionals with a degree in Media Studies apply their sophisticated knowledge of media theories, digital production skills, and analytical abilities to plan and create media-based communication solutions for corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and advocacy campaigns. 

Student outcomes

  • Deliver effective presentations through a variety of media formats.
  • Write an effective paper.
  • Demonstrate effective critical thinking.
  • Know and apply leading media theories.

Related minors

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Get started on your Media Studies

Program eligibility requirements

Any student admitted to Metropolitan State University may declare the Professional Communication - Media Studies Track as a major.  

Program requirements

36 credits

Course requirements

Students should complete the Media Studies track course work in the order it is listed below. After completing the Foundational and Initial Courses students may concurrently take courses from the Media & Culture area, the Media Production area, and the Electives. Students should register for the Advanced course during their final year in the program.

Foundational Courses

Prerequisite

Choose one

COMM 103 Public Speaking

3 credits

Students learn public speaking principles and techniques well enough to prepare, deliver, and evaluate informative and persuasive speeches. Videotaping and self-assessment are integral components of this class as is writing. Some speeches require students to research and critically analyze information. The six to eight class presentations include topics pertaining to the corporate world, community life, the political arena or human services. Students are expected to write well and will outline each presentation. Overlap: COMM 103P Public Speaking Proficiency Test.

Full course description for Public Speaking

COMM 103P Public Speaking Proficiency Test

3 credits

This assessment is designed for students who wish to have prior learning in public speaking evaluated. Students who participate serve as an audience for other students. Assessment covers the student's knowledge and application of the theories and techniques of preparation, presentation and evaluation of public speeches. This assessment is evaluated satisfactory/nonsatisfactory only. No other letter grade is assigned. Overlap: COMM 103 Public Speaking Proficiency Test.

Full course description for Public Speaking Proficiency Test

Required Foundational Courses

INFS 315 Searching for Information

4 credits

A student completing this course understands the process of finding, synthesizing, evaluating, and documenting sufficient and reliable information appropriate to a variety of purposes including upper division coursework, senior capstone papers or professional writing, and communication tasks. Students also explore a number of the contemporary issues surrounding information in society, have opportunities to use and/or visit primary resource collections and learn a variety of research techniques. Specific sections of the course will structure assignments around a course theme identified in the class schedule. Prior themes have included Civil Rights, Holocaust and Genocide, Crime and Punishment, Food, Immigration, and Health Care. Both themed and non-themed sections are offered every semester as are online and in-class sections.

Full course description for Searching for Information

COMM 333 Intermediate Intercultural Communication

4 credits

Intercultural Communication has a global perspective and engages students in reflectively thinking about the growing interdependence of nations and peoples. Students develop their ability to apply a comparative perspective to cross-cultural communication episodes in interpersonal interactions. Students research topics of interest that compare two or more cultures in some aspect of their social, economic, or political values and practices. Through field experiences, in class exercises, and readings, students learn the dynamics and skills needed to engage in respectful and sensitive communication with others whose beliefs, values, and attitudes are different than their own.

Full course description for Intermediate Intercultural Communication

Initial Course

MDST 361 Visual Communication

4 credits

Designed as an introduction to visual literacy, this course surveys many of the media formats that define today's image-dominant culture. Various examples of print advertising, photography, film, television and multimedia are explored; the focus is equally on principles and concepts from both the fine and applied arts, and draws from history as well as the present day.

Full course description for Visual Communication

Media & Culture Area

Students select 8 credits from the following options:

MDST 363 Children, Adolescents and the Media

4 credits

This course examines the influence of television, radio, film and new media on children and the family. Students discuss the unique production considerations involved when producing a media program for children and explore the research on media literacy, media violence, advertising, education, online privacy, gender roles, new technology and the child's response to programming. Includes critical viewing of media programs produced for children on broadcast and cable television, video, radio, computer, feature films, video games as well as international programs for children.

Full course description for Children, Adolescents and the Media

MDST 364 Indigenous Storytelling and New Media

4 credits

This course examines the relationship between the media, community organizing, and community power, with special emphasis on the ways in which new media can facilitate storytelling and organizing efforts in indigenous communities. The course also explores theories of social movements, community organizing, and digital storytelling, and the ways in which theory and application connect in communities to promote social change. Students will examine existing media structures and the ways in which these structures are supported and challenged by the opportunities provided by new media and will tell their own stories using new media tools.

Full course description for Indigenous Storytelling and New Media

MDST 375 Women in Film

4 credits

This course introduces students to early conventions of representing women's lives on film, tracing how those representations changed and expanded the 1930s to the present. Focusing on the genre of "the woman's film," students will learn specific film analytic approaches and recognize how technical components of film-making affect narrative, character, subtext, and theme to influence how an audience responds to stories about women. The trajectory of the course ends in examining changes in the woman's film when representations of women become more diverse, and as more women participate in screenwriting and film-making. Assignments in the course will develop the student's ability to write critically about film, tying mechanical techniques to narrative analysis, using contemporary film theory to advance the student's own thesis on depictions of women in particular films.

Full course description for Women in Film

MDST 378 World Cinema

4 credits

An opportunity for students to explore the world, world cultures and film traditions, and world issues through films from around the globe. The goal is to enrich students' film and cultural understanding of selected parts of the contemporary world.

Full course description for World Cinema

MDST 381 Video Game Culture

4 credits

This course focuses on the myriad of cultures that surround video games, the largest entertainment industry and a powerful, influential social medium. Because of games' role in both reflecting and creating cultural norms, they are a rich source for investigating the ways interactive and immersive technologies influence cultural and social perspectives. In this course, students will learn the history and evolution of video games, explore values in play, analyze gaming communities, and discover ways to think and interrogate the games industry through a critical lens. This course is part of the Game Studies Minor core.

Full course description for Video Game Culture

MDST 490 Big Data and the Connected Citizen

4 credits

As consumers of media, citizens should be prepared to assess the messages they receive from sources such as social networks, broadcast, and other media. However, in contemporary society, consumers are also communicating information about themselves, most of which is harvested without their knowledge or understanding. This course prepares students to consider their position as communicators in an interconnected world, where the information they provide about themselves is stored, retrieved, analyzed and used to sell, promote, control, or otherwise influence citizen and consumer behavior.

Full course description for Big Data and the Connected Citizen

Media Production Area

Students select 8 credits from the following options:

MDST 484 Social Media in the Enterprise

4 credits

This course examines video, multimedia, satellite and limited broadcast system's impact within companies and educational organizations. Students are introduced to business/educational corporate-image videos, corporate television, point-of-sale multimedia, instructional video, multimedia presentations and site-to-site communication. Students are provided with the information and theories to implement use of video, television and multimedia within an organization. As more and more businesses, schools and institutions come to rely on media products and tools, the ability to craft appropriate scripts for these applications is more important than ever. This course also targets the need to serve and address distinctive audiences and provides career and management guidance for media writers and producers.

Full course description for Social Media in the Enterprise

MDST 485 Communicating with New Media

4 credits

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to effectively promote and advocate for events, organizations, or issues using a variety of social media and multi-media. Students will combine online writing (or blogging) with other forms of social networking and media (wikis, YouTube, Facebook, and/or Twitter) to build a comprehensive online initiative promoting a timely and relevant issue or event either of their choosing or provided by the instructor. Students will increase their knowledge of online rhetoric, audience research, planning for media events, script or treatment writing, and evaluation of communication programs.

Full course description for Communicating with New Media

MDST 487 Podcasting: Writing and Producing for Audio/Radio

4 credits

This course explores radio/audio and you learn about podcast creation, international radio programs for development and digital storytelling. Students learn the craft of writing for the ear which can be translated to professional work in broadcast media, advertising, speechwriting or work as an independent artist. Through work as writers, directors and voice talent, students produce projects that range from short dialogue pieces and storytelling to news documentaries, podcast and radio plays.

Full course description for Podcasting: Writing and Producing for Audio/Radio

MDST 520 Digital Storytelling

4 credits

Digital storytelling is a growing area of multimodal communication that is part of a larger movement to empower communities and voices through the use of digital tools and platforms. Digital stories are short videos that combine narration, images (still and moving), sound effects, and music to tell a compelling story. Students will create two digital stories: a personal story and a story that promotes a cause or organization (e.g., a Kickstarter-style video). The process will include multiple rough cuts and a final version of each video, as well as extensive instructor and peer feedback.

Full course description for Digital Storytelling

SCRW 383 Writing For Video Games

4 credits

In this course, students will learn how to write narrative, stories, and dialogue for video games. Video game writing is a unique kind of writing in the sense that dialogue and other visual-written feedback changes depending on the input of the player. By learning a writing for games style grounded in character creation, episodic structure, and dialogue, students in this course will learn the skills to become excellent game writers. Careers writing for video games, sometimes called game designers, are gaining in popularity and importance. In this unit, students will gain the background necessary to successfully write for video games and the video game industry. This course is part of the Game Studies Minor core.

Full course description for Writing For Video Games

Advanced Course

MDST 580 Issues in Communication Technology

4 credits

This course is concerned with the impact communication technologies have had and continue to have on human societies. The course begins with a brief examination of two technologies that have had a profound impact on how people think about communication. It looks at the background and impact of current technologies. And it also looks at new and emerging technologies - such as hypermedia, neural nets, virtual reality - speculating about how these technologies will change people in the near future and later in the twenty-first century.

Full course description for Issues in Communication Technology

Electives

Students select 4 credits from the electives to complete their major. Students interested in completing an internship must apply and register for an internship (MDST 350I) BEFORE registering for WRIT 010. For information on internships please consult with your advisor or the Internship Coordinator at internships@metrostate.edu.

COMM 351 Communication in Work Groups

4 credits

This course covers theory and practice of communication in small task-oriented groups. Communication topics include team management, models of group problem solving and decision making, leadership, building cohesiveness, resolving conflict, managing diverse views, negotiating roles, and norms. Students learn to interact productively in small task groups as members and leaders. Numerous group activities, group assignments and laboratory work require an extended class time and group meetings outside of class. Overlap: COMM 351T Communication in Work Groups Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Communication in Work Groups

SCRW 313 Beginning Screenwriting

4 credits

The process of writing narrative screenplays will be introduced through writing exercises, screenplay readings, film viewings and discussion. Writing exercises will explore creativity, individual voice and practical skills. Writing in screenplay format will also be covered. Students will finish with at least one complete short screenplay ready for production. This course provides a foundation for further study in screenwriting.

Full course description for Beginning Screenwriting

SCRW 315 Film Production and Editing I

4 credits

The course introduces the principles and practices of electronic filmmaking as a personal and creative art form. Students will engage in exercises and projects to explore and understand editing, camera work, light, composition, and sound. A variety of cinematic forms will be examined. Student screenplays may be produced. Students will film and edit individual creative projects.

Full course description for Film Production and Editing I

WRIT 357 Writers as Readers

4 credits

This workshop course emphasizes the union of reading and creative writing. Good creative writers need to understand literature from the writer's perspective. They also need a comprehensive background in the various genres of literature and must be able to discuss, critique and identify the basic components of imaginative writing. This course focuses on tone, style, diction and author's voice through the students' own writing and through the readings of others.

Full course description for Writers as Readers

WRIT 371 Editing

4 credits

This course covers editing principles and techniques. Topics include how readers use and comprehend texts, the editor's role in the publication process, the writer/editor relationship, and editing for organization, format, style, grammar, punctuation, usage, consistency and accuracy. Students edit a variety of texts, including technical documents and newsletter articles in print and online.

Full course description for Editing