Department of Communication, Media, and Screen Studies Programs

Mission Statements

B.A. in Media Studies

Our mission is to graduate men and women who have developed a critical consciousness with which to engage in the necessary and serious social, moral and political discourse regarding media’s and technology’s relationship to our lives and our worlds. We are dedicated to the belief that this critical engagement engenders an ongoing learning experience as students apply their acquired knowledge, their critical awareness, and their analytical skill to the evolving social global issues and the challenges we face because of them.

B.S. in Communication

The mission for the BS in Communication program is to enable students to effectively investigate, question, appreciate, communicate, collaborate, evaluate, and adapt to change. By emphasizing an appreciation of life-long and self-sufficient learning, we want our students to recognize and take advantage of opportunities that will lead to success in the workplace and in life.

Promising advertising practitioners explore various faces of the advertising and public relations industries- copywriting, design, branding and campaign development – while refining their creative skills in an energetic, learn-by-doing atmosphere.

Aspiring filmmakers and content creators develop their understanding of professional theory and techniques that prepare them for careers in all aspects of the media production industry.

Emerging professionals develop their ability to connect and collaborate with others by exploring the complexities of human communication and developing skills for effective interaction in any interpersonal, relational, or organizational context.

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Studies explores the cultural and personal impact media and technology have upon every facet of our world, including (but not limited to) our relationships, our social environments, our gendered selves, our politics, the aesthetic properties of media artifacts, our various likes and dislikes—in short, our beliefs and understandings about just about everything. Using various approaches to media theory students learn to make meaningful choices about the mediated messages they encounter or consume.

Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, students learn to question effectively and critically and to research and analyze media issues and problems that profoundly affect their lives and the lives of those around them. Primary texts in the Media Studies program include (but are not limited to) social media and other forms of digital communication, film, television and other artifacts of popular culture. Students are empowered with the skills and curiosity to find success in graduate school and a host of careers that value problem solving and the capacity for critical thinking—careers that are both media related and non-media related.

By stressing critical thinking and analysis, and by developing professional research and writing skills, the Media Studies B.A. also provides students with the highest quality liberal education and increases their appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge that enables them to strive toward the ideal of an educated, life-long learner.

As a desired and practical complement to many academic programs, our Minor in Communication program offers a variety of courses to match students’ interests and provide the desired skills requested by employers. Foundational courses will enhance your public speaking, message design, and interpersonal/organizational communication skills while also improving your ability to think critically and creatively. You can then choose from a wide variety of intermediate/advanced level courses from one or more of our three concentrations; Advertising & Promotions, Film, Television and Digital Production, and Personal and Professional Communication. In addition, you will be provided with a faculty advisor to monitor your progress and help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

The Film Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program offered in the Department of Communication, Media and Screen Studies. The core courses provide students foundational skills for thinking critically about, and appreciating the aesthetics of, mainstream and no-so-mainstream cinema, its impact on their lives, and its place in their world. The broad understanding these critical and foundational skills provide serves as a starting point upon which students can build by choosing appropriate film courses from other compatible disciplines throughout the university. Thus, student interests are not confined to a single department or to one field of study. The minor is appropriate for students who are not specifically interested in film production; but at the same time, it will provides the student filmmaker a broader understanding of the cultural, global and formal aspects of cinema and thus inform his or her work in meaningful ways.

Students pursuing the Minor in Media Studies engage media in a variety of critical contexts. Core courses in the minor include an introduction to media theory, visual media, the various persuasive uses to which media is put, and the institutional control and bias of mediated messages. Beyond these core areas, students choose 9 credits of electives informed by their personal or career interests—television, cinema, social media, propaganda, and gender and relational issues, to name just a few possibilities.

Students pursuing the Social Media Minor study social media history, theory, development, criticism, management and analysis of the societal and individual impact of our advancing digital culture. The minor prepares students for career opportunities that support and fulfill the growing online needs of national and global organizations and to become informed and critical social media users, producers, managers and consumers. The Social Media Minor answers the growing demand for graduates trained in the professional use of social media, and responds to the rapidly evolving digital culture that has irreversibly transformed how we experience ourselves, others, and our world. No longer a novel distraction, social media has become a complex and integral component of everyday life about which everyone needs knowledge and understanding. The Social Media Minor, in its capacity to promote the critical analysis of societal changes and challenges posed by the advancing digital culture, is a vital step toward acquiring that knowledge and understanding.