Department of Visual & Media Arts

Sound Design / Audio Post-Production (BA, BFA)

This specialization is an intensive program of study in the theory and practice of all phases of producing creative and professional sound tracks for film, video, and all new media forms of expression. This course of study emphasizes concept development; sound principles and audio production; field recording; A.D.R. and Foley techniques; surround sound design; and mastering to DVD. The specialization prepares students for career opportunities within the audio production and post-production industry.

Credits: 44 for BA, 60 for BFA (both degrees also include 8 additional upper-level liberal arts credits)


I. Visual and Media Arts Foundations (12 credits)

The Visual and Media Arts Foundations offer students a broad theoretical, historical, and practical introduction to the visual and media arts.

Required Courses

VM 100 History of Media Arts I
VM 101 History of Media Arts II

one of the Following:

VM 102 Dimensions of Creativity
VM 120 Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production

II. Introduction to Disciplines (16 credits minimum)

At the Introduction to Disciplines level, students explore one or more of the department’s main discipline areas.

Required Courses

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory
VM 202 Critical Listening
VM 250 Introduction to Sound Principles and Audio Production

At least one of the following:

VM 204 Topics in Media Arts: Practice
VM 230 Introduction to Film Production
VM 231 Intermediate Film Production
VM 240 Introduction to Video Field Production
VM 241 Introduction to Studio Television Production
VM 251 Location Sound Recording
VM 260 Introduction to Interactive Media
VM 261 Computer Animation
VM 331 Topics in Visual and Media Arts: Practice

III. Specializations

Required Courses

VM 350 Sound Design
VM 450 Advanced Sound Design
One additional advanced visual and media studies course numbered VM 300-315, 400-418, or 500-519.

At least one of the following:

VM 402 Seminar in Media Arts Topics
VM 409 Seminar in Western Art
VM 410 Seminar in Non-Western Art

In addition to the General Education and major requirements, all students are required to complete at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level from the following Liberal Arts areas:

  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ethics, Philosophy, or Religion
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • TH 304, 313, 315
  • VM 315, 409, 410

Recommended Electives

VM 231 Intermediate Film Production
VM 351 Audio for New Media
VM 352 Studio Recording
VM 452 Art of Noise
VM 456 Advanced Studio Recording

Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop

Students may apply to take the Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop. Two semesters are mandatory for BFA. Optional for BA.

For specific course prerequisites, please consult the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Emerson Minds

Emerson College classmates Alan Schoolcraft '95 and Brent Simons ’97 wrote the screenplay for the #1 movie in North America, Megamind. The Dreamworks film made $43.7 million at the box office in the first weekend.

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