Department of Visual & Media Arts

The Bachelor of Arts - Production Track

The Bachelor of Arts – Production Track is designed to produce artists and leaders who will shape the media landscape of tomorrow. Students can explore a particular field of study in depth while simultaneously branching out and discovering many different aspects of production. The open curriculum ensures that students will acquire specific skill sets as well as the flexibility to adapt to a constantly evolving media environment.

In the first year, students take foundational courses in the history of media arts and production, with an emphasis on stimulating their innate creativity. In year two, students take introductory classes in different modes of production, in criticism and theory, and in writing for media. Year three consists of intermediate courses that allow students to deepen the knowledge of their areas of interest. In the last year, students take production courses that significantly expand their skill sets or serve as a capstone experience (or both). As they refine their production skills, our students continue to develop their grasp of theory and expression (through advanced studies courses) and to expand their knowledge of the world (through advanced level Liberal Arts courses).

Our alumni are both creative thinkers and thinking creators. Our graduates demonstrate exceptional production and technical skills grounded in the theoretical and cultural environments in which they work. As graduates, they will influence those environments through effective, ethical communication.


Degree Requirements

Forty-four credits in Visual and Media Arts plus 8 credits in upper-level Liberal Arts are required for the Bachelor of Arts - Production Track. Students are encouraged to combine elements of study from diverse areas in the department, constructing a program that serves artistic and intellectual interests as well as career goals. Students should remain in contact with the department and their academic advisor for information pertaining to requirements and course offerings.

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. Students are required to attend a workshop on production safety while enrolled in VM 102 or VM 120.

Required Courses

Two courses in historical analysis (8 credits):

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

One of the following courses in production foundations (4 credits): 

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

II. Introduction to Critical Studies and Theory (4 Credits)

Required Courses

One introductory course in critical studies and theory (4 credits):

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory

III. Introduction to Production (12 Credits Minimum)

Students are required to take three Introduction to Production courses (12 credits), at least one of which must be in Writing and Concept Development.

Introduction to Writing and Concept Development Courses

VM 202 Critical Listening
VM 220 Writing the Short Subject
VM 222 Writing for Television

Introduction to Production Courses

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 250 Introduction to Sound Principles and Audio Production
VM 251 Location Sound Recording
VM 260 Introduction to Interactive Media
VM 261 Computer Animation
VM 262 Drawing
VM 263 Drawing for Time-Based Media
VM 265 Introduction to Photography

IV. Intermediate and Advanced Production (8 Credits Minimum)

Following the development of basic production skills in Level 2, students explore their production interests. The VMA Faculty has developed Possible Plans of Study to help students navigate the wide range of course options. The Possible Plans of Study are optional and are meant only to serve as guides for students.

Possible Plans of Study have been developed in:

Animation and Motion Media
Cinematography
Directing
Documentary
Experimental Media
Filmmaking
Interactive Media and Gaming
Photography
Post-Production
Producing
Sound Design
TV and Video
Writing for Film and TV

Students must take at least two intermediate and advanced courses at the 300 or 400 level. Students must complete 200-level writing and production requirements and have junior standing to take 300-level production courses.


V. Advanced Critical Studies and Theory (8 Credits)

Students must also complete at least two visual and media arts studies courses.

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

And:

One additional advanced visual and media studies course numbered VM 300-315, 400-418, or 498.

VI. Upper-level Liberal Arts (8 Credits)

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

BA Production Capstone Project

During a student’s final semesters, the option of working on advanced production projects is available. Students can apply to register for VM 491 BA Capstone Project, which provides the opportunity for students to realize a one-semester production project, reel, or portfolio in their senior year. The Capstone Project is optional for the BA degree and registration for VM 491 requires faculty committee approval. Students seeking to pursue a year-long course of work on a thesis-level project and a more rigorous course of study may apply to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program.

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.

Read more »