Department of Visual & Media Arts

Media Production (BA)

Forty-four credits are required for the Media Production track of the BA degree. 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

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 will explore one or more of the department’s main discipline areas.

Required Courses

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory

At least one of the following*:

VM 202 Critical Listening
VM 220 Writing the Short Subject
VM 221 Writing the Feature Film
VM 222 Writing for Television

At least two of the following*:

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

*Students intending to specialize in Sound Design / Audio Post-Production must take VM 202. Students intending to specialize in Writing for Film and Television must take two courses from VM 220, VM 221, and VM 222, and only one of the courses numbered from VM 230 to VM 261.


III. Specializations (16 Credits Minimum)

Following the development of basic production skills in Level 2, students develop a course of study based on their declared specialization. Specializations permit students to concentrate in a particular production medium, in a set of production skills, or in a specific genre. Requirements for each specialization are available via the specialization list below and from the Advising Center.

Students must take at least two specialization courses. Students must complete 200-level writing and production requirements and have junior standing to take 300-level specialization courses.

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

Required Courses

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

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

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.

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