Programs

The Department of Visual and Media Arts offers a curriculum designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in various media arts, including screenwriting, film, TV, sound design, interactive new media, game design, photography, and others. The department offers two tracks within its Bachelor of Arts (BA) curriculum: Media Arts Production and Media Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Media Arts Production.

Production Track

The undergraduate faculty of Visual and Media Arts is committed to the following learning objectives for the BA in Media Arts Production program.

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, theory, and practice of visual and media arts.
  2. Demonstrate technical proficiency in media arts production.
  3. Create media arts with originality and aesthetic depth.
  4. Demonstrate their ability to research and analyze media arts.
  5. Learn to apply ethical principles in the production and analysis of media arts.

Curriculum

Visual and Media Arts Foundations (12 credits)

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

Required Courses

Number Course Credits
VM 100 History of Media Arts I 4
VM 101 History of Media Arts II 4
VM 120 Foundations in Visual and  Media Arts Production 4

Students are required to attend the Production Safety Workshop, VM 110, while enrolled in VM 120.

Introductory Courses (16 Credits)

Critical Studies (Required)

Number Course Credits
VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory 4

Introductory Writing and Concept Development

Select at least one of the following courses:

Number Course Credits
VM 202 Critical Listening 4
VM 220 Writing the Short Subject 4
VM 222 Writing for Television 4

Introductory Production

Select at least one of the following courses:

Number Course Credits
VM 204 Topics in Media Arts: Practice 4
VM 230 Introduction to Film Production  4
VM 231 Intermediate Film Production  4
VM 241 Introduction to Studio Television Production 4
VM 242 Introduction to Documentary Production 4
VM 243 Introduction to Narrative Drama 4
VM 250 Introduction to Sound Principles and Audio Production 4
VM 251 Location Sound Recording 4
VM 260 Introduction to Interactive Media 4
VM 261 Computer Animation 4
VM 263 Drawing for Character Design 4
VM 265 Introduction to Photography 4
VM 270 Introduction to Game Design 4

Students are required to complete at least one additional course from the Introductory Production or Writing and Concept Development areas.

Visual and Media Arts Electives (16 Credits)

Students are required to complete at least two intermediate or advanced production courses numbered VM 320–390, 420–497.

Students are required to complete at least one visual and media studies seminar course from VM 402, 403, 409, or 410.                

In addition to the studies seminar, students are required to complete at least one additional advanced studies course numbered 300–315, 400–418, or 500.

The Visual and Media Arts 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. A plan of study is a sequence of classes specifically designed to develop expertise in one of the areas listed below:

  • Animation and Motion Media
  • Cinematography/Videography
  • Directing Narrative Fiction
  • Documentary Production
  • Experimental Media Production
  • Filmmaking
  • Interactive Media and Games
  • Photography
  • Post-Production
  • Producing
  • Sound Design/Audio Post-Production
  • Studio TV Production
  • Writing for Film and Television

Upper-Level Liberal Arts Requirement 

In addition to the Liberal Arts 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:

  • EC - Economics
  • HI - History
  • IN - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • LI - Literature
  • PH - Ethics or Philosophy
  • PL - Political Science
  • PS - Psychology
  • RL - Religion
  • SC - Science
  • SO - Sociology
  • TH 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 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. Registration for VM 491 requires faculty committee approval. Students seeking to pursue a yearlong course of work on a thesis-level project and a more rigorous course of study may apply to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program. More information about the BFA degree program is provided in the following section.


Degree Requirements for Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts Production

The undergraduate faculty of Visual and Media Arts is committed to the following learning objectives for the BFA in Media Arts Production program.

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, theory, and practice of visual and media arts.
  2. Demonstrate technical proficiency in media arts production.
  3. Create media arts with originality and aesthetic depth. 
  4. Demonstrate their ability to research and analyze media arts. 
  5. Apply ethical principles in the production and analysis of media arts.
  6. Create an advanced-level project in their own media specialization.

Students are encouraged to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA), which includes a yearlong, intensive capstone project in the student’s chosen medium. The BFA encourages innovative exploration of voice, form, culture, and genre. 

Application

Students are eligible to apply for entry to the BFA program in their junior year. Applications and information about the application process are available through the office of the BFA program director in the Visual and Media Arts Department. Students applying for the BFA should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and should maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to continue. Admission to the BFA program is competitive.

Requirements

Thesis Project: Students admitted to the BFA program must complete their thesis project by the end of their last semester at the College on the Boston campus.

Courses

In addition to the requirements listed in the Bachelor of Arts Media Arts Production Track above, an additional 16 credits in media production courses are required for the BFA degree, including two consecutive semesters of VM 470, Advanced new Media Projects, VM 490 BFA Production Workshop, or VM 492, Photo Practicum to be taken during the student’s final two semesters on the Boston campus. All students must submit portfolios, transcripts, and project proposals by the designated deadline for BFA committee review for admission to VM 470, 490 or 492. Admission is by committee approval only. 

The remaining 16 credits of media production course requirements must include: 

  1. An advanced-level course in the student’s chosen field of production; and
  2. An advanced-level production elective that supports development or completion of the  final project.  

Students should note that the BFA program leaves limited opportunity for electives. Students must consult the BFA program director for detailed information on the required and recommended elective coursework for the BFA degree.