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.

Bachelor of Arts 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 Capstone Program

Overview

VMA students can apply for the optional VM491: BA Capstone Project, an advanced production workshop that allows you to produce portfolio work as a Capstone Project during their senior year. Applications must include a detailed description of the proposal for consideration by a faculty panel. The proposal can be for a creative project based in any area of the program, including film, TV, animation, sound design, or digital art and games.

Learn more about the Capstone