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The Media Studies Program includes a set of core courses that provides students with a strong base in media theory and analysis, beginning with a thoroughly multidisciplinary introductory-level class, Approaches to Media Studies (Media Studies 160), and culminating in a senior seminar and an individual senior project for all majors. The specific focus of each student’s program is tailored to individual student interests. Media studies majors work with a faculty advisor and the program director to design a plan of study from a set of approved courses from departments such as Anthropology, Art, Computer Science, English, Film, and Sociology, among others. Students are also encouraged to link their theoretical and critical study of media with hands-on, practice-based courses and/or internships in media-related workplaces. Because the media studies concentration incorporates courses originating within the program as well as a wide range of courses from other programs and departments, students wishing to major in media studies should consult with the program director as early as possible to design their course of study.

Major Requirements

The following academic requirements are from the 2016/17 Vassar College Catalogue.

Requirements for the Concentration

13.5 units, including:

  • MEDS 160 - Approaches to Media Studies
  • MEDS 250 - Exploratory Media Practices
  • MEDS 260 - Media Theory
  • MEDS 300 - Senior Project Preparation
  • MEDS 301 - Senior Project
  • MEDS 310 - Senior Seminar

Additional Information

The additional 8 courses will ordinarily be selected from courses cross-listed with Media Studies and the list of Media Studies Approved Courses, which will be made available prior to pre-registration each semester. Students wishing to apply other courses toward the Media Studies concentration should consult with their adviser before petitioning the Program. All petitions must be approved by the Program Director. The additional courses must be distributed as follows:

  1. 200-level course work from a minimum of three different departments or multidisciplinary programs;
  2. a minimum of two 300-level courses, from more than one department or program, and which must reflect the intellectual path set by previous coursework;
  3. a minimum of one course on multicultural media practices or issues. Students should consult with their faculty advisers to identify appropriate courses from the list of Approved Courses;
  4. one practice-based course. If the course is not selected from the list of Approved Courses, a JYA or Fieldwork course may satisfy the requirement upon approval of the Program Director. While students are encouraged to pursue further practice-based coursework or internships, a maximum of two such units may be applied toward the concentration.

After declaration of the concentration, no courses applied toward the concentration may be elected NRO.

Senior-Year Requirements

MEDS 310 - Senior Seminar; MEDS 300 and MEDS 301, a senior project under the supervision of 2 members of the program faculty, 1 of whom should be a member of the steering committee.