College of Communication > Academics > Communication and Media > Graduate Program > Communication and Media (MA) > Media & Cinema Studies Concentration

Media & Cinema Studies Concentration Requirements

The Media and Cinema Studies concentration focuses on the critical skills, historical grounding, and research methodologies for understanding the cultural and social impact of film, television and digital media in our globalized society.

Our graduate seminar classes investigate current media-related topics through interdisciplinary perspectives including national and transnational media, film and media histories. The impact and potential of new technologies, the power of audiovisual media in society, the role of media in the formation of identities, aesthetics and popular culture, are also examined.

This concentration will be of interest to those seeking to prepare for a PhD program or to further their careers in the film, television and digital media fields.​

Course Requirements

The Media and Cinema Studies concentration requires 12 courses (48 credit hours) and a completion requirement. Students must complete:  three core courses, four media and cinema studies electives, and five communication and media electives. Each course taken can only count towards one program requirement.
Students must take at least one, but no more than two, production courses as part of their electives.

Core Courses

Students take a total of 3 core courses (12 credit hours).

Elective Courses

Students take a total of 9 electives (36 credit hours). Topics courses can be taken multiple times for credit as long as the specific topic differs each time. At least one (but no more than two electives) must be a production course*.

*The first production course can count towards the media and cinema studies electives, provided it is an MCS course. A second production course, if taken, can only count towards communication and media electives. With approval of the graduate program director or graduate advisor, students can take their production course in a related topic from outside the program. If a student takes a production course outside of the program, it will be counted as one of the two outside elective courses.

** With approval of the graduate program director or graduate advisor, students can take up to two relevant elective courses from other College of Communication graduate programs or relevant elective courses from other graduate departments/programs outside of the College of Communication.

Second Concentration Option

Students who are interested in declaring a secondary concentration area (in Multicultural Communication, Organizational Communication, or Relational Communication) must meet with the graduate advisor regarding requirements and declaration. Students declaring a second concentration in one of the above areas must complete the corresponding core class to the concentration, a communication studies methods requirement, and four elective courses from the corresponding concentration area.

Completion Requirement

Comprehensive Final Exam or Project/Thesis

Students in the Master of Arts in Communication and Media complete their degree requirements by passing a comprehensive final exam. Students who attain a 3.75 GPA or higher and obtain prior approval from the graduate program director have the option to complete a culminating project or thesis instead of the comprehensive final exam. Students completing a project or thesis will enroll in MCS 599 as their 12th and final course in the quarter they defend their project/thesis.  

Students who are pursuing two concentrations must pass a comprehensive final exam and do not have the option of the project or thesis.

Grade Requirements  

All students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 in their coursework. If a student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.000, the student will be allowed to complete an additional 16 credits or 3 quarters (whichever comes first) to attain the 3.000 minimum GPA. If the cumulative GPA remains below a 3.000 at the conclusion of this time period, the student may be dismissed from the program. The student's cumulative and term GPAs along with overall academic performance will be factored into the dismissal decision. 

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