Media Studies Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Bachelor of Science graduates in Media & Communication will be aware of the nature of the communication enterprise:

  1. as a force in shaping social, economic, and political structure;
  2. from ethical and ideological perspectives;
  3. from global and national perspectives.

Graduates will also be able to:

  1. research and analyze material;
  2. write well;
  3. competently use chosen technological media;
  4. produce material of high quality in at least one medium;
  5. work collaboratively;
  6. make sound choices in the design and meaning of their messages and productions.

Finally, graduates will have:

  1. the ability to think independently and critically;
  2. the flexibility necessary to adapt to rapid changes in the field;
  3. an understanding of the need to balance and evaluate personal, organizational, and public concerns in the process of creative production.

BS in Media & Communication with a Concentration in Media Studies

Complete the following courses required of all COM majors (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 1040

Media Writing

This is a basic course covering writing in a variety of media including print and broadcast journalism, advertising, instructional television, public relations and broadcast continuity.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061.

Every Semester

3

COM 1211

Introduction to Video and Filmmaking

This is a project-oriented course in which students develop their abilities to communicate in a wide range of video applications. It offers hands-on instruction, practice and guidance in writing, producing, directing, camerawork, audio recording, single and multi-camera production, and editing. Depending on their interests, students produce, direct and/or appear on camera in a number of in-and out-of class productions.

Fee Studio fee $20.

Every Semester

3

COM 1220

Introduction to Media and Communication

This course introduces students to the study of communication processes and media literacy practices. Students will explore print media, audio-visual media and mobile platforms. They will also examine historical and technological developments, and subsequent cultural, political and economic implications of these platforms.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every Semester

3

COM 2140

Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media

OR COM 2260 - Media and Society 3 cr

Media are among our primary sources of images of people, places and things we do not encounter ourselves in our everyday lives. This course examines the images of women and racial and sexual minorities who have been on the fringes of policy development and yet at the center of narratives created by mainstream media. It takes a detailed look at the symbolic and social power of commercial media's role in constructing social and cultural differences around age, gender, race, class and sexuality.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1220 or consent of instructor.

Fee Fee $20

Spring

3

And complete these courses for the Concentration in Media Studies (15 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 1050

Introduction to Popular Culture

complete all of these

This inter-disciplinary theory course explores the ways in which media and the entertainment industries have made consumerism the focal point of American culture and society. Focusing primarily on the marketing and consumption of clothing, food, toys and religion, we will examine how the commercialization and privatization of popular culture have forced us to revise how we think of ourselves as individuals and as a nation.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fall

3

COM 1150

Introduction to Cinema Studies

Why are movies made? Who makes them? How do they make their way to us? Why does it matter? In this course, we will explore contemporary cinema's capacity to entertain, express, inform, and generate revenue. We'll work to understand why Hollywood and other film industries favor certain subjects and styles, and to illuminate the challenges of working in film production. Each class meeting will include a movie screening, lecture, discussion, and a lab instruction period.

Restrictions This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Fee $15

Every semester

3

COM 2140

Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media

OR COM 2260 - Media and Society, whichever has not been taken to fulfill the above section required of all COM majors

Media are among our primary sources of images of people, places and things we do not encounter ourselves in our everyday lives. This course examines the images of women and racial and sexual minorities who have been on the fringes of policy development and yet at the center of narratives created by mainstream media. It takes a detailed look at the symbolic and social power of commercial media's role in constructing social and cultural differences around age, gender, race, class and sexuality.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1220 or consent of instructor.

Fee Fee $20

Spring

3

COM 2160

International Communication

and two of these courses:

This course will provide a critical framework for understanding the social, political and ethical dimensions of the flow of information between nations. Central to the study will be an analysis of inter-governmental actors such as the UNESCO and the WTO in governing transborder data flows. Emphasis will be placed on examining language as an ideological tool, cultural imperialism, news imbalance, modernization and dependency, and globalization.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Fall

3

COM 2330

International Cinema

An introductory survey of non-U.S. cinema, exploring prominent film movements and national cinemas from the 1940's through the present. Films screened in the course will range from popular genre cinema to art and experimental cinemas.

Class meets for one four-hour period weekly.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1150 or consent of instructor.

Fee Screening fee $15

Fall, odd years

3

COM 2730

Special Topics in Cinema Studies

In-depth exploration of a topic in cinema studies, such as genre, director, national cinema, gender and cinema, race and cinema, or topics in film theory. Exact course descriptions will be provided prior to registration for the spring semester.

Class meets for one 4-hour session per week.

Prerequisite: COM 2050 or consent of instructor.

Fee Screening fee $15

Spring

3

COM 3050

Media and Activism

This course examines how various media forms can, and have been, used to bring about social and political change. Because computer related media technologies, community, and alternative media are generally more accessible and multi-faceted than mainstream corporate outlets, in recent times they have been deployed more easily to influence or directly enact social or public policy change. Students study all these efforts. An important aspect of the course will be examining the current political system and media's integral role in both maintaining and challenging the status quo.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fall, even years

3

COM 3760

Special Topics in Media Studies

This course is an in-depth exploration of specialized or advanced media topics and issues. Current controversies, events and concerns will inform the content of each course offering. Topics may include advocacy through social media, censorship, community and alternative media, and video games. As topics change, this course may be repeated for credit.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1220 or permission of instructor.

Fall

3

COM 4010

The Future of Communication

This course will consider the explosive growth in new technologies used in various communication processes which together form the so-called "information revolution." Its intent is to provide students, as both potential consumers and leaders in the field, with information and skills they might need to consider the communication media of the future. It is not an overly technical or theoretical course, despite the name; however students will learn certain technical concepts in order to understand the possible uses, advantages and disadvantages of new technologies and their likely impacts on individuals, organizations and society. While most of the course material will be considered in traditional classes, there will be a course listserv (electronic mailing list) on which students will write about various topics related to the course and a course web site that will include links to many of the assignments.

Prerequisite: General Education computing intensive course.

Fall, odd years

3

Plus take 15 additional credits of COM courses (15 cr)

And in the senior year (6 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 4510

Communication Portfolio

In this course students develop and organize materials to support their career development efforts. Drawing from papers, stories, scripts, graphics, videos, audio files, etc. produced during their time as undergraduates, students produce online and hard copy portfolios and "reels." Students reflect on their overall growth and development within their fields of study, and thoughtfully address the works selected for their portfolios.

Restrictions Restrictions: Senior Standing

Fall

3

COM 4810

Internship in Communication

[at least 3 cr required]

The student takes on a position of responsibility in an off-campus professional environment under the direction of an on-site supervisor and a faculty member. Experiences are available in newspapers, magazines, large and small radio and television stations, production companies, marketing and PR firms, nonprofits, and other areas. All students enrolled meet periodically to discuss experiences. (Students may take up to 15 credits in COM 3810 and COM 4810 combined.)

Signed contract required at time of registration.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

1-12

COM 4850

Senior Project in Communication

The student produces an independent project in his or her field under close supervision of a faculty advisor. Projects may be production oriented (short film) or analytical (thesis paper). Such projects may be in coordination with the university radio station, newspaper or local television facilities, but may not consist of an established position within these organizations. All students enrolled meet weekly to discuss projects.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and senior standing.

3

(Credits required for the major: 48)

Also complete a Minor, a Civic Engagement Certificate, or related area of focused study

Complete an 18 or more credit Minor or related area of focused study approved by the faculty advisor, or a Civic Engagement Certificate. The Minor or area of focused study may not be in Media & Communication, nor may it include any courses the student applies to the Major requirements. Should the Major and Minor require the same course, a relevant substitution is required in one or the other.

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.

Law Degree (CU/VLS 3+2)

This major participates in the 3+2 program with Vermont Law School, in which highly-focused students can earn a Bachelor's degree in just three years at CU and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in just two years at VLS.

For details, see the Law Degree page.