Degree Programs - Media and Visual Culture Studies

The Major

All students in the Media and Visual Culture Studies major share core courses, but beyond this have considerable scope to shape the major around explore their interests, building and develop critical and practical skills that will prepare them for the workplace or further education.  We encourage students to pursue relevant internships either during the summer or the academic year, and award up to twelve units of degree credit in the major for these. 

After taking Introduction to MVC in their freshman or sophomore year, students learn to write in various media related genres (blog, review, film analysis, etc.) and to develop their abilities as researchers — an area regarded by external reviewers as a particular strength of the MVC program.  In spring of their senior years all majors then take a Theories and Methodologies class, which deepens their knowledge of key concepts and questions in the field, and serves as the foundation and springboard for the senior capstone.  This is a directed research project on a particular topic chosen by the student, usually resulting in a thesis (though projects incorporating production or internships are also encouraged).

As well as these core classes, all students are required to take a course that is focused on media production—e.g. screenwriting, photography, filmmaking or making zines—and two courses in the history or theory of media cultures—ranging from Screen Genres and Visual Ethnography to Theories of Popular Culture and U.S. History on Film.  Other classes in the major are electives.


The minor consists of 24 credits, including the following required elements:

  • MVC 101 Introduction to Media and Visual Culture Studies (4)
  • MVC 201 Critical Writing in Media and Visual Culture Studies (4)
  • Two courses in the history and theory of media cultures
  • Electives 

Students may shape the minor to enhance their major program and can do so in consultation with their advisor in the major. To ensure a properly interdisciplinary focus in the major, students should select electives in at least two departments or programs.