Catalog Version

Summer/Autumn 2013
Catalog update:
May 15, 2013

Access archived catalogs in the Catalog Archive section.​​​​​

Students are required to follow the Academic Handbook and Code of Student Responsibility​​

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Media and Cinema Studies (MCS) requires 12 courses: three core courses, six MCS electives, one production elective, and two graduate electives inside or outside of the program.

Core Courses

Students are required to take all of the following:

Elective Courses

Choose nine from the list below, one of which needs to be a production course*:

Media Production Electives

* With approval of the graduate program director, 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.​

Comprehensive Final Examination or Project/Thesis

Students in the Master of Arts in Media and Cinema Studies complete their degree requirements by passing a comprehensive final examination. Students who attain a 3.7 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 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.

Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in their graduate work to remain in good standing. Students who drop below this average will be put on academic probation and expected to attain the minimum requirement within two quarters. Failure to meet the conditions of academic probation result in dismissal from the program.​​​​​


MCS 501


This course will serve as a foundation for students in theories of film, television, and new media. An engagement with areas such as formal analysis, television and film spectatorship, authorship, television flow, and media specificity will provide both a brief historical framework for these disciplines, as well as a survey of major texts. Readings will include scholars/theorists such as Sergei Eisenstein, David Bordwell, Laura Mulvey, Horace Newcomb, Raymond Williams, Nick Browne, and Henry Jenkins. Formerly MCS 501 Introduction to Media Studies.

MCS 502


This course provides students with a theoretical and methodological background in the interdisciplinary field of cultural studies, which considers media and culture as sites for the construction and contestant of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and nation. The course provides a foundation in critical cultural studies, ideology critique, critical race and gender studies, transnational media studies and active audience studies.

MCS 504


This course will offer critical perspectives and methods to film and media history and research. Areas of exploration will include how popular history and academic historiography interact, the way certain subjects and facts are emphasized over others, the different forms used to represent historical knowledge, and questions of history and memory. In addition to the assumptions, methods, and purposes of film/media histories, the course will also ask crucial questions regarding the nature of inquiry and the status of data and evidence. Students will learn how to address a specific research question through a variety of methodologies in a cogent and comprehensive manner. Students will also develop competency in writing a research proposal and using research tools such as Endnote and online journal databases.

MCS 520


This is a seminar that focuses on a particular area of media studies including, but not limited to, topics such as the contemporary media industries, kids media culture, television studies, music cultures, digital divide, race and media, celebrity culture, radio studies, war and media, gender and media, global television, new media studies and sexuality and media. Students may take this seminar repeatedly in different topic areas.

MCS 521


This is a seminar-level course that provides in-depth examinations of Cinema Studies topics. Topics vary from quarter to quarter and may include studies of film genres, film authorship, national cinemas, global cinema, gender in cinema, animation, film theory, early cinema, film aesthetics, race and representation, film sound studies, or other rotating topics.

MCS 522


Examination of a particular era of film history or national cinema, film movements, or moments in social history and their relationship to film production. Topics currently in rotation include American Films of the 1970s, Latin American Cinema, War and Film, New German Cinema, feminist film, etc. Examination of a particular eras or forms of television/media from a historical perspective. Topics could include but are not limited to: History of American Broadcasting, International Broadcasting Structures, Television Outside the Box, Public and Community Broadcasting, genre-specific histories, etc.

MCS 523


This course surveys a number of frameworks for understanding the global dynamics that constitute particular media cultures around the world. We will examine historical perspectives and debates concerning the processes of globalization and the media's constitutive role in impacting our conceptions of space and time across local, national and transnational terrains. Students will interrogate how the actions of nation states, civil society and transnational corporations impact media industries and ask how media representations are contested across registers of nation, region, citizenship, class, religion, labor, gender, Diaspora, race, migration and ethnicity.
Status as a Graduate Media and Cinema Studies student is a prerequisite for this class.

MCS 530


This seminar considers the cultural ramifications of new media in shaping life experience and opportunity. As interactive digital media technologies expand opportunities for social networking, text and instant messaging, file sharing, collaborative authoring, blogging, podcasting and mobile communication, this seminar asks how these new technologies impact identity formation, creative participation and concepts of public culture. Issues of concern include race, gender, class, sexuality, cultural citizenship, fandom, subcultures and democratic participation.

MCS 533


This seminar examines the production, distribution and impact of cinema and media in the Latin American context. We will view a range of works from major and minor industries and investigate how social, economic and political forces have shaped or are presently influencing and transforming national cinemas and their industries. Questions of identity and cultural difference, particularly in relation to immigration, diasporas, transnationalism, youth culture, class, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity are central to the discussions. We will consider the diversity of styles and topics as much as the discursive and theoretical frameworks that in the past defined, or those that are now redefining, the cinema and media of the region.

MCS 534


This course examines the rise and growth of documentary forms, including audio, film, television, photography, and literary journalism. Students will study representative works from each documentary approach and learn to analyze the techniques of observation and representation at use in these pieces. Students will become familiar with the social, aesthetic, and historical discourses of documentary and understand major theoretical and critical approaches of analyzing documentary forms. Students will become aware of the convergent and divergent qualities that are features of qualitative research, journalism, and documentary practice. Students will learn how documentary functions as a witness to personal and public histories.

MCS 550


Fans, people who hold an emotional attachment to a particular object, have been the object of academic study for twenty years; yet, the study of audiences and reader/viewer-ship has a much longer and more detailed history that goes back hundreds of years. Why this fascination with the way people interpret and react to media? What is it about fans, audiences, or readers that holds such interest for academics? This course will explore the relationship between fans, academics, and cultural studies. Through an examination of the way fans and active audiences are studied, we can better understand our media, our texts, and our selves.
Status as a Graduate Media and Cinema Studies student is a prerequisite for this class.

MCS 592


This is a class reserved for independent coursework and specialization under the supervision of a faculty member. Students approved to take this class may do so at any point in the program. However, graduate students in the M.A. in Media, Culture and Society, should enroll in MCS 592 Independent Study during the quarter they write and defend the thesis/project proposal. This is a pass/fail 4-credit hour course. Enrollment in this course requires your thesis/project advisor's approval. Tuition is charged. You must complete your thesis/project proposal to be approved for this class.

MCS 599


Enroll in 599 during the term you plan to defend your thesis or complete your final project. This is a graded, 4-credit hour course. Tuition is charged and loan deferment is available. You must have a scheduled defense/completion date to be approved for this class. Your thesis/project advisor needs to communicate this date to the Graduate Studies Director for your program, before you are allowed to enroll.

CMN 591


This graduate level course is designed to integrate the student's work experience at the internship site with a career-management curriculum that enhances internship success and increases employability.

MCS 541


This course uses hands-on projects so that students can explore the steps in the process of creating an audio documentary. Through practical application students consider questions that surround the interpretation of cultural experience. Additionally, students analyze a variety of approaches to audio documentary in an effort to understand better this significant form of storytelling.
Status as a Graduate Media and Cinema Studies student is a prerequisite for this class.

MCS 542


This course allows students to take production courses from across the university including, but not limited to, Advanced Sound Design, Advanced Non-linear Editing, Documentary Production, Advanced Cinematography, Document Design, Online Documentation, Writing and Technology, Web Design I and Web Design II.

JOUR 504


This course gives students the practical experience they need in news gathering and distribution within the converged landscape of electronic newsgathering. This will involve the preparation needed in covering stories, writing reports, shooting pictures and videos, and downloading these files along with links to relevant sites online. This course will prepare students to act independently and with others throughout the digital news gathering cycle, including the production of content in multiple information formats.
Status as a Graduate Journalism student is a prerequisite for this class.