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Media Studies

Media studies is a discipline that looks at the history, effects, and content of various media (mainly mass media). Contemporary media studies includes the study of new media, with emphasis on interactive television, the internet, mobile devices and other mass media forms. Media studies students tend to see themselves as observers of media as opposed to practitioners or creators.

Program Information

Media Studies degrees are not offered at every university, so if you are interested in pursuing this field you may have to do some extra research before applying. The University of Virginia does offer a Media Studies major. The Media Studies Department focuses on the effects and forms of media, including books, film, print, electronic and television media. The Department was formed in 2000 as an interdisciplinary undergraduate major. Before being accepted into the major, students must take the Introduction to Media Studies and Introduction to Digital Medial Studies courses. Students can be accepted into the Media Studies major in the second semester of second year upon review of their application. This can be a very competitive process that takes into account the application essays and applicant’s GPA. After securing admission, the completion of the major includes a total of 9 courses for 27 credits. Students are advised to consider the broad range of topics which are necessary to fully understand media studies. This includes the experience of media, the history of media, and the business and economics of media. Students must achieve at least a 2.0 grade in every course. Johns Hopkins University has a Film and Media Studies program, which is comprised of courses in history, criticism, and theory of film, screenwriting, film production and media studies.

media student

Pros & Cons

Media Studies is an emerging discipline, and allows students to work with new technologies. It is a field that studies the present, and provides students with skills that are important in the world today. These skills can lead to careers in public relations or advertising. It is also an undergraduate degree that can prepare you for a career in law or teaching. Having a strong knowledge of modern media and different techniques the media uses to create a message is extremely beneficial for many professions. Since it is a relatively new major however, it is not offered at all universities. Thus, if you wish to major in Media Studies, you might not be able to attend your number one school. You also may have to travel to attend school, since the schools in your city or state may not have a Media Studies program.

Graduate School & Career

Media studies graduates have a variety of career options. Media Studies graduates have insight and knowledge of effective communication skills, which can lead to a public relations job. Having the ability to communicate effectively with different audiences is a huge asset for many companies and firms. Marketing and advertising industries both value media studies graduates. They hire these graduates to fill various roles, such as media planning, copywriting, advertising account manager, and market research. Other suitable careers can be found within the field of broadcasting. Media Studies degrees are also popular for aspiring journalists, though a postgraduate study is usually required for this field. Other popular postgraduate studies for students with Media Studies degrees include law, writing, public administration, and teaching.