Major in Media Studies (BA)
A degree in media studies builds upon the core competencies of the communication program to develop the critical mind, aesthetic sensibilities, and technical skills needed to work and create in modern media industries. Students of the media studies program have the opportunity to gain practical experience in many areas of media design and development, such as broadcast production for television and radio, digital graphic design, multimedia journalism, and cinematic film production. Students will exit the program with a high degree of technological facility in multiple modes of message delivery, but they will also gain an education grounded in the liberal arts tradition, along with demonstrable abilities in critical analysis, mass media writing and research, project management, and professional leadership.
Students will engage in a sequence of courses designed to develop their skills over multiple years of study. Media studies courses are structured around challenging, creative projects that reflect the kinds of work done in the industry, so that students will leave with well-developed portfolios that showcase their abilities. A student may spend a term writing, directing, and editing a short documentary film or working on a team to design a comprehensive brand identity package for an organization. The diverse skill sets that are fostered in the media studies program will prepare students for the dynamic, constantly evolving mass media workplace.
The program culminates in an intensive senior experience, which combines a major individual project with a year-long residency as a member of the university’s digital media outlet. Students also have the option to complete an internship with one of the many professional media organizations in the Chicago area.
Media Studies Major Requirements: 40 semester hours
Students must complete 40 semester hours of media studies major-approved courses. Students are required to complete 20 semester hours of core communication courses and 20 semester hours of media studies major-approved electives.
Communication Core Requirements: 20 semester hours
All media studies majors are required to complete the following courses:
- COM1550 Professional Communication (4)
- COM2150 Human Relationships & Interactions (4)
- COM2200 Writing for Communication (4)
- COM2850 Visual Communication (4)
- COM3200 Persuasion and Consumer Culture (4)
Media Studies Electives*: 12 semester hours Students must complete at least three (3) of the following electives:
- COM2300 The Art of Film (4)
- COM3140 Multimedia Journalism (4)
- COM3250 Digital Design (4)
- COM3310 Media Criticism (4)
- COM3350 Interactive Media (4)
- COM3410 Survey of European Film (4)
- COM3420 Survey of Non-Western Film (4)
- COM3700 Broadcast Media Production (4)
- COM3710 Screenwriting and Cinema Production (4)
- COM3810 Special Topics in Communication (4)
- COM4940 Communication Internship (4)
*NOTE: Students double majoring in communication and media studies cannot use the same three electives to meet the requirements of both majors. In this case of double majoring, the student is required to have six electives, three unique to each major. In addition to this departmental requirement, Aurora University requires students complete at least 20 semester hours unique to each major, meaning that students must complete at least 60 semester hours in communication and media studies courses to double major in communication and media studies.
Media Studies Senior Experience: 8 semester hours
Students must complete the following courses, constituting the Media Studies Senior Experience:
- COM4992 Communication Project Planning (2)
- COM4994 Communication Project Implementation (2)
- COM4496 Media Production Seminar (2)
- COM4998 Media Production Management (2)