Traditional Programs Adult Programs Course Descriptions Graduate Catalog

Media Studies - Major

For information, contact Steven Weitz, Chair of the Department of Communication, at or 610-606-4666, ext. 4483

Program Description

A major in Media Studies focuses on the analysis and criticism of media institutions and media texts, how people experience and understand media content, and the roles of media in producing and transforming culture. Students are expected to be able to talk and write about communication, its forms, media, content and activities. They are also expected to develop the capacity for critical thinking and insight needed both for professional excellence and as an educated citizen in a world dominated by media information and persuasion.

Beyond the critical component of the major, students are trained in the creative production techniques. Students will use new technologies, equipment, methodologies, and facilities that will prepare them for a wide array of career and graduate study possibilities.

Students work personally with their communication advisor to shape their course of study around their areas of interest and after graduation pursue careers in many fields, including journalism, public relations, development, marketing, personnel, advertising, video production and broadcasting. Many students also go on to graduate study in a variety of disciplines. The program opens up opportunities in research, teaching, corporate communication, government, public information, international relations, human services and media and book publishing.

Program Requirements (42 credits minimum)

A grade of C- or better is needed for courses that fulfill major requirements, except for those courses that are used to fulfill college wide requirements (see below); these courses require a minimum of a grade of C. Courses transferred from other colleges may count towards the major only with the approval of the department. Students taking a major in Media Studies cannot declare New Media as an additional major.

Capstone Requirement

The program provides students with the opportunity to choose between writing a senior research thesis and conducting a senior professional project in order to fulfill their capstone requirement. This latter option may be done in conjunction with an internship.

Students conducting a senior project are required to submit for pre-approval a proposal outlining their project, the project’s connection to a field of literature in Communication, a schedule for the submission of progress reports, their internship responsibilities (if applicable), and a final analysis of their project. Students may work with an outside co-advisor in a related field for their senior capstone requirement. For instance, a student in public relations may want to work with a co-advisor in marketing, etc.


Students are not required to complete an internship for the major. However, it is highly recommended that students who do not plan on immediately continuing on to graduate school complete at least one, if not more, internships. Internships may fulfill up to 6 credits towards completion of the major (the completion of two internships of three credits each is specifically recommended).

“The Crestiad” and Cedar Crest Campus Radio Club (CCC Radio)

Students have opportunities through these campus organizations to report, write, edit, announce and develop advertising and promotion campaigns, oversee finances, etc.; these skills are crucial to many careers in communication.) The department encourages students at all levels, including freshmen, to participate in these organizations.

Course Requirements for the Media Studies Major

A major in Media Studies requires 42 credits of coursework. All students are required to complete courses in four categories: Communication Core Curriculum (15 credits), Additional Media Studies Requirements (3 credits), Perspectives (9 credits), Applications (6 credits), Advanced Study (3 credits), Communication Electives (6 credits).

Communication Core Curriculum (15 credits)

The Communication Core is required of all majors in the Communication Department. The goal of the core curriculum is to introduce all students to the history, research and theory in Communication and to provide students with a general understanding of how research in Communication is conducted.
COM 100 Introduction to Communication 3 credits
COM 112 Media Industries 3 credits
COM 200 Communication Theory and Research 3 credits
COM 350 Senior Seminar I (taken in fall of senior year) 3 credits
COM 352 Senior Seminar II (taken in spring of senior year) 3 credits

Additional Media Studies Major Requirements (3 credits)
COM 102 Media Literacy

Perspectives (3 courses required, 9 credits)
This category of courses provides students with the opportunity to explore the range of Media Studies as an academic discipline.
COM 140 Introduction to Film 3 credits
COM 150 Introduction to Journalism 3 credits
COM 210 Interpersonal Communication 3 credits
COM 212 Intercultural Communication 3 credits
COM 215 Organizational Communication 3 credits
COM 216 Public Relations and Society 3 credits
COM 217 Advertising and Society 3 credits
COM 244 Topics in Film 3 credits (can only be taken once in this category, and no more than twice toward the major)
COM 245 Topics in Popular Culture 3 credits (can only be taken once in this category, and no more than twice toward the major)
COM 252 Digital Journalism 3 credits
COM 255 Media Law and Ethics 3 credits
COM 260-265 Special Topics in Media Studies 3 credits
COM 270 Race and Gender in the Media 3 credits
COM 272 Children and the Media 3 credits
COM 275 Persuasion and Propaganda 3 credits

Applications (2 courses required; 6 credits minimum. Only 3 credits may be satisfied through an internship)
The courses in this category provide students with practical experience in various applications connected with Communication.
COM 120 Introduction to New Media 3 credits
COM 107 Digital Imaging with Photoshop 3 credits
COM 108 Digital Design with Adobe Illustrator 3 credits
COM 152 The Crestiad 1-3 credits (no more than 3 credits may be taken toward completion of the Applications requirement)
COM 209 Motion Graphics 3 credits
COM 224 Intro to Video Production 3 credits
COM 225 Digital Photography 3 credits
COM 370 Internship up to 6 credits

Other courses in the New Media major (e.g., COM 220, 222, 226) may be taken toward the completion of the Applications requirement, with permission of the student’s advisor.

Advanced Study (one course required; 3 credits minimum)
The courses in this category provide students with the opportunity for further instruction and/or advanced study in the various areas associated with Communication as a discipline.
COM 300 Readings in Communication and Culture 3 credits
COM 310 News Media in America 3 credits
COM 324 Video Production II 3 credits
COM 325 Advanced Digital Photography 3 credits

Electives in the Major (2 courses required; 6 credits minimum)
Two classes (6 credits) to be chosen from the above courses.

Recommended Courses
For students interested in Journalism:

ENG 235 Topics in Nonfiction: Writing for Publication
Students are strongly encouraged to take courses and/or select an additional major or minor in related fields such as history, political science, English, writing, or Spanish. Students should make these selections after consultation with their major advisor. The following courses are particularly recommended for journalism students:
HIS 121/122 Survey of United States History 3 credits
PSC 210 American Public Policy 3 credits
PSC 250 American Political Thought 3 credits

For students interested in Public Relations:
Students are strongly recommended also to take courses in related fields, including marketing, international business, and economics. Students should make this selection after consultation with their major advisor.

College-wide Requirements

Students fulfill the Oral Presentation requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of COM 100.
Students fulfill the Information Literacy requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of COM 200.
Students fulfill the Technology requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of COM 350 or COM 352


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