College Catalog: 2013-2014

School of Contemporary Arts (CA): Communication Arts (B.A.)

Four Year Plan

Website: School of Contemporary Arts

Concentrations: Digital Filmmaking, Global Communication and Media,
Journalism, Visual Communication Design, Writing.

About the Major

The Communication Arts Major prepares students for a richly interdisciplinary field that exists at the intersection of media, film, and culture. Emerging in the mid-1900s to become one of the most influential disciplines of the 21st Century, the field of the communication arts is the study and practice of the many tools, languages, technologies, media and discourses of and about culture. Communication is also the study and practice of power: the power of economics and ownership, of persuasion and influence, ideology and values. The Communication Arts major that reflects the growing convergence of writing, journalism, film, media, and design and interactive media production across platforms, emphasizing the historical tradition of the Communication Arts discipline as rooted in the social and cultural uses of media.

To prepare students to produce outstanding creative work in an increasingly diverse society, the curriculum is both grounded in the liberal arts and committed to teaching the principles, aesthetics and tools of the discipline through the development of new pedagogies based on digital interactive multimedia technologies. The major includes nationally and internationally recognized filmmakers, print and interactive media designers, journalists, writers and scholars, whose work is featured in festivals, exhibitions, and museums, as well as in books and scholarly journals.

Students in the Communication Arts major begin their study with two required foundation courses that expose them to the ways in which new technologies and the globalization of media are blurring the lines between previously distinct areas of media production and reception. Students then choose one of five concentrations for further study: Digital Filmmaking, Global Communication and Media, Journalism, Visual Communication Design, and Writing. Courses in theory, history, structure, criticism, writing and production engage students analytically and creatively with the social, cultural, and aesthetic issues of media.

The curriculum culminates in a senior portfolio capstone project that demonstrates each student’s ability to conceptualize and execute meaningful work using the relevant technologies of his or her concentration. All majors also complete an internship or co-op with New York City area institutions, including: film, television, and interactive media companies; newspaper, magazine, and book publishers; or museums, public relations, promotions, and other commercial and non-profit organizations. Other experiential or extracurricular activities include regular Cinematheque film screenings, the Rho Phi chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Arts Honor Society; a student Creative Media Club; regular presentations by artists, professionals, and alumni, and Media Collision, the annual spring showcase of outstanding student work.

The Communication Arts Major maintains a wide range of facilities, including computer labs for digital imaging, print design, interactive multimedia production, audio postproduction, Final Cut Pro digital postproduction, and writing; a field production classroom, private editing suites, audio recording studio, student access clusters, and studio facilities for television/digital film/new media production. Students completing this program will receive a B.A. degree. A minor is not available.

Requirements of the Major and Concentrations
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers only apply to General Education Requirements NOT School Core or Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (six courses):  three writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: First Year Seminar, Critical Reading and Writing (formerly College English), and Readings in the Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.