Undergraduate Department of Communications and Media Literacy

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2013-14 academic year.

Department of American Studies

Gail Dines, Chair and Professor
Akeia Benard, Assistant Professor
Dana Bialer, Instructor
Susan Owusu, Instructor and Coordinator of the Communications Major
Joyce Hope Scott, Associate Professor
Eric Silverman, Associate Professor

Available Programs of Study:

  • B.A., Communication and Media Literacy

Communications Major / B.A. Degree/36-48 credits

The Communications major combines a foundation in the Arts and Sciences with a theoretical and practical framework for understanding communications, media development, and production. Students learn theories of how media shapes society and a set of skills for creating media and implementing media literacy programs for children, youth and adults. This major offers students a unique perspective on how to communicate in both traditional and digital contexts. Students learn to critically analyze, craft, and deliver information using a variety of media-print, TV, radio, and the web. Students will then build on this foundation through one of two focus areas. Students choose from one of two focus areas:

  • The Communication and Culture focus is for students interested in careers working with children and families, where it will useful to educate youth to be media-literate, or for those interested in using communications in communities and organizations working for social justice.
  • The Media Production focus is for students who aspire to a communications career requiring strong hands-on skills in content development and production for print, video, and digital media. Offers internships for practical experience and access to the job market.

Communications Major with a Professional Major/36 Credits

Course Requirements20 Credits
Introductory 12 credits
COM 150 Communication, Persuasion &Propaganda/4 cr
COM 101 Introduction to Media Production/4 cr
Choose One*
HDS 105 Sociology of Media/4cr
AST 140 Media and Race in American Society/4 cr
HDP 282 Children and the Media/4 cr
Media Literacy (Choose One)* 4 credits
COM 255 Media Literacy for Children and Youth/4 cr
COM [new] Global Perspectives in Media Literacy/4 cr
Advanced (Choose One)* 4 credits
AST 365 Studies in American Popular Culture/4 cr
AST 403 American Studies Senior Seminar/4 cr
COM 440 Media as a Tool for Social Change/ 4 cr
*Courses used to meet this requirement may not be counted towards other major requirements.

Focus Areas/16 credits The Media Literacy focus (16 credits) is designed to be combined with one of the professional majors. This focus is for students interested in careers in professions such as schools, libraries, and non-profits. Students choosing this focus will:

  • Be theoretically grounded and digitally literate.
  • Have courses that provide both the theoretical basis and the practical expertise for developing media education/literacy programs for children and youth.
  • Be provided with an intellectually critical view of the world that complements professional preparation for the fields of teaching, social work, juvenile justice and youth advocacy, and child life.

The focus is also recommended for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in related areas.

Introductory Courses (Choose one) 4 credits
COM 255 Media Literacy for Children and Youth/4 cr
HDS 105 Sociology of the Media/4 cr
LIT 180 Film and Fiction/4 cr
AST 140 Media and Race in American Society/4 cr
THE 123 Public Speaking/4 cr
Intermediate Courses (Choose one) 4 credits
COM 210 Video Production I/4 cr
COM 222 Designing the Digital Image/4cr
COM 245 Animation and Motion Graphics/4cr
COM 250 Apocalyptic America/4cr
COM 265 The African Diaspora Speaks/4cr
MUS 279 Music for Children/4 cr
THE 277 Movement and Drama for Children/4 cr
VIS 278 Art for Children/4 cr
HDP 222 Languages and Culture/4 cr
HDP 282 Children and the Media/4 cr
Advanced Courses (Choose two) 8 credits
COM 410 Video Production II/4 cr
COM 412 Communications Internship/4 cr
COM 425 Storytelling in the Digital Age/ 4 cr
COM 440 Media as a Tool for Social Change/4 cr
HDP 362 The Meaning and Development of Play/4 cr
EDU 331 Multicultural Picture Books/ 2 cr
EDU 332 Multicultural Chapter Books/ 2 cr
THE 374 Children's Theater/4 cr
AST 365 Advanced Studies in Pop Culture/4 cr

Communications Major without a Professional Major-48 Credits Students must complete the 20 credits of core requirements listed above for the 36 credit major and the 28 credit Media Production Focus. 
Media Production Focus (28 credits) The Media Production focus is designed for students without one of the professional majors, opting to pursue careers requiring strong hands-on skills in content development and production for print, video, and digital media. This focus offers internships for practical experience and access to the job market and delivers a strong foundation in industry-standard software. Students choosing this focus will:

  • Gain hands-on experience in a range of traditional and alternative media including production, graphic design, video production, animation, and motion graphic.
  • Gain the skills necessary to create various forms of communications, including print, video, and digital and electronic applications.
  • Complete one or two internships, gaining professional experience and mentoring.

Choose Seven 28 credits
COM 222 Designing the Digital Image/4 cr.
COM 210 Video Production 1/4 cr.
COM 230 New Media I /4 cr.
COM 245 Animation and Motion Graphics/4 cr.
COM 410 Video Production 11/4 cr.
COM 425 Storytelling in the Digital Age/4 cr.
COM 430 New Media II /4 cr.
COM 412 Internship in Communications /4 cr.
COM 440 Media as a Tool for Social Change/4 cr

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