Media Arts Studies BA

Program Purpose

The Media Arts Studies major program is designed to produce students with a strong liberal arts foundation that can be used effectively in a variety of careers in film-related industries or graduate study. Graduates are generalists with processes and skills that can be used in multiple venues and transferred to existing and emerging media environments. Students develop general and specialized skill sets; master knowledge of film culture, history, and theory; and implement processes that integrate current "best practices" in inquiry, technical and interpersonal skills. A strong critical studies core curriculum develops analytical skills and creates the foundation for creative application, advanced skill sets, and experimentation. A wide range of elective options allows emphasis in critical studies, narrative or documentary production, or other specialized cinematic skills.

Curricular Structure

The strategy of the program's curriculum is to offer a solid base, with adaptability and a degree of specialization for each student. The core curriculum (22 credits) gives a grounding in basics: developing and analyzing historic use of narrative structures, experience with basic production skills, familiarity with documentary and narrative film histories, overview of issues in film theory. They develop greater depth in at least one critical studies issue in greater depth (such as film genre, religion and film, film as social reflection, or media literacy). The 22-24 elective credits allow students to develop a practical skill (editing, cinematography, critical analysis, sound, screenwriting) as well as develop an area of emphasis. The elective area provides flexibility for students to customize their training.

One very important aspect of the program is "learning how to learn," as well as specific skills. Therefore, many curricular activities are supplemented by practica courses and production-related experiences where students are often taught by professionals in a professional environment. Students learn concepts, ideas and theories in the classroom and then develop their knowledge, skills and character through involvement in practica, collaboration, apprenticeship, and internship experiences.

Some of the most effective co-curricular opportunities extend the educational goals of core courses, overtly integrating spiritual concerns. (Current instances are the Children's Media Initiative and the media literacy "Hands on a Camera" Project.) Graduates leave BYU with meaningful hands-on experiences, grounded on solid historical, critical thinking and technical competencies. This allows our students to compete with graduates of other university programs for jobs and post graduate degrees in the educational, professional and/or academic worlds.


Catalog Information

Department Information

Media Arts Map

Learning Outcomes

Media Arts History, Concepts, and Processes

Students will demonstrate a comprehension of core concepts, processes, history and criticism of fiction, non-fiction and new media forms. 

Courses that Contribute: TMA 294 TMA 102 TMA 104 TMA 105 TMA 114 TMA 185 TMA 241 TMA 291 TMA 292 TMA 293 TMA 294 TMA 341R TMA 342 TMA 391 TMA 392 TMA 416R TMA 441R TMA 457 TMA 458 TMA 473R TMA 474R TMA 475R TMA 477R TMA 492R TMA 494 TMA 497 TMA 498R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge
Ethics, Collaboration and Spirituality

Students will demonstrate personal ethics, collaborative skills, and spiritual sensitivities relevant to media arts.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 104 TMA 105 TMA 114 TMA 185 TMA 187 TMA 241 TMA 273 TMA 293 TMA 318 TMA 319 TMA 342 TMA 372R TMA 388R TMA 391 TMA 392 TMA 394 TMA 458 TMA 473R TMA 474R TMA 475R TMA 477R TMA 494
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Lifelong service
Skill Development

Students will demonstrate analytical, conceptual and technical skills in a variety of media.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 102 TMA 114 TMA 187 TMA 241 TMA 291 TMA 292 TMA 318 TMA 342 TMA 372R TMA 384R TMA 387 TMA 391 TMA 399R TMA 416R TMA 419 TMA 457 TMA 458 TMA 473R TMA 475R TMA 477R TMA 492R TMA 494 TMA 497 TMA 498R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Competence
Development of a Personal Creative Voice

Students will integrate knowledge of media arts history, concepts and processes into a personal approach to media analysis and creation.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 104 TMA 105 TMA 114 TMA 185 TMA 187 TMA 241 TMA 273 TMA 318 TMA 319 TMA 341R TMA 342 TMA 387 TMA 391 TMA 394 TMA 416R TMA 419 TMA 441R TMA 457 TMA 458 TMA 473R TMA 474R TMA 475R TMA 494
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively
Career Development

Students will practice a variety of activities that prepare them for graduate studies, teaching opportunities, professional production or other media related work.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 104 TMA 105 TMA 185 TMA 241 TMA 273 TMA 318 TMA 319 TMA 342 TMA 384R TMA 387 TMA 388R TMA 394 TMA 399R TMA 416R TMA 419 TMA 457 TMA 458 TMA 473R TMA 474R TMA 475R
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence, Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning

Most formal assessment occurs within classes or faculty review as students progress through advanced courses. In addition, the recently developed student portfolio system will facilitate annual review of student progress and specific courses. Informal assessment is provided by participation in co-curricular activities, such as the annual Final Cut Film Festival and national festivals.

Direct Measures

Competencies with basic knowledge, analytical skills applied to fundamental body of knowledge, and basic production skills are assessed by:

  1. Quizzes and examinations
  2. Journals
  3. Research and analytical essays
  4. Completion of basic competency skill tests
  5. Demonstration of higher skill levels and deeper knowledge acquired in an individually focused media arts area of specialization
  6. Tracking progress by individual faculty mentors and by the College Advisement Center
  7. Evaluation of artifacts collected in individual student portfolios with key documentation of significant levels

Indirect Measures

Indirect measures include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Student Evaluations
  2. Alumni Questionnaires and Placement Data
  3. Student Focus Groups
  4. Feedback from academic and industry professionals (internships and employment)
  5. Feedback from graduates and colleagues in state and national theatre organizations
  6. Feedback from off-campus colleagues
  7. Internal and external assessment of student skills through participation in various local, regional, national and international film festivals.


Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

Individual faculty members obtains formal and informal feedback from his/her students. This feedback is personally evaluated in terms of strengths and weaknesses in both faculty delivery and course content. Faculty may report the outcome of this self assessment and personal reflection in their individual program area committees at the end of each semester. Annually each faculty member reports the results of this self assessment and reflection along with the efforts he/she has made to improve personal teaching and curriculum content in the stewardship interview with the department chair. Commendations and action items may be recorded during this interview by the chair and reviewed with the faculty member as part of the next annual stewardship interview. In addition, faculty may work with the University's Faculty Center on teaching improvement, become involved with members of the College's Deeper Student Learning Committee, or participate in adding new technology skills to support teaching (such as Blackboard)..

Collectively media arts faculty examine the flow of course content and student skills through the entire program curriculum. In particular, the continuities and growth of skills in critical studies, narrative and documentary production are scrutinized, along with their integration with history and theory courses and collaborative skills. Annually, consideration of this information may result in proposed curricular change. Evaluation of these changes is made by the departmental curriculum committee and the department executive committee.