New Media Studies

Requirements & Courses

Areas

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New Media Studies at Alma is organized into three areas.  They overlap, crossover, and entangle each other constantly.  In fact, this would probably be a better representation of them:image

All students work across the three areas and develop foundational skills in them.  At the same time, our students are encouraged to follow what they love and dig deeper into one or more areas with their advanced work.  The expertise they develop stretches into areas like:

 

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Working closely with an NMS faculty advisor, majors create individualized learning paths with the common goal of building flexibility, innovative approaches, and expertise.  Access to cutting-edge resources and applied learning experiences help students align their coursework with their career goals.

 

Requirements for Major

Completion of the major includes 40 credits in NMS and 12 credits of cognate work in allied areas of study.  Cognates may count toward second majors and minors.

Requirements include 6 core classes that introduce the major, concentration courses that draw from an interdisciplinary network of related departments, and a capstone experience, comprised of an internship and senior studio.

 

  1. CORE: Twenty credits that must include NMS 101, 120, 220 (interactive design core), 201 (critical media analysis), and either 203 or 204 (camera and sound core).
  2. CONCENTRATION: Twelve credits (8 of which must be upper level) from NMS 114, 210, 240, 250, 260, 282, 300, 320, 381. Must also take 12 credits from ART 224, 230, 232, 390; COM 327; CSC 204, 335; ENG 202, 270, 370; MUS 215; PHL 224; SOA 328 or other course pre-approved by the department (total of 24 credits).
  3. CAPTSTONE: Eight credits comprised of NMS 385 (4 credits, P/F only) and NMS 450 (4 credits).

 

Honors

Completion of all NMS major requirements, 3.5 GPA in the major, and completion of a senior thesis project of honors caliber (NMS 500).

 

Requirements for Minor

Twenty-eight credits that must include 12 credits of NMS 101; 201; and one of 120, 203, 204 or 220; NMS 450; 8 credits, 4 of which must be upper level, choosing from NMS 104, 114, 210, 240, 250, 260, 282, 300, 320, 381. Must also take 4 credits from ART 224, 230, 232, 390; COM 327; CSC 204, 335; ENG 202, 270, 370; MUS 215; PHL 224; SOA 328 or other course pre-approved by the Department.

 

Courses

  • NMS
    101
    .
    Introduction to Digital Media
    4
    Introduction to technical, social, and cultural aspects of new media. Topics include media convergence, interactivity, social networking, and participatory culture. Includes lab work exploring basic principles of effective communication employing a variety of digital media for designing and delivering graphics, audio and video. (formerly NMS 210)
  • NMS
    114
    .
    Introduction to Web Development
    4
    This course provides an introductory examination of the theory and practice of communication in a digital format, including text, hypertext, visual, audio and video. Stresses application of digital media principles to authoring for the Web. Surveys the technologies underlying the World Wide Web, including Web page construction and JavaScript programming. Laboratory.
  • NMS
    120
    .
    Principles of Visual Design
    4
    Investigation of foundational elements and principles of visual design, as components of visual communication. Two dimensional design and time-based media will be explored traditionally and digitally, using programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop Lightroom, iMovie, and others. Topics include color theory, composition, narrative and non-narrative storytelling, among others. Course fee.
  • NMS
    180
    .
    Topics in New Media Studies
    1-4
    4 credits in NMS or Permission
    Selected topics in new media innovations, issues and effects. May be taken more than once for credit.
  • NMS
    201
    .
    Media Systems & Influence
    4
    Introductory study of the major media industries and effects. Emphasis on analyzing the way media technologies affect information flow and social networks and the influence of media on human perception, behavior and identity.
  • NMS
    203
    .
    Camera Media
    4
    This course seeks a fluency in the camera as an instrument for communication, industry, and inquiry in the twenty-first century. Students acquire skills in the critique and authorship of camera media through perspectives from the arts, humanities, and sciences. Theories are wed to hands-on practices with photography, time-based narratives, virtual environments, video chat, citizen journalism, microscopy, telescopy, and wearable media. Course fee.
  • NMS
    204
    .
    Sound Design
    4
    This course presents an overview of digital audio and video applications and the workflows designed to produce and manipulate digital sound and moving images. This includes music and sound for video, animation, and using audio and video on the Web. Additional topics will include the basics of sound design, syncing of audio and motion video and the rudiments of audio and video production systems. Students will also be introduced to important media standards such as NTSC, HDV, MIDI, QuickTime, MPEG and various SD and HD formats. (Formerly MUS 201)
  • NMS
    210
    .
    Motion Graphics & Animation
    4
    Introduction to 2D and 3D visual effects, animation and compositing. Critical study and theory of motion and animation principles; concepts of key framing, applying behaviors, tweening animations, symbols, generators and particle emission, chroma keying and rotoscoping.
  • NMS
    *
    215
    .
    Audio Recording Studio
    2
    Overview of the impact of computers and technology in the music professions. Topics include design of recording studio and lab environments, MIDI technology, fundamentals of audio technology, multimedia applications and using sound/music on the Web. Cross-listed with MUS-215. (Offered every year)
  • NMS
    *
    220
    .
    Intro to Media Programming & Computation
    4
    Write programs to manipulate images, sounds and movies, developing knowledge and skills in problem solving, data representation, data manipulation, and programming principles including recursion and object-oriented design. Introduction to basic ideas in hardware, software and computing.
  • NMS
    *
    240
    .
    Digital Film Production
    4
    Students are introduced to fundamentals of filmmaking and produce their own films. Elements covered include pre-production (financing, screenwriting and scheduling); production (cinematography, sound recording and directing); and post-production (editing, basic effects, marketing and distribution). Must be an NMS major or receive instructor permission to register for this course. Course fee.
  • NMS
    *
    250
    .
    Media, Power and Ownership
    4
    Introduction to the business practices and regulations that shape the American media industry. Emphasis is placed on the roles of audience characteristics and media technology in shaping the content of media, and the role of the First Amendment as the basis for media regulation.
  • NMS
    *
    260
    .
    Visual Communication
    4
    Focus on understanding images in culture from a psychological, photojournalistic and communication perspective. Work from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, communication, media and cultural studies, sociology, psychology and design.
  • NMS
    *
    280
    .
    Topics in New Media Studies
    2-4
    Selected topics in new media innovations, issues and effects. May be taken more than once for credit.
  • NMS
    *
    282
    .
    Network Analysis
    4
    Examination of tools and techniques used in analyzing social relations, focusing on substantive and theoretical origins and applications of these techniques. Emphasizes basic network concepts and common approaches to network analysis. Introduces advanced methodologies for analyzing social networks.
  • NMS
    *
    299
    .
    NMS Independent Study
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.
  • NMS
    *
    300
    .
    Media Theory and Culture
    4
    Survey key benchmarks and texts in the history of media and new media technologies, while also introducing critical readings of 20th and 21st century media culture, both from the theoretical field of media studies and the creative works of artists, filmmakers and writers. (formerly COM 303)
  • NMS
    *
    320
    .
    Computer Game Design & Interactive Narr
    4
    NMS-120 and NMS-220 or CSC-120
    Using coursework and team projects, students explore the process by which games go from conception to formal design to implementation. Explore all facets of the game development process, from brainstorming techniques, to art and sound design, to testing and marketing. Laboratory.
  • NMS
    *
    380
    .
    Topics in New Media Studies
    2-4
    NMS-101 or Permission
    Selected topics in new media innovations, issues and effects.
  • NMS
    *
    381
    .
    Documentary Video
    2
    Combines theory, history and practice, exploring documentary video production through an overview of the history and major styles, field exercises, screening, discussion and critique. Participating in collaborative work with classmates, students are exposed to a range of storytelling, production, aesthetic, and artistic issues. Hands-on demonstrations, field exercises, screenings, readings, lectures and discussion prepare students to produce short documentary videos.
  • NMS
    *
    382
    .
    Advanced Mixing and Mastering
    2
    NMS-204
    In-depth, project-oriented class that explores the creative and technical issues involved in multitrack sound editing, mixing and mastering. Topics include mono, stereo and multichannel audio formats, understanding mixing consoles, signal flow and busses, sound analysis and metering plug-ins, controlling levels and gain, advanced EQ, compression and “brick wall” limiting, automation and time-based effects. Tools include popular DAW applications Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Reason.
  • NMS
    *
    385
    .
    New Media Studies Internship
    1-8
  • NMS
    *
    399
    .
    NMS Independent Study
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.
  • NMS
    *
    450
    .
    Sem in Media Apps & Implications
    4
    Explores proposed and possible digital media forms, functions, contents and systems. Investigates applications of media tools and how new developments in media may both represent and transgress cultural and professional assumptions about the nature of media and mediated communication. Requires completion of a senior studio or research project. Requires senior standing.
  • NMS
    *
    499
    .
    NMS Independent Study
    1-4
    Requires instructor permission.
  • NMS
    *
    500
    .
    Studies Senior Thesis
    2-4
    Development and completion of original scholarly/creative work. May be applied, interpretive, critical, empirical or theoretical. Required for departmental honors. Requires senior standing and permission.