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 credits
    Introduction to technical, social and cultural aspects of new media. Topics include media convergence, interactivity, social networking and participatory culture. Includes laboratory work exploring basic principles of effective communication employing a variety of digital media for designing and delivering graphics, audio and video. Emphasis on creating multimedia projects for delivery over digital networks. Laboratory.
  • NMS
    114
    .
    Introduction to Web Development
    4 credits
    Introduction to the theory and practice of communication in a digital format, including text, hypertext, visual, audio and video. Surveys the technologies underlying the World Wide Web, including Web page construction and site management. Explore both structural and presentational principles in Web design including XHTML markup for layout and arrangement, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for presentation and style, as well as valid methods for embedding multimedia (photos, video, audio, etc.) to convey both informative and persuasive messages. Laboratory.
  • NMS
    120
    .
    Principles of Visual Design
    4 credits
    $100
    Investigation of foundational elements and principles of visual design, as components of visual communication. Two dimensional design and time-based media are 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.
  • NMS
    180-*280-*380
    .
    Topics in New Media Studies
    1-4 credits
    4 credits in NMS or Permission
    Selected topics in new media innovations, issues and effects. May be taken more than once for credit.
  • NMS
    199-*299
    .
    Independent Study
    1-4 credits
    Permission
  • NMS
    201
    .
    Media Systems and Influence
    4 credits
    Introductory study of the major media industries and effects. Emphasis on analyzing how media technologies affect information flow and social networks and the influence of media on human perception, behavior and identity.
  • NMS
    203
    .
    Camera Media
    4 credits
    $50
    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.
  • NMS
    204
    .
    Sound Design
    4 credits
    Overview of digital audio and video applications and the work flows designed to produce and manipulate digital sound and moving images. Includes music and sound for video, animation, and using audio and video on the Web. Students are introduced to important media standards such as NTSC, HDV, MIDI, QuickTime, MPEG and various SD and HD formats. (Cross listed with MUS 201.)
  • NMS
    210
    .
    Motion Graphics and Animation
    4 credits
    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
    *
    220
    .
    Introduction to Media Programming and Computation
    4 credits
    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 credits
    $100
    NMS 203 or Permission
    Introduction to the fundamentals of filmmaking and production of 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.
  • NMS
    *
    250
    .
    Media, Power and Ownership
    4 credits
    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 credits
    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
    *
    282
    .
    Network Analysis
    4 credits
    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
    *
    300
    .
    Media Theory and Culture
    4 credits
    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.
  • NMS
    *
    320
    .
    Computer Game Design and Interactive Narrative
    4 credits
    NMS 120; 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
    *
    381
    .
    Documentary Video
    4 credits
    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
    *
    385
    .
    Internship in New Media
    2-4 credits
    Junior Standing and 12 credits in NMS, or Permission
    Application of new media concepts and skills through participation in communities, institutions, agencies, schools and businesses. Supervision by faculty and sponsoring organizations. Includes interpretive journal and substantive paper or project.
  • NMS
    *
    399-*499
    .
    Independent Study
    1-4 credits
    Permission
  • NMS
    *
    450
    .
    Seminar in Media Applications and Implications
    4 credits
    Senior Standing
    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.
  • NMS
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    2-4 credits
    Senior Standing and Permission
    Development and completion of original scholarly/creative work. May be applied, interpretive, critical, empirical or theoretical. Required for departmental honors.