B.A. in Media - Technologies and Cultures

The concentration in Media Technologies and Cultures is an option for the Bachelor of Arts in Media degree, offered by The Media School, part of The College of Arts and Sciences. When pursuing the concentration in Media Technologies and Cultures, you will work with faculty who are deeply engaged in research and critical thinking about media, both past and present, considering how media in all its forms influences our thoughts and actions.

The Media Technologies and Cultures concentration will help you understand how a wide variety of media technologies have shaped our culture in the past, and how new and emerging technologies drive our daily lives. You will develop a broad and deep critical understanding of how media contributes to our sense of identity as individuals and in social groups, and learn how to apply this knowledge in many different professions.

For students who wish to pursue more targeted ways of studying media issues, The Media School offers minors of interest.

Coursework

Getting started

Your starting point when studying Media Technologies and Cultures is the introductory course for all of the Media majors: MSCH-C 101, Media. This course provides twice-weekly lectures by faculty, including expert guests, and an opportunity for small group discussion. In MSCH-C 101, you will:

  • Better understand what is meant by “media” and the many complex ways media work in our culture
  • Assess your interests in the study of media technologies
  • See more clearly what you will study in the upper-level courses, and how the subject matter compares to other possible areas of study in media

After the introductory course, you take three more courses to satisfy requirements for the Media School Core, in the three core areas: Managing Media, Thinking Media, and Making Media. While any of the courses that satisfy these requirements are fine for the Media Technologies and Cultures concentration, a careful choice of one of the following courses for Thinking Media may help you confirm your potential interest in that concentration:

  • MSCH-C 211 Screening Gender and Sexuality
  • MSCH-C 212 Screening Race and Ethnicity
  • MSCH-C 213 Introduction to Media and Society
  • MSCH-C 214 Race, Prejudice and the Media
  • MSCH-C 216 Social Scientific Perspectives of Gender and Media
  • MSCH-C 217 Image Cultures
  • MSCH-C 219 Media in the Global Context

Each course provides essential knowledge and critical perspectives to support more advanced coursework in Media Technologies and Cultures. Your advisor will help you understand and plan your choices, determining which classes are best for these and other core requirements.

Tracks and concentrations

Media Technologies and Cultures is a concentration (one of seven offered) in the Media BA, and the five courses you take to meet the requirement are the central component of your major. A great advantage of this concentration is its flexibility: you have the opportunity to choose, from a long list of courses, five that allow you to pursue the critical analysis of media in areas of greatest interest and meaning to you.

There are no formal tracks in the concentration. Some courses offer a more theoretical approach to how to study and critique media and to analyze its many past and present forms. Others apply these theories to the critical study of advertising, film, new media, broadcast journalism, and the audiences of media.

Upper level coursework

Students complete their study of Media Technologies and Cultures by choosing one area of specialization. It requires three upper-level courses in an area of interest, allowing you to develop advanced skills and in-depth knowledge in a subject you find most interesting and helpful to your professional goals.

As with the concentration, the choice of a specialization is flexible and based on your developing interests. There are many possibilities: Media Advertising, Public Relations, Media Persuasion, Media Psychology, Global Media, Media and Diversity, and Politics and Media are examples of specializations that can enhance the knowledge and skills you gain within the Media Technologies and Cultures concentration.

The flexibility of the Media Technologies and Cultures concentration allows plenty of space for experiential coursework, opportunities to apply what you have learned from all of your major courses. Here are some examples:

  • an internship which you can do for credit toward the concentration
  • a major project in one of the classes you take for the concentration or specialization
  • faculty-guided readings or research

As you advance within Media Technologies and Cultures, your instructors, academic advisor, and course experiences will help you choose your specialization.

Commonly pursued majors, minors and certificates

Your major represents almost one-third of your degree requirements. With the help of academic advisors in the Media School, you may be able to combine several areas of interest with additional majors, minors, or certificates.

Students who complete the Media Technologies and Cultures concentration are likely to consider minors or second majors in such areas as Anthropology, Business, Marketing, English, History, Psychology, Sociology, or any foreign language of interest. Some students complete another of the concentrations for the Media B.A., and along with it, another specialization. This option allows you to build even more breadth and depth into your study of media.

As a first concentration, Media Technologies and Cultures offers theoretical and historical knowledge that serves as a powerful context for the skills you learn in a second, more "applied" concentration, such as Media Advertising or Interactive and Digital Media.

Enhance your major

Working with faculty

When pursuing a degree in Media Technologies and Cultures, you have the opportunity to work with faculty who have expertise and experience in the field. Take advantage of office hours to talk with your instructors about your performance in class, the content of assignments, and how the course helps you work toward your goals.

 

Honors

As of fall 2018, The Media Scholars honors program offers many enriching opportunities to top-achieving students who are directly admitted to the Media School: honors-level coursework in the major, a variety of travel experiences, and direct engagement with media professionals, both faculty and visiting luminaries from a range of media professions.

High-achieving students may be recognized for Academic Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, or be eligible for admission to the Hutton Honors College.

Undergraduate scholarships and awards

The Media school offers a variety of scholarships and awards for both freshmen and current students who show academic promise, or who perform with academic distinction. The Media School website maintains a current list of such scholarships with details about eligibility criteria and more information about the generous friends and alumni of the school who underwrite them.

Internships

Internships offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. Many students begin exploring internship opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as their freshman year.

Learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit, through The Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you’ll find many resources for both domestic and international internships.

You can also learn about your interests by observing professionals at work in the areas you may wish to pursue. Job shadowing is an early way to experience the kinds of work that media professionals do and make contacts that may lead to your first internship.

Students pursuing careers in media often do multiple internships before or shortly after graduating. The Media School website offers helpful resources for thinking ahead to this very important form of preparation for your professional life:

Finally, learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit through The Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you will find many resources for both domestic and international internships.

Foreign language study

As corporations and other organizations extend their reach globally, the importance of multilingual communication increases. A Media B.A. degree requires two years (four semesters) of study in a single foreign language of your choice. By doing so, you establish a basic ability with the language that you can choose to develop further as a minor or second major.

IU Bloomington is one of the premier institutions in the U.S. for the study of languages, offering courses and resources in over  60 languages.

Here is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington:

Overseas study

Study abroad is an important part of undergraduate education in our increasingly interconnected world. Media B.A. students may pursue language study and other coursework through many different programs, some sponsored by IU, others from outside the university.

Countries, where students might spend a semester (or a summer), include Spain, England, Italy, Australia, Denmark, France, Israel, and the Czech Republic. International internships are also an increasingly popular component of overseas study.

Media School students have a unique opportunity to extend their coursework through field experience by choosing a travel course or experience, such as a semester-long class that includes a travel component during spring break or the summer, or a spring break service learning trip.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with Media School faculty, academic advisors, and through the Office of Overseas Study.

The College of Arts + Sciences also directly hosts a variety of study abroad programs, some even featuring IU faculty, that might be right for you. Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with [insert major here] faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study.

Student groups

The Media School offers many opportunities for students to join in groups and activities that allow them to apply their classroom knowledge and develop professional skills. Some examples:

  • Media School Ambassadors are the friendly student face of the Media School.
  • The Media Living Learning Center is a residence hall community specifically reserved for students who wish to study and pursue careers in media.
  • Indiana All Media, an organization open to all students, sponsors projects and workshops, and works to help other student organizations with their media needs.
  • Multiple student media opportunities in television, radio, print and online journalism will give you the chance to create, produce, and manage media activities during your time at IUB.

Explore beINvolved to connect with any of the 750+ student organizations that already exist, or to start a new one.

Volunteer opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for volunteer engagement, allowing you to give back to the local community while developing useful job skills. Members of the Media School Student Services team work hard to provide all majors with valuable and enjoyable service learning opportunities.

The organizations below can help you connect with others from the university and beyond:

Bloomington Worldwide Friendship

Bridges: Children, Languages, World

IU Corps

Student Involvement and Leadership Center

The Monroe County Public Library

Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and organizations.

Professional organizations

In the many fields and specializations of media, connecting with relevant professional organizations will depend on the paths of interest you follow in your degree and career. The following may be most relevant for students in Media Technologies and Cultures:

Use the Indiana University Library system to search for Associations Unlimited, an online directory of associations, professional societies, non-profit organizations, and much more.

Build your skills

Through the major

The Concentration in Media Technologies and Cultures provides you with a set of skills and qualities that are relevant and transferable to many areas of study and work. These include:

  • Media literacy and expertise: Gain a broad knowledge of the power of media in our culture and globally, and the resulting issues, problems and complexities.
  • Critical thinking and analysis: Study, understand and evaluate the many forms of media culture, as well as the diverse audiences of media messages.
  • Strategic communication and persuasion skills: Promote effective communication by analyzing the audiences of media and offering practical solutions to communications problems in the workplace and other walks of life.
  • Global awareness and sensitivity to cultural diversity: Compare the forms and functions of media in our contemporary culture with those of other cultures, working toward a comprehensive understanding of the consequences, both political and personal, of a world saturated in media.
  • Historical context: Study how media technologies worked historically in past cultures, in order to anticipate and understand the contexts for developing forms of new media.
  • Research skills: Learn to synthesize and interpret previous studies of media and essential methods for doing original research into media.

Through a College of Arts and Sciences degree

Your coursework provides many opportunities to develop the following five foundational skills that will serve you well in every career path:  

  • Question critically
  • Think logically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Act creatively
  • Live ethically

These foundational skills will aid you in landing your first job and advancing professionally throughout your working life. Not only are these the skills that employers say they value most in the workplace, but they also provide the best preparation for lifelong success in a world of complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Skills desired by employers

 

Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asks employers

what key skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.

 The following are some of the most commonly desired attributes across many employment sectors:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Ability to take Initiative
  • Being detail-oriented
  • Demonstrating adaptability
  • Technical skills relevant to the field
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Computer skills
  • Organizational ability

As you explore various career fields, pay attention to specific job descriptions and requirements. If there are areas where your skills or knowledge are lacking, talk with your academic advisor and career coach about how you can develop in those areas while you are at Indiana University.

Media School academic advisor and Media School career coaches can also help you find ways to strengthen and deepen the knowledge you already have, becoming more prepared for whatever path you select after your college.

Launch your career

Plan your search

A good starting point for exploring your career options is an appointment with a career coach.

The Walter Center for Career Achievement offers job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.

Explore and enroll in Career Communities to learn more about industries relevant to your interests. These offer unique information about each field, including alumni spotlights, opportunities and resources, and in-person events.

You might want to take a career course to help you maximize your time at IU. As early as their sophomore year, Media Technologies and Cultures majors should consider taking ASCS-Q296 College to Career II: Navigate Your Arts and Sciences Experience. This full semester course, co-taught by a Media academic advisor and career coach, provides the opportunity for Media students to explore the relationship between their chosen field of study and life after graduation while developing a career and academic development plan for post-collegiate success.

The job market

Media technologies impact every sector of modern life and the career possibilities in this multi-faceted field continue to grow on a daily basis. Media B.A. majors take their education in many directions, whether moving directly into a career or going on to graduate or professional studies. Multi-disciplinary degrees such as this one prepare you to handle the diverse requirements of many different workplaces.

Initial and long-term destinations for graduates include positions in many job sectors: advertising, book publishing, broadcast, corporate communications, corporate (non-media), e-business, education, government, integrated marketing communications, magazine, newspaper, nonprofit, and public relations. 

Other areas include sports, entertainment, event planning, tourism, museum administration, education, the arts, research and consulting. It is not uncommon for former students to establish their own companies or become freelance professionals.

Media B.A. majors who choose the Media Technologies and Cultures concentration can become online or multimedia designers, content design strategists, information architects, communications directors, e-business or e-marketing entrepreneurs, promotions managers, or technology trainers, among many other options.

In addition to these careers, students with the degree are also prepared for jobs that might not yet be in existence, as many careers in the field emerge as the social landscape and new media technologies change.

Want to see where your fellow majors go right after graduating from IU? Check out the Walter Center’s First Destinations survey!

Need more ideas? The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers career information about hundreds of occupations.

Talk with Media School faculty, the academic advisorcareer coach and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of the Media School.

Post-graduate short-term experiences

The beginning of your post-graduate career might be an ideal time to explore an international internship or other short-term experience through organizations such as the ones listed below. Talk with your career advisor and use these and other resources to find opportunities that are a good fit with your educational experience and career goals:

Fellowships for post-graduate study

Fellowships are temporary post-graduate opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund your education. Most opportunities can be found through universities, non-profit, and government organizations.

Graduate students at IU find support through internal fellowships and awards, which is money that comes directly from IU. External fellowships and awards are also available, which can come from organizations and corporations unaffiliated with the university.

Examples of resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:

Graduate and professional study

When applying to graduate or professional schools, you will need letters of recommendation from faculty members who are familiar with your work. Make a practice of attending office hours early in your academic career, to get to know your professors and discuss your options for advanced study in the field.

Students who pursue graduate studies in The Media School have gone into analytical and research positions in media and creative industries, media creation and production, or media management and strategy.

The Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences prepares you for a professional career in media creation and production or media management and strategy. The Master of Arts in Media Arts and Sciences prepares you to enter a Ph.D. program or teach at institutions requiring a master's degree. 

Graduate and professional study can also prepare you for analytical and research positions in media and creative industries, focusing on such fields as global media, political communication, media law and policy, media and technology cultures, health communication, media psychology, and journalism.

With careful planning, and in consultation with the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, you could also prepare to enter law school, medical school, or other professional programs.

Here are examples of graduate programs offered at IU:

Alumni connections

Talk with The Media School faculty, the academic advisorcareer coach and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of this degree.

 The IU College of Arts + Sciences has thousands of active alumni. Check out the IU College Luminaries program, which connects students with the College's most influential, successful, and inspiring alumni.

 Join the Walter Center Success Network to remain in touch, network directly with College of Arts +Sciences Alumni, and let others know where your path takes you.


Is it for you?

Media Technologies and Cultures attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and interests (such as film, advertising, broadcast, digital and all forms of new media). They typically have some of the following qualities:

  • A cultural awareness of factors such as ethnicity, gender, and social class as forces that help define us, and that are in turn shaped by media
  • The desire to comprehensively define "media" and critically analyze its many forms and functions in our culture, both past and present
  • A strong sense of value for the critical and analytical tools, including research skills, that are central to a liberal arts education
  • A commitment to developing the many communication skills that are the consequence of the critical study of media
  • An interest in applying the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom toward activities such as internships, individual and group research projects that prepare for a variety of professions or graduate study.

Learn more

Contact Media School academic advising and schedule an appointment to explore your options. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Department website
Advisor email address
mschadv@indiana.edu