Intercollegiate Media Studies Majors

Media Studies is an intercollegiate major offered jointly by Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps Colleges. The major requires the completion of 11 courses, with a concentration in Film/Video, Digital/Electronic Media, or Critical Studies.

All Media Studies majors will complete courses in the following areas.

Courses listed as fulfilling each requirement are subject to change, and other courses may be counted toward those requirements with the consent of the Media Studies curriculum committee.

1. One introductory critical/theoretical course

MS 49 PZ, PO, SC: Introduction to Media Studies

MS 50 HM, PZ, PO or LIT 130 CM: Intro to Film

MS 51 PO: Introduction to Digital Media Studies

2. One introductory production course

ART 20 PO: Photography I

ART 21 PO: Foundations of 2D Design

ART 141 SC: Introduction to Digital Art

ART 145 SC: Beginning Photography

ART 148 SC: Intro to Video Art

LIT 30 CM: Intro to Video Art

MS 53 SC: Intro to Computational Media 

MS 59 SC: Alt Comp Sci: Analogs/Algorithms  / “Hello World!” Intro Python Programming

MS 159 SC: Computational Photography I 

MS 82 PZ: Intro to Video Art

MS 182 HM: Intro to Video Art


3. One course in media history

LIT 131 CM: Film History I (1925-1965)

LIT 132 CM: Film History II (1965-Present)

LIT 134 CM: Special Studies in Film

LIT 137 CM: Gay and Lesbian Cinema in the U.S.

MS 42 PZ: Transnational Crime Cinema

MS 45 PZ: Documentary Media

PZ MS 53: Science Fiction Film

MS 55 PZ: Shooting the Truth: The Rise of Political Documentary

MS 61 PZ: Pan-American Vanguards

MS 79 PZ: Silent Film

MS 83 PZ: Contemporary Practices in Media

MS 86 PZ: History of Ethnographic Film

MS 88 PZ: Mexican Visual Cultures

MS 89 PZ: Mexican Film History

MS 91 PZ: History of American Broadcasting

MS 91 PO: History of American Broadcasting

MS 94 PO: Transnational Asian Cinema

MS 100 PZ: Asian Americans in Media

MS 111 PZ: Perspectives on Photography

MS 116 PZ: Screen Culture

MS 118 PZ: Visual Culture & Politics in the African Diaspora

MS 135 PZ: Learning from YouTube

MS 137 PZ: Media Archives

MS 151 PZ: Television Genres

MS 152 PO: TV Authorship

MS 153 PO: The Original Television Series

MS 160 PO: Japanese Film: Canon to Fringe

ENGL 189A SC: American Film: John Ford, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock

ENGL 189B SC: American Film: Orson Welles, Preston Sturges, Fritz Lang

ENGL 189C SC: Fifties Film: Pop Culture and Society

ENGL 189D SC: Genre: The Art Film

4. One course in media theory

Art 181 SC, Theory Seminar in Studio Art and Media Studies

ART 181G SC: From Beauty to the Abject: Race, Whiteness and Modernism

ART 183 SC: Feminist Concepts & Practices in Studio Art and Media Studies

ARHI 141A PO: (Re)presenting Africa: Art, History, and Film

ARHI 141B PO: Africana Cinema: Through the Documentary Lens

ARHI 144B PO: (Re)presenting Africa: Art, History, and Film

ARHI 178 PO: Black Aesthetics and the Politics of (Re)presentation

ARHI 186T PO: Art and Time

ARHI 186Y PO: WMDs: Cinema Against War, Imperialism, & Corporate Power

ENGL 118 PO: Nature of Narrative in Fiction and Film

ENGL 147 PO: Contemporary Critical Theory

LIT 103 HM: Third Cinema

LIT 136 CM: American Film Genres

LIT 138 CM: Film & Mass Culture

LIT 139 CM: Film Theory

MS 46 PZ: Feminist Documentary Production and Theory

MS 48 PZ: Media Ethnography/Autobiography

MS 70 PZ: Media and Social Change

MS 105 PZ: Transnational Media Theory

MS 106 PZ: Power/Knowledge

MS 110 PZ: Media & Sexuality

MS 112 PZ: Anthropology of Media

MS 113 PZ: African Masculinities in Film

MS 114 PZ: Film Sound

MS 118 PZ: Visual Culture & Politics in the African Diaspora

MS 136 PZ: Online Feminist Spaces

MS 147B PO: Topics in Media Theory: Body, Representation, Desire

MS 147C PO: Topics in Media Theory: Constructing/Dismantling the Body

MS 147E PO: Topics in Media Theory: Politics of Representation

MS 147G PO: Topics in Media Theory: Virtuality & the Body

MS 147H PO: Topics in Media Theory: Reality, Realism, & the Real

MS 148B PO: Drone Theory

MS 148C PO: Media/Space

MS 149 PO: Topics in Media Theory 2

MS 149E PO: Topics in Media Theory: A Brief History of Film Theory

MS 149F PO: Topics in Media Theory: Queer Visions, Queer Theory

MS 149H PO: Topics in Media Theory: Games, Theory, and Narrative Structures

MS 149Q PO: Topics in Media Theory: Freud, Film, Fantasy

5. Two courses in a concentration

Students must take two courses in their chosen area of concentration.  Media Studies offers concentrations in the following 3 areas:


Digital/Electronic Media

Critical Studies

FILM / VIDEO Concentration

Major Declaration Form -Film & Video

One intermediate or advanced film/video production class.

One additional course in media history, as listed above.


Major Declaration Form-Digital:Electronic Media

An intermediate or advanced digital production course.

One course in twentieth or twenty-first century art history:

ARHI 181 SC: Art Since 1945

ARHI 184 PO: Modernism, Antimodernism & Postmodernism: A Social History of North American Art

ARHI 185 PO: History of Photography

ARHI 185T PO, Art and Time



Major Declaration Form – Critical Studies

One additional media theory course, as listed above. One of the two required media theory courses must be MS 147 PO, MS 148 PO, or MS 149 PO.

One additional course in media history, as listed above.

Four appropriate electives, drawn from the list of all approved courses that follows (note that Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ, Media Arts for Social Justice, or MS 196 PZ, Media Internship, as one of their electives).

Critical Studies students also have the option of a sub-focus in Film Studies:

Students desiring an emphasis in Film Studies should follow the Critical Studies track, tailoring their major by selecting the following courses:

MS 50 PZ or LIT 130 CM, Language of Film

MS 82 PZ or ART 148 SC or MS 182s HM, Introduction to Video Art

MS 147 PO, MS 148 PO, or MS 149 PO

One course in film theory such as: LIT 103 HMC, Third Cinema; LIT 138 CMC, Film and Mass Culture; LIT 139 CM, Film Theory; MS 46 PZ, Feminist Documentary Production and Theory; MS 72 PZ, Women and Film; or MS 76 PZ, Gender and Genre; MS 48 PZ, Media Ethnography/Autobiography; MS 74 PZ, Sound Theory, Sound Practice; MS 110 PZ, Media and Sexuality; MS 197 PZ, Media Praxis in Ontario; or ARHI 141B PO, Africana Cinema: Through the Doc Lens

LIT 131 CM, Film History I (1925-1965) and LIT 132 CM, Film History II (1965-Present)

MS 190 PO, Senior Seminar

6. A senior seminar

MS 190 JT

The senior exercise consists of a topical senior seminar jointly taught during the fall semester by faculty from each of the concentrations. This seminar asks students to bring together the various aspects of their course of study, producing an appropriate culminating seminar project that demonstrates their command of the fields and the forms of critical and creative practice that they have studied. During this seminar, all senior Media Studies majors will be given the option to develop a proposal for a second-semester Senior Project. These proposals will be reviewed by the Media Studies faculty, and selected students will go on to complete an independent project under the supervision of two members of the Media Studies faculty or appropriate affiliated faculty members from the Claremont Colleges. The Senior Project course will count toward the four electives required for the major.

Media Studies Senior Capstone Proposal Form

7. Four electives

All students must take four appropriate electives, drawn from the list of all approved courses listed on the Courses page.

Note: Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ: Media Arts for Social Justice or MS 196 PZ: Media Internship, as one of their electives.