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JMU Major: Media Arts and Design

Description of the Major | Degrees Offered | Concentrations | Minors |
Declaring the Major | Progressing in the Major

Description of the Major

The major is a part of the School of Media Arts and Design, an academic unit within the College of Arts and Letters.

The School of Media Arts and Design offers a program of study that prepares students for careers that rely on mass media. Program areas of concentration allow students to pursue interests in journalism (print, broadcast, and online), television and video production, corporate communications or converged media (print, video & web production). The major also prepares students for advanced graduate school study in the fields of mass communication and related areas such as journalism, corporate communication, visual communication or digital production.

Degrees Offered

B.A.

B.S.

Concentrations

Converged Media
Corporate Communication
Digital Video and Cinema
Journalism

Minors

None

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the Media Arts and Design major when they register for orientation. This will enable students to enroll in SMAD 101. Students must have completed SMAD 101 or be enrolled in SMAD 101 at the time of application to be considered for full admission to the major.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers
Students should submit a "Change or Declaration of Major" form to the School of Media Arts and Design in Harrison Hall, room 0276. This will enable students to enroll in SMAD 101. Students must have completed SMAD 101 or be enrolled in SMAD 101 at the time of application to be considered for full admission to the major.

Other Declaring Information

Admission to the Major

Admission to the School of Media Arts and Design is competitive. Students interested in majoring in the programs offered by the school must apply for a limited number of spaces in the major. An admission committee in the school reviews applications and offers admission based on availability to the most qualified students. A student may apply no more than two times to the school for admission.

There are two application periods for admission to the School of Media Arts and Design - September and January.

September Application Period
The September application process is only available for new transfer students matriculating to JMU in the fall semester who have declared the SMAD major. Students must be officially admitted to JMU as a transfer student for the fall semester and must have earned at least 30 hours of JMU approved post high school college credit. Students must be degree-seeking and must be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU during the fall semester. The application is due on Friday of the second week of the fall semester.

January Application Period
Currently enrolled JMU students (including new transfer students matriculating to JMU in January) may apply during the January application period. Students must be degree-seeking and have completed at least 12 hours or be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU. The application is due on the last Friday in January.

The Application Process
Students interested in this major must "declare" SMAD as a major and apply to become a "fully admitted" major. Declaring a SMAD major does not guarantee that the student will be fully admitted into the SMAD major. Students are restricted from taking SMAD courses beyond SMAD 101 until they are fully admitted to the major.

A complete application to the major includes the following:
  • Completion of SMAD 101 or enrollment in SMAD 101.

  • Completion of the SMAD Admission Test with sections on English grammar and usage, timed writing samples and basic computer knowledge. (Instructions for the SMAD Admission Test are given in SMAD 101).

  • An Application Letter/Personal Essay.

  • A completed change of major form (available in the SMAD office).

  • A completed SMAD major card (available in the SMAD office).

  • A completed SMAD Questionnaire (available in the SMAD office).

  • Unofficial transcripts (For transfer students, it must include the record of JMU transfer credit evaluation).

  • Completed SMAD Application Package Checklist.

Students must present the required information in a manila folder to the main SMAD office, Harrison Hall, room 0276 with their last name, first name and student identification number on the tab of the folder. Students must supply the folder.

Following the review by the SMAD Admission Committee, students will be notified about their acceptance into the major. If accepted, students will be eligible to register for SMAD courses. Students not accepted into the major will be notified and may reapply the following January or in a later January. Students may apply no more than two times.

Minimum Grades
If students are enrolled in SMAD 101, are accepted in the major, and make an "F" in the course, they will be dropped from the major and can reapply. If students are enrolled in SMAD 101, have been accepted in the major, and make a "D+" or "D" grade in the course, they may continue to take classes in the major; however, they must retake SMAD 101 again in the next semester and earn at least a "C-." Students are limited to taking SMAD 101 twice. Failure to achieve a grade of at least a "C-" after the second time will result in being dropped from the major and students may not reapply.

Progressing in the Major

To graduate with a degree in Media Arts and Design, a student must have a grade point average of 2.0 ("C") or better in the major.