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School of Media Arts and Design

Mission Statement

The School of Media Arts and Design prepares students to serve as creative, reflective, and highly skilled media producers and storytellers, sensitive to the personal and social impact of the messages they create and to the important role media can play in advancing the public interest.

Vision

To be a national leader in media education, providing innovative programs that embrace and integrate traditional media concepts, values, and skills with new and evolving technologies.

We value:

  • Inquiry-based learning, both independent and collaborative, that emphasizes the creative process and is distinctly innovative, challenging, cooperative, and collegial.
  • Historical, legal, and ethical literacy and critical thinking skills that enable students to reach thoughtful and principled decisions throughout their careers.
  • Diverse communities and global perspectives acquired through study and experience.
  • Strong co-curricular, extracurricular, and internship activities that enrich education and enhance an understanding of the role of media in society.

Goals

To help fulfill the above mission, the school requires students:

  • To write clearly, concisely, accurately and effectively for a mass media situation: journalistic, cinematic or electronic.
  • To demonstrate computer literacy.
  • To demonstrate competency in information gathering for a variety of media situations.
  • To recall the process involved in producing a publication (newspaper, magazine, radio, television or multimedia presentation).
  • To understand how mass media businesses operate.
  • To demonstrate competency in conducting pertinent media research.
  • To recognize the history, theories, functions, and effects of mass media in society.
  • To recall the history of legal and regulatory constraints on the mass media and new information technologies.
  • To recognize ethical constraints on the mass media.
  • To apply knowledge of the media in professional environments under academic supervision.

Career Opportunities

The school integrates the fields and study of mass communication, advertising, corporate communication, digital video and cinema, interactive media, journalism, and mediated visual and aural expression. It offers a program of study that prepares students for careers that incorporate mass media and related areas of expertise, and for graduate study in mass communication and related areas.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

Majors and interested non-majors are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities and organizations associated with the school. Co-curricular activities entail practical media arts and design experiences for which credit is available through practica or other applied courses. Co-curricular organizations are student clubs and honorary societies associated with the school's programs of study.

Co-curricular Activities

  • The Breeze is the student newspaper.
  • Curio is a feature magazine covering life in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • WMRA-FM is the campus public radio station.

Co-curricular Organizations

  • SMAD Club is a student organization that promotes the School of Media Arts and Design, brings in speakers and organizes departmental events.
  • Madison AAF, a chapter of the American Advertising Federation, is a club for those interested in careers in advertising.
  • Society of Professional Journalists is the JMU chapter of a national organization for students and professionals working in the various fields of journalism.

Special Admission and Retention Requirements

Admission to the School of Media Arts and Design is limited and 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 SMAD: September and January.

September Application Period

The September application process is only for transfer students matriculating to JMU in the current fall semester or the immediately preceding spring or summer semesters that have declared the SMAD major.  These students must be officially admitted to JMU as transfer students and must have earned at least 30 hours of JMU approved post high school college credit. They must be degree-seeking students 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 transfer students matriculating in January or in previous semesters) may apply during the January application period. Students applying to the major at JMU 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.

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 the student will be fully admitted into the SMAD major. Students must declare SMAD as a major prior to being eligible to enroll in SMAD 101. A declared SMAD student may take SMAD 101, but the student is restricted from SMAD courses beyond SMAD 101 until being accepted (fully admitted) into 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 expressing reasons for your interest in your first choice and second choice concentrations. Conduct research and then indicate what you know about careers in the concentration.
  • 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 (If you are a transfer student, you must include the record of JMU transfer credit evaluation).
  • Completed SMAD Application Package Checklist

The student will present the required information in a manila folder to the main SMAD office with the student’s last name, first name and student identification number on the tab of the folder. The student 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 a later January. Students may apply to the major no more than two times.

Change of Concentration

Students accepted into the major must pick a concentration. Students who wish to change concentrations after being accepted into the major may do so only during the annual application period. To change a concentration, a letter must be submitted explaining why you want to change concentrations. This letter should be addressed to the Admission Committee and be no more than two pages in length. A Change of Concentration form must accompany the letter. A student, after consulting with his/her adviser and gaining approval of the admissions committee, will be permitted to change concentrations; however, there are no guarantees that the change request will be granted.

Minimum Grades

If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes an “F” in the course, the student will be dropped from the major. In order to be eligible to reapply for the major, the student must re-take SMAD 101 and reapply. If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes a “D+,” “D” or “D-“ in the course, the student may continue to take classes in the major; however, the student 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 the student being dropped from the major, including being dropped from any SMAD courses for which the student is preregistered, and the student may not reapply.

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.

Degree and Major Requirements

A student must complete a minimum of 36 SMAD credits. In addition to courses in the School of Media Arts and Design, students must complete at least 78 non-SMAD credits.

Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Design

Degree Requirements

Required Courses              

Credit Hours

General Education1

            41

Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required)2

            0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)

            3

University electives

            26-40

Major requirements (listed below)

            36


            120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements           

Credit Hours

SMAD 101. Introduction to Media Arts and Design

            3

SMAD 201. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design I

            3

SMAD 202. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design II

            3

SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L. The Media Arts: Culture by Design1

            3

SMAD 400. Senior Assessment in Media Arts and Design

            0

Choose one of the following programs:

            24

Converged Media

           

Creative Advertising

           

Digital Video and Cinema

           

Journalism

           


            36

1 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L, but not both.

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Design

Degree Requirements

Required Courses              

Credit Hours

General Education1

            41

Quantitative requirement2

            3

Scientific Literacy requirement2

            3-4

University electives

            36-37

Major requirements

            36


            120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education requirements.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements           

Credit Hours

SMAD 101. Introduction to Media Arts and Design

            3

SMAD 201. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design I

            3

SMAD 202. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design II

            3

SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L. The Media Arts: Culture by Design1

            3

SMAD 400. Senior Assessment in Media Arts and Design

            0

Choose one of the following concentrations:

            24

Converged Media

           

Creative Advertising

 

Digital Video and Cinema

           

Journalism

           


            36

1 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L, but not both.

Students accepted into the major either for the B.S. or B.A. degree must select a concentration. Refer to the Concentrations section below for details.

Concentrations

Converged Media

This concentration serves students interested in digital convergence – the delivery of content via multiple media formats such as text, images, audio, video, and interactive websites. Students are involved in content creation and distribution using diverse communications media and are prepared for a variety of roles in media industries. Class work and practical experiences are grounded in online media and provide students with opportunities to develop additional skills using other media formats. At the same time, the program encourages students to obtain a broad liberal arts education so they will understand the theories, design, legalities, and applications of convergence in society.

Course Requirements      

Credit Hours

SMAD Core Requirements

            12

SMAD 231. Writing for New Media1

            3

SMAD 307. Interactive Design for the Web I

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

            3

SMAD 407. Business and Management of Digital Media

            3

Choose one Intermediate Applied Skills courses:

            3

SMAD 302. Video Production

           

SMAD 305. Special Topics in Media Production2

           

SMAD 308. Interactive Design for the Web II

           

SMAD 332. Print Communication Design

           

Choose one Advanced Applied Skills courses:

            3

SMAD 404. Advanced Interactive Design

           

SMAD 408. Converged Media Lab

           

Choose two Critical Analysis courses:

            6

SMAD 360L. British Media and Society

           

SMAD 372. Media History

           

SMAD 373. Media Analysis and Criticism

           

SMAD 398. Critical Studies in Media Arts and Design2

           

SMAD 470. New Media and Society

           

SMAD 471. Media Ethics

           

SMAD 472. Media and Politics3

           

or SMAD 472L. British Media and Politics3

           

SMAD 498. Senior Seminar

           


            36

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 These courses satisfy concentration requirements when the topic is appropriate.

3 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 472 or SMAD 472L, but not both.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year             

Credit Hours

SMAD 101. Introduction to Media Arts and Design

            3

Cluster One courses

            9

General Education courses

            18


            30

 

Second Year        

Credit Hours

SMAD 201. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design I

            3

SMAD 202. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design II

            3

SMAD 231. Writing for New Media

            3

General Education courses

            10-13

University electives

            8-11


            30

 

Third  Year           

Credit Hours

SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L. The Media Arts: Culture by Design

            3

SMAD 307. Interactive Design for the Web I

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

            3

Converged Media concentration intermediate applied skills elective course

            3

University electives

            18


            30

 

Fourth Year         

Credit Hours

SMAD 400. Senior Assessment in Media Arts and Design

            0

SMAD 404. Advanced Interactive Design or SMAD 408. Converged Media Lab

            3

SMAD 407. Business and Management of Digital Media

            3

Converged Media concentration critical analysis elective courses

            6

University electives

            18


            30

Creative Advertising

This professionally oriented concentration provides students with the knowledge and skills to create and manage advertising programs emphasizing new media. In addition to the theoretical concepts underlying advertising, students learn strategic creative writing, effective message design, and media production. Students also learn strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of new media technologies, and research and analysis of current trends and applications. The program reviews ethical and legal issues involved in the creative advertising process and the use of new media. Students planning careers in creative advertising should obtain a broad liberal arts education to better understand the characteristics that make the diversified communication process effective across various media and organizations.

Course Requirements      

Credit Hours

SMAD Core Requirements

            12

SMAD 242. Introduction to Advertising and New Media

            3

SMAD 252. Copywriting for Advertising1

            3

SMAD 342. Elements of Creative Advertising

            3

SMAD 443. Creative Advertising Campaigns

            3

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

           

SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law

           

Choose one of the following Applied Skills courses:

            3

SMAD 210. News Reporting and Writing

           

SMAD 220. Copy Editing

           

SMAD 225. Photojournalism

           

SMAD 305. Special Topics in Media Production2

           

SMAD 307. Interactive Design for the Web I

           

SMAD 311. Feature Writing1

           

SMAD 332. Print Communication Design

           

SMAD 422. Multimedia Journalism

           

Choose two of the following Critical Analysis courses:

            6

SMAD 360L. British Media and Society

           

SMAD 372. Media History

           

SMAD 373. Media Analysis and Criticism

           

SMAD 398. Critical Studies in Media Arts and Design2

           

SMAD 470. New Media and Society

           

SMAD 472. Media and Politics3

             

or SMAD 472L. British Media and Politics3

             

SMAD 498. Senior Seminar

             


 

            36

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 These courses satisfy concentration requirements when the topic is appropriate.

3 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L, and SMAD 472 or SMAD 472L, but not both.

Digital Video and Cinema

The core mission of the Digital Video and Cinema concentration is to prepare students to be visual storytellers. Students will develop a broad understanding of the aesthetics, techniques and technologies that embody the visual storytelling process as well as a critical perspective of how media tools are used to create content, convey information and impact audiences.

The program offers preparation in writing, development, production, and post-production in various genres, and an exploration of the continuously evolving commercial and artistic potential of visual media and story. Digital Video and Cinema students are encouraged to complement their concentration with a robust liberal arts experience that could include a minor and/or a second major. An internship is also recommended.

Course Requirements      

Credit Hours

SMAD Core Requirements

            12

SMAD 302. Video Production

            3

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 250. Scriptwriting1

             

SMAD 251. Screenplay Writing1

             

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

             

SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law

             

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 407. Business and Management of Digital Media

             

SMAD 410. The Creative Producer

           

Choose two of the following Applied Skills courses:

            6

SMAD 303. Post Production

           

SMAD 304. Audio Production

           

SMAD 305. Special Topics in Media Production2

           

SMAD 306. Studio Production

           

SMAD 307. Interactive Design for the Web I

           

SMAD 340. Advanced Screenplay Writing1

           

SMAD 371. Narrative Media Studies

           

SMAD 402. Motion Graphic Design and Production

           

SMAD 403. Documentary Production

           

SMAD 405. Producing and Directing

           

SMAD 462. Documentary in Film and TV

           

SMAD 463. Film Adaptations3

           

or SMAD 463L. Film Adaptations: British Literature and Film3

           

Choose two of the following Critical Analysis courses:

            6

SMAD 360L. British Media and Society

           

SMAD 371. Narrative Media Studies

           

SMAD 373. Media Analysis and Criticism

           

SMAD 380. Introduction to Film

           

SMAD 398. Critical Studies in Media Arts and Design2

           

SMAD 460. Film and Society

           

SMAD 461. Film as Art

           

SMAD 462. Documentary in Film and Television

           

SMAD 463. Film Adaptations3

           

or SMAD 463L. Film Adaptations: British Literature and Film3

 

SMAD 464. Contemporary American Film

           

SMAD 470. New Media and Society

           

SMAD 498. Senior Seminar

           


            36

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 These courses satisfy concentration requirements when the topic is appropriate.

3 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 463 or SMAD 463L, but not both.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year             

Credit Hours

SMAD 101. Introduction to Media Arts and Design

            3

Cluster One courses

            9

General Education courses

            18


            30

 

Second Year        

Credit Hours

SMAD 201. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design I

            3

SMAD 202. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design II

            3

SMAD 250. Scriptwriting

            3

or SMAD 251. Screenplay Writing

           

General Education courses

            10-13

University electives

            8-11


            30

 

Third  Year           

Credit Hours

SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L. The Media Arts: Culture by Design

            3

SMAD 302. Video Production

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

            3

or SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law

             

Digital Video and Cinema concentration applied skills elective course

            3

University electives

            18


            30

 

Fourth Year         

Credit Hours

SMAD 400. Senior Assessment in Media Arts and Design

            0

SMAD 407. Business and Management of Digital Media

            3

or SMAD 410. The Creative Producer

             

Digital Video and Cinema concentration applied skills elective course

            3

Digital Video and Cinema concentration critical analysis elective courses

            6

University electives

            18


            30

Journalism

This professionally-oriented program enables students to develop reporting, writing, editing and production skills needed to work in magazines, newspapers, video/broadcast and new media journalism through course work, internships and other practical experiences. At the same time the program encourages students to obtain a broad liberal arts education so they will understand many of the issues facing contemporary society.

Course Requirements      

Credit Hours

SMAD Core Requirements

            12

SMAD 210. News Reporting and Writing1

            3

SMAD 309. Video Journalism

            3

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 310. Advanced Reporting and Writing1

           

SMAD 311. Feature Writing

           

Choose one of the following:

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

             

SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law

             

Choose one Intermediate Applied Skills courses:

            3

SMAD 220. Copy Editing

           

SMAD 225. Photojournalism

           

SMAD 305. Special Topics in Media Production2

           

SMAD 307. Interactive Design for the Web I

           

SMAD 332. Print Communication Design

           

SMAD 403. Documentary Production

           

Choose one Advanced Applied Skills courses:

            3

SMAD 409. Electronic News Producing and Editing

           

SMAD 421. Feature Magazine Production

           

SMAD 422. Multimedia Journalism

           

SMAD 497. Advanced Projects in Media Arts and Design (when topic is appropriate)

           

Choose one Critical Analysis courses:

            3

SMAD 372. Media History

           

SMAD 471. Media Ethics

           

Choose one Critical Analysis courses:

            3

SMAD 360L. British Media and Society

           

SMAD 372. Media History

           

SMAD 373. Media Analysis and Criticism

           

SMAD 398. Critical Studies in Media Arts and Design2

           

SMAD 462. Documentary in Film and Television

           

SMAD 470. New Media and Society

           

SMAD 471. Media Ethics

           

SMAD 472. Media and Politics3

           

or SMAD 472L. British Media and Politics3

           

SMAD 498. Senior Seminar

           


            36

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 These courses satisfy concentration requirements when the topic is appropriate.

3 Students may receive SMAD credit for either SMAD 472 or SMAD 472L, but not both.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year             

Credit Hours

SMAD 101. Introduction to Media Arts and Design

            3

Cluster One courses

            9

General Education courses

            18


            30

 

Second Year        

Credit Hours

SMAD 201. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design I

            3

SMAD 202. Fundamental Skills in Media Arts and Design II

            3

SMAD 210. News Reporting and Writing

            3

SMAD 220. Copy Editing

            3

or SMAD 309. Video Journalism

             

General Education courses

            10-13

University electives

            5-8


            30

 

Third  Year           

Credit Hours

SMAD 301 or SMAD 301L. The Media Arts: Culture by Design

            3

SMAD 310. Advanced Reporting and Writing

            3

SMAD 330. New Media Law

            3

or SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law

             

Journalism concentration intermediate applied skills elective course

            3

University electives

            18


            30

 

Fourth Year         

Credit Hours

SMAD 400. Senior Assessment in Media Arts and Design

            0

Choose one:

            3

SMAD 409. Electronic News Producing and Editing

             

SMAD 421. Feature Magazine Production

 

SMAD 422. Multimedia Journalism

             

Journalism concentration advanced applied skills elective course

            3

Journalism concentration critical analysis elective courses

            6

University electives

            18


            30

Teaching Licensure

In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, media arts and design majors desiring to add an endorsement in journalism to a secondary teacher license in another content area must be admitted to teacher education, complete the pre-professional program in secondary education at the undergraduate level and complete the graduate level Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

It is critical that students seeking licensure consult regularly with both their education adviser and their major adviser to support their progression through the programs. For a full description of the program in secondary teaching, refer to the Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education.

Minor Requirements

British Communication and Media Minor

The cross disciplinary British Communication and Media minor enables students to expand their knowledge of communication and media in Great Britain and to enhance their appreciation of the impact culture has on communication and media. Students must participate in the JMU Semester or Summer in London program to complete this minor.

Creative Writing Minor

The cross disciplinary minor in Creative Writing is designed to give students an opportunity to develop their writing talents across a number of literary forms and communication contexts.

Film Studies Minor          

The cross disciplinary minor in Film Studies is designed for students who wish to extend their critical understanding of visual communication and narrative form by studying how movies tell stories, convey information and influence audiences.

Political Communication Minor

The program in Political Communication is designed for those students wishing to supplement their major programs with an emphasis on communication skills, knowledge and abilities specifically relevant to participation in political environments.

Sport Communication Minor

This cross disciplinary minor consists of course work offered in

 communications, media arts and design, and kinesiology for students with an interest in sports media and communication.

American Studies Minor

The minor in American Studies is based on the desirability of fostering an understanding of the whole of American civilization through study in a variety of fields and topics. Students will select courses in three groups—multicultural studies, ideas and the arts, and history and politics—and from diverse fields including literature, history, the fine arts, philosophy and the social sciences.