Media Arts and Design


School of Media Arts and Design
SMAD 200. Introduction to Media Arts and Design. 6 credits.
Study of how the technologies of mediated communication mold perception and influence the design of messages. Emphasis on the skills required to master such technologies for commercial and artistic applications. Consideration of emerging media and their implications for message design and cultural change.
SMAD 210. News Writing. 4 credits.
The study of the fundamentals of news writing, including news gathering techniques and modern news style. Emphasis on day-to-day coverage of meetings, events and breaking news stories. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test. (Formerly MCOM 210.)
SMAD 220. News Editing. 3 credits.
The study of editorial functions in the modern newsroom. Consideration of problems in news judgment, news style and the laws of libel. Emphasis upon layout and headline writing. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test. (Formerly MCOM 220.)
SMAD 225. Photojournalism. 3 credits.
The study of visual information gathering for print media including photojournalism. Emphasis on photographic techniques and print media layout. Consideration of new visual technologies including the use of computers for electronic photo editing and design. Students must provide their own camera. Prerequisite: SMAD 200 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 225.)
SMAD 230. Survey of Multimedia. 3 credits.
An introduction to the arrangement and synchronization of multimedia presentations for the educational, business and entertainment fields. The course covers the history of multimedia, CD-ROM development, computer applications, HTTP development, and various design aspects. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
SMAD 232. Design Fundamentals. 3 credits.
Through theory and application, this course introduces the vocabulary, methods, processes, craft and technology employed by the graphic communicator, as well as the historical and sociological context of the design profession. Prerequisite: SMAD 200.
SMAD 233. Video Motion Graphics. 3 credits.
Study of the various means of digitizing and editing video. This would include capturing/compression techniques, storage considerations/limitations, and file formats. The course will include current information concerning digital video applications such as multimedia and networking environments. Prerequisite: SMAD 200.
SMAD 234. Introduction to Music Technology. 3 credits.
The study of the fundamentals of music technology. Students are introduced to Musical Instrument Digital Interface, synthesizers, sequencing techniques, computer-based notation techniques, digital recording and editing, and basic audio for the multimedia musician. Prerequisite: SMAD 200 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 250. Scriptwriting. 4 credits.
The study of the principles and practices of writing scripts for commercial, non-commercial and corporate media applications. Emphasis on preparing dramatic and informational forms for broadcast or recording. Prerequisite: Passing score on the school's English proficiency test, or permission of instructor. (Formerly MCOM 250.)
SMAD 256. Media Advertising: Buying and Selling. 3 credits.
Study of the theory and practice of advertising buying and sales for mass media, including CATV, Internet, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, on-line services, radio and television. Introduces program scheduling theories and personal selling techniques. Applies market research data to buying and selling mass media advertising.
SMAD 260. Telecommunication Business Fundamentals. 3 credits.
Students achieve a basic understanding of different media delivery technologies (broadcast radio, microwave, fiber optics, cable, twisted pair), and different modes of electronic transmission (amplitude and frequency modulation, pulse-code modulation, digital signaling, etc.), their limitations, advantages, disadvantages and how these realities affect management decisions. (Formerly MCOM 260.)
SMAD 295. Practicum in Media Arts and Design. 1 credit, repeatable to 3 credits.
Freshmen and sophomores participating in cocurricular media activities may receive one hour of credit for field work at The Breeze, WMRA-FM, the Madison Video Productions or other university-related media outlets. Students are limited to one practicum per semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the media operation involved. Application procedures will be available from the school prior to registration. (Formerly MCOM 295.)
SMAD 300. Contemporary Issues in Media Arts and Design. 3 credits.
A study of contemporary issues facing society that involve the media industries. Students will examine the perennial issues related to media arts, with special attention given to controversies that apply to personal or societal impacts of media consumption. Prerequisite: SMAD 200 and junior standing.
SMAD 305. Topics in Media Arts and Design. 3-4 credits, repeatable to 6-8 credits.
The study of current topics and issues in media arts and design. Emphasis on contemporary themes of immediate concern. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 305.)
SMAD 310. Advanced News Writing. 4 credits.
Advanced study and practice of news writing and news gathering techniques. Emphasis on in-depth and investigative stories. Prerequisite: SMAD 210 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 310.)
SMAD 311. Feature Writing. 4 credits.
The study and practice of advanced techniques in planning and writing feature stories. Emphasis on individual performance through criticism of student work in conference with instructor. Prerequisite: SMAD 210 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 311.)
SMAD 320. Newspaper Production. 4 credits.
Advanced study of the knowledge and skills required to produce a newspaper. Areas of study include story generation, writing, editing, picture editing, page design, layout, on-screen pagination, production and management. Consideration given to the journalistic responsibilities and problems of serving a diverse audience. Prerequisite: SMAD 210 or 220, and SMAD 295 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 321. Feature Magazine Production. 4 credits.
A practical course in which students produce a feature magazine published regularly by the journalism area. Each student is assigned a specific staff position. Students learn to use the latest computer pagination technology in the design and production of the magazine. Prerequisite: SMAD 311 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 321.)
SMAD 330. Multimedia Law. 3 credits.
An in-depth investigation of business and legal aspects of multimedia production, publication and distribution. Examination of legal issues affecting the multimedia industry including: intellectual property laws, torts, contracts and licensing. Discussion of current policies and practices affecting multimedia development and review of pertinent legal reference materials. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
SMAD 332. Digital Image Processing. 3 credits.
Through theory and application, this course introduces the vocabulary, methods and technology of digital image processing. Students will focus on the treatment and manipulation of the photographic image. Prerequisite: SMAD 200.
SMAD 333. Computer Motion Graphics. 3 credits.
An intermediate course in computer animation theory and practice. Combines theoretical elements of film aesthetics with practical experience in animation filmmaking. Students develop their skills in a variety of types of animated film production. Prerequisite: SMAD 233.
SMAD 334. Digital Sound Production. 3 credits.
The study of sound recording and manipulation, concentrating on industry-standard technology. Topics will include intermediate level Musical Instrument Digital Interface, audio for video, and introduction to multi-track music recording techniques. Prerequisite: SMAD 234 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 340. Screenplay Writing. 4 credits.
Study of the principles of screenplay writing for feature films and television movies. Emphasis is placed on the structure of narrative film. Prerequisite: SMAD 250; for non-majors ENG 380; or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 340.)
SMAD 345. Electronic Newsgathering. 4 credits.
Study of the fundamentals of newswriting for the electronic media, including news gathering techniques and electronic news style. Emphasis on writing and producing news packages. Prerequisite: SMAD 210 or 250. (Formerly MCOM 245.)
SMAD 350. Video Production Fundamentals. 4 credits.
The study of the fundamental skills and information underlying audio and video production. Emphasis on competency-based learning and laboratory applications. Consideration of relevant aesthetic principles and practical limitations. Corequisite: SMAD 210 or 250 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 350.)
SMAD 352. Electronic Field Production. 4 credits.
Introduces students to shooting and editing for various forms of post-produced video presentations. Through lectures, demonstrations and field work, students will gain a functional knowledge of equipment operations, composition, audio mixing and editing, editing techniques and special effects. Prerequisite: SMAD 350 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 352.)
SMAD 354. Television Graphics. 3 credits.
Introduction to the characteristics, limitations and production requirements of graphics used primarily in video production and displayed on standard television equipment. Students will gain an understanding of resolution, color and electronic restrictions inherent in television graphics. Prerequisite: SMAD 350 .
SMAD 355. Telecommunication Systems and Standards Issues. 3 credits.
This course is an overview of electronic communication transmission fundamentals, basic system configurations, component strengths and limitations. The course is presented from a managerial perspective and includes discussion of current and future technologies and international technology standards organizations. This course builds on material presented in Telecommunications Business Fundamentals [SMAD 260]. Prerequisite: SMAD 260 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 355.)
SMAD 356. Telecommunication Policy and Regulation. 3 credits.
An overview of the regulatory issues encountered in the telecommunication industry. Emphasizes post 1982-FCC changes deregulating telephone, CATV, and broadcast industries. Includes regulation of emerging services and technologies, First Amendment issues, ownership and distribution of new information forms, and limitations and uses of technology. Prerequisite: SMAD 200 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 303.)
SMAD 370. Mass Communication Law. 3 credits.
Principles and case studies in communication law, constitutional guarantees, libel, privacy, contempt, copyright and governmental regulatory agencies. Emphasis on recent cases and their effects on mass communication. Prerequisite: SMAD 200 and junior standing, or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 300.)
SMAD 371. Media Theories. 3 credits.
Study of current theories of mediated communication. Emphasis on how such theories may be observed and tested in everyday life. Consideration of the research underpinning these explanations of media influence. Corequisite: SMAD 300 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 372. Media History. 3 credits.
The study of the history of the media in relation to American politics and society. Emphasis on key periods in the development of journalism and the mass media, and the role of the journalist in society. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 330.)
SMAD 373. Media Analysis and Criticism. 3 credits.
The study and practice of journalistic and scholarly criticism of the mass media. Emphasis on interpretive writing about television, film and popular music. Consideration of contemporary analytical methods for researching mass-mediated culture. Prerequisite: SMAD 200; corequisite: SMAD 300 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 365.)
SMAD 390. Directed Projects in Media Arts and Design. 2 credits, repeatable to 4 credits.
Supervised projects related to the study of any of the communication media. Credit given for original individual or group programs beyond the school's usual cocurricular activities. A suitable completed project or report is required before credit can be awarded. Prerequisite: Permission of the school director. (Formerly MCOM 390.)
SMAD 395. Advanced Practicum in Media Arts and Design. 1 credit, repeatable to 3 credits.
Juniors and seniors participating in cocurricular media activities may receive one hour of credit for field work at The Breeze, Curio, WMRA-FM, the Madison Video Productions or other university-related media outlets. Students are limited to one practicum per semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the media operation involved. Application procedures will be available from the school prior to registration. (Formerly MCOM 395.)
SMAD 430. Principles and Practices of Multimedia. 3 credits.
An advanced course combining theoretical elements, aesthetics and practical experience in the creation of professional quality multimedia presentations. Students are exposed to advanced multimedia production through lectures, demonstrations, film and slide presentations, classroom work and outside assignments. Prerequisite: SMAD 330.
SMAD 432. Print Communication Design. 3 credits.
An introduction to the theories and methods of design for print communication. Students will learn various techniques needed to produce the design materials that go into print publications. Prerequisite: SMAD 332.
SMAD 433. Advanced Digital Production-Video. 3 credits.
Experience in the organization and execution of video and multimedia projects on CD-ROM. Topics include creative and financial planning, time-management, talent booking, production and post-production process management, mastering and pressing/duplication. Prerequisite: SMAD 233 and SMAD 333, or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 434. Advanced Digital Production-Sound. 3 credits.
Experience in the organization and execution of audio and multimedia projects on CD-ROM. Topics include creative and financial planning, time-management, talent booking, production and post-production process management, mastering and pressing/duplication. Prerequisite: SMAD 234 and SMAD 334 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 452. Electronic Entertainment/ Information Distribution. 3 credits.
This course is an overview of current managerial issues affecting the entertainment and information industries as they relate to distribution of products to the consumer through various telecommunication media. Regulatory, technical, and marketing perspectives are covered. This course requires a technical understanding of telecommunication. Prerequisite: SMAD 260 and SMAD 355 or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 472.)
SMAD 460. Movies and Society. 3 credits.
The study of the cultural impact of the film industry as an institution of mass communication. Emphasis on the interrelationship among social, economic and technological factors influencing the creation and consumption of motion pictures. Consideration of particular films as indicators of cultural change. Prerequisite: SMAD 200; for non-majors ENG 380; or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 460.)
SMAD 461. Movies as Art. 3 credits.
Advanced study of how movies tell their stories in visual terms. Emphasis on the historical evolution and design of the moving image. Consideration of the latest imaging technologies affecting film narrative. Prerequisite: SMAD 200; for non-majors ENG 380; or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 461.)
SMAD 462. Documentary in Film and Television. 3 credits.
The study of content, style, technique and effect of representative samples of the documentary form. Consideration given to informational and persuasive elements. Prerequisite: SMAD 200; for non-majors ENG 380; or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 462.)
SMAD 471. Media Ethics. 3 credits.
The study of ethical principles and how they apply in a variety of media situations, including entertainment programming, news, and advertising. Emphasis on case studies as examples of ethical decision-making. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.
SMAD/SCOM/POSC 472. Media and Politics. 3 credits.
A study of the media's role in political campaigns, concentrating on past/present election, the media's role in covering political parties and coverage of the governing process. Discussion of electronic and print will occur. Topics to be examined include campaign videos, CSPAN, political ads, editorial cartoons, TV debates, convention coverage, and radio talk show commentary.
SMAD 475. Media Research Design. 3 credits.
Survey of empirical methods for conducting media research. Emphasis on applying such methods to the investigation of key issues in mass communication and the media arts. Consideration of model studies that exemplify these means of inquiry. Prerequisite: SMAD 371 or permission of the instructor.
SMAD 490. Special Studies in Media Arts and Design. 3 credits.
An independent study for students to pursue individual research under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Prerequisite: Senior media arts and design majors in good standing, and permission of the school director. (Formerly MCOM 490.)
SMAD 495. Internship in Media Arts and Design. 2 credits, repeatable to 4 credits.
An off-campus program prepared and monitored on an individual student basis. Internships are designed to provide practical experience in journalism, electronic media, corporate media or visual communication. Prerequisite: Permission of the school director and the media facility involved. Students must meet criteria and application procedures established in each concentration. (Formerly MCOM 495.)
SMAD 498. Senior Seminar in Media Arts and Design. 3 credits.
The study and research in the history and philosophy of the function of mass communication in society. Consideration of topics relating to problems of communication systems, technological freedoms, and press freedom and responsibilities. Prerequisite: SMAD 300, or senior standing, or permission of the instructor. (Formerly MCOM 498.)
SMAD 499. Honors in Media Arts and Design. 6 credits.
Year course. (Formerly MCOM 499.)

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Undergraduate Catalog Contents


1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University