The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php
The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Media, Culture, and Technology requires 30 credits for completion, half of which are earned in required courses. Students must also write a thesis, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, though this may take different forms.
Required courses (15 credits):
- MDST 8000 Media, Culture & Technology
- MDST 8001 Histories of Media Technologies
- MDST 8003 Methods of Media Research
- MDST 8966 Master’s Thesis Development
- MDST 8999 Master’s Thesis Writing
Electives (15 credits) and Courses in Other Departments
The remaining credits will be earned by taking elective courses in the department. Independent studies, though possible, are discouraged. No MA student should plan to count more than one independent study toward their degree.
Some possible electives in the Department of Media Studies include:
- MDST 7210 Global Environmental Media
- MDST 7220 Media Bodies
- MDST 7240 Privacy and Surveillance
- MDST 7250 Race and Ethnicity and Media
- MDST 7411 Media Technologies and Free Speech
- MDST 7559 Media Audiences
- MDST 7704 Political Economy of Media
- MDST 7803 Computational Media
Some electives will be stand-alone courses, open for enrollment to all students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Other elective courses will be taught as duel-level courses that will meet alongside undergraduate courses of the same title: for instance, students enrolled in Media Bodies (MDST 7220) may meet with undergraduate students enrolled in a course by the same name (MDST 3661). In these cases, graduate enrollment will carry higher expectations regarding reading, course leadership, and research assignments.
Students will be required to complete a thesis project under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis will entail original, independent research. The format of the final report will be decided by the student and the student’s advisor, possibly taking the form of a traditional academic thesis, a policy white paper, or other relevant format (documentary, digital project, etc.). All thesis projects must include a written component of at least 25 pages.
MDST 8966: Thesis Research and MDST 8999: Thesis Writing are offered in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Students are expected to take these cohort-based courses during their final year of the MA, as they are working on their thesis. These courses provide essential tools and support for conceiving, completing, and reporting on an original research project.
Courses in Other Departments
While MA students must complete 30 credits in the degree (with the MDST mnemonic), they may also want to supplement their study with courses from across the University. Courses in relevant languages or methods are encouraged, as is the pursuit of a graduate certificate alongside the degree. Students may be particularly interested in available certificates in Africana Studies, American Studies, Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities, Environmental Humanities, and Gender & Sexuality Studies.
If you see a course in another department that you would like to fulfill a major requirement, you can have it evaluated by submitting the course syllabus and a completed REQUEST TO HAVE A COURSE OUTSIDE OF MEDIA STUDIES COUNT AS AN ELECTIVE form to the Director of Graduate Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.