Assistant to the Dean
The College of Media and Communication (CMAC) has the approval of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees as part of The University of the Arts.
The newest of the University’s three colleges, CMAC provides a crossroads where students interested in performing and visual arts, writing and narrative, new media, new technology, and interactivitylearn the skills required to integrate traditional and new media. In small classes, students work together in an extremely close and supportive atmosphere while also being able to shape an education that reflects their own goals and interests.
Programs of Study
CMAC is dedicated to the integration of art, technology, and communication. The College’s programs are characterized by a commitment to text – how we describe the world to others – and to the use of appropriate technologies to reach audiences. In addition, they are designed to show students the power of collaboration, how it is able to integrate individual expertise and imagination into a larger vision.
A distinctive aspect of the programs in the College is their cross-disciplinary nature. Specialized courses that are unique and essential to the field are augmented by major courses drawn from programs throughout the University, and students are encouraged to explore the University’s vast artistic and academic array of course offerings by taking electives or participating in minor courses of study.
To develop a common experience for all CMAC students as well as a broad perspective of the major themes that influence contemporary media and communication, the College requires all students to take a common core of three courses – Storytelling, Media Industries, and Collaboration and Spontaneity. Through this core, majors learn the power of media to shape stories, the nature of the media marketplace, and the rich potential of collaboration. Because these courses are required of all CMAC majors, it promotes exchange of ideas, skills, and experiences across the College.
The programs offered in the College are:
- BS in Communication
- BFA in Multimedia
- BFA in Writing for Film and Television
Each program is designed as a rigorous sequential course of study, balancing major requirements with electives and a 42-credit liberal arts core. As a result, each program promotes an education that is broad and deep, as well as being practical and richly theoretical. Students graduate knowing both how to express ideas using a diverse set of media while also learning to think about what they are making and why.
To extend their education, CMAC students may also develop specialized competencies by taking minors in a number of new areas:
- Documentary Video
- Game Design
- Information Architecture
- Narrative Video
- Web Design
- Web Design and Development
- Web Drama
These minors have been designed to complement the College’s majors and have been developed with an eye both to new forms of creative expression and the new careers that have emerged as a result of the Internet and the growth of new media.
The faculty, programs of study, and facilities of the College all support a broad range of interests – from building commercial Websites to creating multimedia fine art; from creating strategic ad campaigns to writing news for the Internet, to writing scripts for motion pictures and television programs. The College also offers opportunities outside the classroom to explore and create – from Webzines, to Web-based radio, to Web television.
There are a number of clubs and publications – student run – that provide students with a variety of opportunities to express themselves, make their ideas public, create new audiences, and experiment with the media.
- UArtsRadio, powered by CMAC, is an evolving, student-run online streaming-audio vehicle. Located in the College, the UArtsRadio Studio features a dedicated server and state-of-the-art equipment. Although housed in the College, UArtsRadio involves students throughout the University.
- UArtsVideo, also powered by CMAC, is the most recent addition to the College’s Web presence. Like UArtsRadio, it is student run and offers opportunities to students from throughout the University to be in front of the camera and behind it; as well as to broadcast student-created videos and performances.
- Paper Cuts, a CMAC sponsored web drama – written, directed, produced and acted by students from the College, as well as from throughout The University – tells the story of life in an arts university in a city like Philadelphia.
- Schwamag.com, “turning e-publishing on its head,” is the Webzine and the print annual sponsored by the Communication Department of the College of Media and Communication but open to the entire University community. It “reports” on the University and the city, on art and culture, and on life as lived by UArts students.
- Broadst., The University’s publication of commentary, has as its mission to give a voice to students and to create a forum for discussion and debate.
- One Noise, an occasional literary magazine, is sponsored by the College’s Department of Writing for Film and Television but is student run and publishes work in prose, poetry, and other genres drawn from across the University community.
- Media Literacy Club, an outreach organization supported by the Communication Department, allows students to share their media literacy skills with public high schools around the city.
In addition to these clubs and organizations, the College sponsors occasional Wednesday Night Screenings and lectures – programs that bring students and faculty together to talk about the media and movies.
Special Facilities & Resources
The College of Media and Communication is housed in the recently renovated Terra Building where students and faculty have access to excellent facilities and equipment.
WiFi and Laptop Initiative
The College is entirely WiFi and most lecture and studio courses take place in “smart classrooms,” which means that students and faculty have a high degree of flexibility in what they can do while “in class” as well as being able to access material easily when they are outside of class or working in small groups anywhere in the College or University.
The College houses a multifunctional production studio available for use by students in the College’s video, audio, advertising, and journalism classes. The studio offers students a flexibly designed space in which to produce documentary television features, educational video and films, news features, corporate media, and television commercials. Associated with it is a sound studio that also serves as the center for the Communication Department’s Web radio, Web TV, and Webzine.
Digital Labs and Editing Rooms
Students in Communication use a digital lab with a range of state-of-the-art audio and video systems, pre- and post-production equipment, PC, Mac, and Unix systems, and a complete spectrum of audio, video, and Web software used to create films, videos, advertising campaigns, and Web dramas. In addition, there is a logging and dubbing studio, as well as several private editing suites available to students who need a quiet place and long blocks of uninterrupted time to edit their work.
Multimedia Studios and Labs
The College’s multimedia studios provide students with the most advanced multimedia equipment in the region. The cross-platform production environment spans Macintosh, PC, and Unix-based operating systems. A MAVIO station (Mobile Audio-Visual Input/Output) allows users to input analog and digital information and to output digital and analog information as well. These studios are equipped with industry-standard software from which students can create illustrations, scan images, record sounds, digitize video, and create CD-ROMs. Students in the Multimedia Program use these labs to work on video games, animations, Web narratives, interactive Websites, and digital videos.
The College features a MIDI Studio (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), which is used by students in multimedia and e-music to create electronic and experimental music for documentary and narrative film and video, Web drama, and games.
The College’s Equipment Room offers CMAC students the opportunity to borrow the most current portable video, audio, and photographic equipment for off-campus production. The equipment includes digital video and still cameras, DAT and Minidisk audio recorders, Lowell location lighting kits, and an array of microphones, field monitors, and accessories.
There are a number of galleries and display areas throughout the College that are highly flexible, equipped with professional lighting, and supported by multimedia equipment for the display of work in all media. There are periodic shows of student documentaries, final projects and works in progress developed by students as part of their classes or independent study, as well as shows of work by faculty and distinguished outsiders. In addition to the galleries, the College has designed a number of media walls, kiosks, and virtual displays that allow student work to be shown throughout the college and also throughout The University.
To provide its students with experience in publishing new media, the College sponsors a student-run Webzine, a Web radio, and Web video site, hosts a number of student- and alumni-produced Websites, and supports student-developed videos, games, and interactive projects, as well as maintaining the College’s Website: CMACweb.org.
New Media Center
The University of the Arts is proud to be a member of the New Media Centers, a group of the nation’s leading academic institutions and technology corporations dedicated to the advancement of technology in education. The University of the Arts is one of the few art schools worldwide to be welcomed into this organization, whose members include New York University, Cornell, MIT, and UCLA.
The University of the Arts’ New Media Center (NMC) is a state-of-the-art digital laboratory that provides Internet access and permits the integration of text, graphics, imagery, animation, music, and sound. While the entire University community uses these labs, the NMC is the primary classroom for students in the College’s Multimedia Program.
The College of Media and Communication offers minors that enable a student to focus on a specific discipline through organized electives. Open to majors throughout the University, CMAC minors have been designed to complement a major course of study so that students can develop cross-disciplinary skills and applications, to support interdisciplinary collaboration, and to add skills and experiences that enrich a student’s capabilities in a variety of career and creative fields. Each minor has a coordinator/advisor, but students are expected to work with their major advisors so that a minor does not conflict with the courses required by their major. Because of the structure of their major, Communication majors may only participate in minors offered by the College of Performing Arts and the College of Art and Design.
- Students must meet eligibility requirements, which may include a satisfactory grade-point average, prerequisites, and departmental portfolio review.
- An intent to complete a minor is declared by filing the completed Minor Declaration Form with the Office of the Registrar. The forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.
- A student may not major and minor in the same program, except where indicated.
- Courses applied to the minor may only be applied toward elective requirements.
- All minors require a minimum of 15 credits, with the exception of E-Music for Music majors. Generally, no substitutions to the minor requirements are allowed. In exceptional situations where substitutions are granted, they must have the approval of both the major and minor program advisors.
- The requirements of the minor must be completed prior to graduation.
- A student pursuing a minor may be required to complete more than the minimum number of credits required to complete the undergraduate degree in order to also complete the minor.
- Minors are available only to undergraduate students.