Media Arts and Sciences Major
Goals for the Media Arts and Sciences Major
The Media Arts and Sciences major provides a well-rounded understanding in both areas supporting it: art and computer science. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to analyze and produce multimedia applications that are both visually and functionally competent. They are also expected to be aware of the historical and contemporary trends that drive the creative application of digital media in our society. Importantly, they are expected to be critical thinkers of the use of digital media and their influence on the society. In the process, they are expected to have achieved competence in art theory, multimedia design and use of technological tools.
Requirements for the Media Arts and Sciences Major
A major in Media Arts and Sciences requires 12 units of course work, at least eight of which must be above the 100 level and at least two of which must be at the 300 level. No more than one can be MAS 350 or MAS 360. In particular, to major in Media Arts and Sciences a student must take three required introductory courses, one each from studio art, art history and computer science and at least three required art/music core courses and at least three required computer science core courses. The approved courses are listed in the labeled sections above.
Flexibility has been built into the major to allow students to adapt their course of study to their interests, choosing an optional concentration either in:
- Media Arts by adding two more art/music core courses
- Media Sciences by adding two more computer science core courses
Majors are also encouraged to take at least one approved media culture course and an advanced media production course (e.g., a MAS individual study). In addition to other courses at Wellesley, students can take approved courses at the MIT’s Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies program or at Olin College of Engineering. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section can be found at the program’s website: www.wellesley.edu/MAS/ along with a spreadsheet to help students plan their major. For more information, students should contact the program directors.
Honors in Media Arts and Sciences
The Media Arts and Sciences thesis offers a year-long opportunity to develop independent research and production with honors. Students interested in proposing a thesis must have a minimum 3.5 GPA in the major, and the support of a faculty advisor in the art or computer science departments. Normally, the honors process needs to obey the guidelines of the corresponding department (art or computer science). An interdepartmental review will occur at the end of the fall semester, to determine whether the student should continue her project as a MAS 370 in the spring and convey its decision to the student by December 18. In a case where it is recommended that the senior thesis not be continued into the second semester, a student would receive credit for 360 work on the completion of a schedule of work previously agreed to between the thesis advisor and the student.
The thesis proposal should be discussed with the primary faculty advisor during the spring prior to senior year. Proposals for thesis projects must be submitted in writing, detailing the scope for the project, research methodology, project timeline, and must be accompanied by an electronic portfolio of at least four Media Arts and Sciences/Studio Art projects. Proposals are due on August 25 before the beginning of the student’s senior year. (For students wanting to graduate in the fall, contact the program directors for adjusted dates.)
Advanced Placement Policy in Media Arts and Sciences
Students may receive a maximum of one unit of college credit for a score of 5 on the Computer Science A or AB AP Exam. This unit can count towards the Media Arts and Sciences major.
Media Arts and Sciences Approved Courses
Students majoring in Media Arts and Sciences are required to take at least 12 courses. Three of them are introductory and at least six are core. At least two of them must be at the 300 level. The following sections have specific information about courses that can count towards the major.
Introductory Required Courses in Media Arts and Sciences
Students majoring in Media Arts and Sciences are required to take three introductory courses, one in art history or cinema and media studies, one in computer science and one in studio art. The approved courses are listed below.
Core Courses Required for the Media Arts and Sciences Major
Students majoring in Media Arts and Sciences are required to take at least three art/music core courses and at least three computer science core courses from the following core courses. There is flexibility for a student to declare a concentration in Media Arts by adding two more art/music core courses, or in Media Sciences by adding two more computer science core courses. The approved core courses are listed below.
Media Culture Courses Recommended for the Media Arts and Sciences Major
It is recommended that students majoring in Media Arts and Sciences take least one media culture course from the ones listed below.
For Credit Toward the Media Arts and Sciences Major
The courses listed below are representative of other Wellesley and MIT courses that emphasize topics related to the Media Arts and Sciences major. Students may include courses not listed below in their major with permission of the program directors.
The MIT Media Lab and the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program offer a large variety of courses that may be appropriate for a Media Arts and Sciences major. These offerings vary per semester; please consult the MIT catalog at student.mit.edu/catalog/mMASa.html and student.mit.edu/catalog/mCMSa.html. In addition, the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers opportunities for students to participate in research with MIT faculty. The Media Lab faculty often offer research opportunities that are appropriate for a media arts and science major. Research opportunities vary per semester, please check the MIT UROP webpage for information: http://web.mit.edu/urop/students/howto.html.
The Olin College of Engineering offers the following courses that may be appropriate for a Media Arts and Sciences major:
ENGR 2250 User-Oriented Collaborative Design