All Programs


Media Studies Courses

MS  100 - Introduction to Media Studies (4)

Critical introduction to contemporary issues and debates in media and society. Offered every semester. Applies to Core E. Pre- or corequisite Core A2.

MS  102 - Intro to Film Studies (4)

This class is designed to introduce students to the world of films from a semiotic, historical and critical perspective. The main objective of the course is to provide students with the formal and rhetorical devices to understand film language in its own terms. Offered every semester. Applies to Core F.

MS  103 - Multi-Media Storytelling (4)

This is a multi-media production course in which students will learn how to use audio, video, and digital media tools (such as blogging) to create and distribute important stories and engage audiences.

MS  195 - FYS: First-Year Seminar (4)

First Year Seminars are designed and taught by faculty who have a special passion for the topic. All FYSeminars are small classes (16 students) that count toward the university Core. Many FYSeminars include enrichment activities such as excursions into the city or guest speakers. FYSeminars are only open to students in their first or second semester at USF, and students may only take one FYS, in either Fall or Spring. For a detailed description of this course, and other FYSeminars this semester, go to this webpage by cutting and pasting the link:

MS  200 - Media Institutions (4)

Prerequisite: MS-100. Exploration of political, economic and cultural context of current media institutions including the press, film, TV, and digital media industries in San Francisco, the US and around the world. Focuses on issues of commercialism, the public interest and creativity. Offered every semester.

MS  204 - Media, Stereotyping, and Violence (4)

Qualitative and quantitative approaches to media content and audiences, with special emphasis on violence and stereotyping.

MS  205 - Media Audience and Research (4)

Prerequisite: MS-100. Theory and practice of media and communication research methodologies including content/text analysis, ethnographic methods, interview, and survey methods. Offered every semester.

MS  221 - Audio Production (4)

This introductory course provides students with a basic understanding of audio production for a range of analog and digital platforms. The course focuses on story- telling with sound. Students will learn about current best practices, and develop skills in critique, interviewing, script-writing, editing, and story-pitching; as well as use audio equipment (including microphones and recording devices), field and studio recording, and digital audio editing and mixing. Audio skills gained in this course are relevant for radio, film, video, journalism, and multimedia productions.

MS  222 - Video Production (4)

Prerequisites: MS-100 or MS-102. An introduction to the techniques, aesthetics and practices of video production. Offered every semester. Limited enrollment.

MS  223 - Journalism I: Reporting (4)

An introduction to basic news reporting. Skills emphasized include lead writing, story structure, note-taking and interviewing. Students will be assigned a variety of story types, including the coverage of speeches, press conferences and meetings as well as writing profiles and police and accident stories. Students will be introduced to AP style. Offered every semester. Limited enrollment. Pre- or corequisite Core A2.

MS  224 - Journalism II: Advanced Reporting (4)

Prerequisite: MS 223 or permission of instructor. Advanced news reporting. Research, interviewing, analysis, writing and editing advanced journalism stories. Limited enrollment.

MS  250 - Africa Films Africa (CD) (4)

The diversity of the African continent as seen through the eyes of its filmmakers. Weekly viewings and discussions will be informed by critical literature on African film and its place in the West and the developing world. Cross Listed with: FREN-250.

MS  301 - Green Media (4)

Green Media is an upper division Media Studies production class focused on the topical areas of food, sustainability, and environmental issues. In addition to field research, students will use social and multimedia – Twitter, blogs, audio, photo essays, curating tools, video, reading and writing – to make stories about food and sustainability. 4.0 Credit hours. Pre-requisites: One previous media production course -- MS 221, MS 222, MS 223, MS 224, or MS 320 -- or permission of instructor.

MS  304 - Digital Journalism (4)

Learn to use social media, WordPress, and a variety of hardware and software to report stories in multimedia formats, including audio and video. Learn to publish and promote journalism online, ethical news practices and how to measure and develop audiences. Prereq: MS 223. Counts towards journalism minor.

MS  305 - Advanced Radio Production (4)

Learn to produce program elements for FM and digital radio. Learn about the values and goals of non-commercial educational (NCE) radio in the United States and internationally, as well as best practices of NCE radio, including community involvement and management structures. Course includes field trips and analysis of key political, economic and cultural trends in this sector. Prereq.: MS 221 or permission of instructor.

MS  306 - The Documentary (4)

Prerequisite: MS-102 or MS 200 or permission of instructor. History and analysis of documentary film and video.

MS  307 - Advanced Radio Production (4)

This class will build upon production skills learned in Audio Production 1. Students will learn the values and goals of non-commercial educational (NCE) radio in the United States and internationally, and will be introduced to the financial, programming, staffing and community relations of NCE radio stations. Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills in the operations of, as well as producing independent audio projects of their choosing. In addition, students will learn about other contemporary audio production genres, distribution platforms and opportunities and the basics of their technical operations, such as live radio, podcasting, webhosting, and streaming. Prerequisite: MS 221 or permission of instructor.

MS  311 - Communication Law and Policy (4)

Prerequisite: MS-200. Social and legal dilemmas over communication resources, rights and responsibilities. Analysis of law and policy as responses to social conflicts surrounding communication practices. Some topics covered include the First Amendment, media ownership, intellectual property, advertising, obscenity and hate speech. Offered every Spring.

MS  312 - The Popular Arts (4)

An introduction to the study of popular culture that is interdisciplinary in its approach. Popular culture is understood here to mean those areas of cultural production and consumption made and consumed by mass publics. The overview of issues offered in this class is not intended to be comprehensive; rather its goal is to establish a new framework for thinking about culture and the arts generally, and in relation to popular culture in particular. Particular emphasis is placed on an overview of aesthetic theory in relation to the history and philosophy of art, which is then applied systematically to case studies in contemporary media culture.

MS  313 - Media Theory and Criticism (4)

Prerequisite: MS 205. Social and cultural theory of media and communications applied to analysis of media events and texts. Application of research methods and strategies to analyse media content.

MS  315 - Telenovelas/Soap Operas (4)

A survey of the soap opera and melodrama genre focusing on its Latino version: telenovelas. The course looks at the production, distribution, and content of soaps, and their audiences around the world. It explores questions of class, gender, race and ethnicity, and the use of soaps for education and social change.

MS  317 - Latin American Cinema (CD) (4)

Prerequisite: MS 102 or MS 200. This course introduces students to films made by Latin American filmmakers about Latin America. It offers the chance to explore how the national cinemas of the Americas portray their societies' experiences. Topics covered include: relations between cinema and the state, questions of ideology, national identity, class, race and ethnicity, gender, concerns about historical representations and political memory, and the use of film as a tool for social change and human rights education. Cross Listed with: LAS-317.

MS  318 - Indian Cinema (4)

Prerequisite: MS 102 or MS 200. Examines the institutions, texts, and audiences of the National ("Bollywood") and regional cinemas of India in the postcolonial context.

MS  319 - LGBT Cinema (4)

Prerequisite: MS 102 or MS 200. This course explores and analyzes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender cinema from the 1920s to the present. We will consider how LGBT cinematic traditions have been shaped by key historical factors, such as the Motion Picture Code in 1930, the rise of fascism in Europe, the HUAC hearings of the 1950s, the women's movement, the gay liberation movement, and the AIDS crisis.

MS  320 - Digital Media Production (4)

This course explores the web as a creative medium. Assignments in this class are designed to inspire critical and creative thinking about how the web is used in everyday life -- both personally and professionally -- as a tool for effective communication and interaction. Topics of discussion and training will include: how we use the web in everyday life; ethical considerations ( privacy, using other people's information, creating a safe web presence); ways that artists utilize the web as professionals; strategies for developing a personal web presence; developing a mission statement and wire frames; basic coding techniques using HTML and CSS; evaluating template tools like WordPress; and managing and presenting content online -- including text, photos, audio and video. Students will make digital media using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, SoundCloud, YouTube and Flickr. Prerequisites: MS 200 or MS 205.

MS  322 - Media Production III: Advanced Production (1 - 4)

Topics and prerequisites vary by semester.

MS  323 - Edit/Design (4)

Prerequisite: MS 224 or permission of instructor. Basic editing and design techniques for print and web publications. Emphasis on editing for grammar, spelling, usage and Associated press style, plus an introduction to the principles of page layout. Limited enrollment.

MS  325 - Magazine Writing (4)

Prerequisite: MS 223 or permission of instructor. Students produce typical feature/magazine stories, such as the process story, the trend story, the travel story and both the short and long profile, with a concentration on the techniques of narrative and characterization used in so-called literary journalism. Limited enrollment.

MS  327 - Media Production III: Scriptwriting (4)

Prerequisites: MS 102 and MS 222 or permission of instructor. This course trains students to write a full-feature script. By viewing films and reading scripts of already produced films, students will become familiar with the narrative and dramatic structures of diverse film scripts. The course involves a considerable amount of film viewing, as well as workshops in writing, collective critiques of classmates' works and weekly writing assignments.

MS  328 - Photojournalism (4)

Prerequisite: MS 223 or permission of instructor. Introduction to the philosophies, techniques and methods of photojournalism for newspaper, magazine and Internet. From basic photography to hands-on digital imaging. Includes social context and ethics of photojournalism.

MS  329 - Arts Reporting/Review (4)

Prerequisite: MS 223 or permission of instructor. This course is divided into two sections, reporting and reviewing. Because solid reporting is the foundation for credible reviewing, we will spend the first half of the semester on reporting. We will focus on five genres: music, movies, theater, food and one to be determined. In addition to covering and reviewing events, we will meet with a series of arts writers and discuss various aspects of arts reporting and criticism for popular audiences. Class provides a chance for students to strengthen their reporting skills and fine tune their writing voices. Limited enrollment.

MS  330 - Media Production III: Documentary Production (4)

Prerequisites: MS 100 or MS 102 and MS 222. This course delves into strategies and techniques involved in making documentary films and videos. Students will produce several short documentaries that demonstrate their understanding of the non-fiction genre.

MS  331 - Media Production III: Narrative Fiction/Film Production (4)

Prerequisites: MS 100 or MS 102 and MS 222. Aiming at the production of narrative shorts as final projects, in this course students will become familiar with the different stages involved in completing a film project: from the writing of the film, through the actual shooting and production components, to the visual and sound editing of the project. Students will work in 16mm and 8mm film formats, but have also the option to shoot their projects in video formats. Offered every Fall. Limited enrollment.

MS  335 - Feminist Thought (4)

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. An introduction to a variety of feminist theories and approaches with emphasis on the arts, philosophy, politics, and media. Offered every Spring. Cross Listed with: ENGL 335 and PHIL 335.

MS  340 - Media Production III: Experimental Cinema (4)

Prerequisites: MS 100 or MS 102 and MS 222. Students will learn an abundance of experimental filmmaking strategies by exploring the rich history of low budget, do-it-yourself, avant-garde filmmaking. Each student will create several films that incorporate the learned techniques.

MS  350 - Human Rights and Film (CD) (4)

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. This course introduces students to the study of human rights issues through film screening, readings, and writing assignments, and by collaborating in the organization of the Human Rights Film Festival at USF. The course is designed around a selcection of both U.S. and foreign documentary and narrative films addressing civil, political, economic, cultural, social, women's and LGBT rights.

MS  380 - Latin@s in the U.S. Media (CD) (4)

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. This course examines the multiple experiences of Latin@ communities in the United States, focusing on media representations within historical, cultural, political, and economic contexts. Students study film, television, the news, advertising, and the music industry. Topics analyzed include stereotypical representations of this group and the development of Latin@ media.

MS  390 - Special Topics in Media Studies (4)

Topics and prerequisites vary by semester.

MS  395 - Media Workshop (SL) (1 - 4)

Prerequisite: MS-200. Faculty-supervised on-campus media production workshop including opportunities with KUSF, The Foghorn, USFtv, and other USF media outlets. Offered every semester.

MS  396 - Media Internship (SL) (1 - 4)

Prerequisite: MS 200. Faculty-supervised off-campus internship. Offered every semester.

MS  397 - Directed Project (1 - 4)

Prerequisite: Completion of 200-level requirements. Faculty supervised production project. Requires written permission of instructor, chair, and dean.

MS  398 - Directed Study (1 - 4)

Prerequisite: Completion of 200-level requirements. Faculty supervised research project. Requires written permission of instructor, chair, and dean.

MS  400 - Politics and the Media (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. An in-depth investigation of the relationship between politics and the news media in the U.S., emphasizing the role of news in democracy and in public policy formation. Cross-listed with Politics department.

MS  403 - Race, Ethnicity, and Media (CD) (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. A survey of the relationship between diverse racial/ethnic groups and the media within the context of the United States. It explores representation and diversity in popular media, racial equity in media industries, and ethnic minorities as audiences and as independent producers.

MS  405 - Gender and the Media (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. Examination of feminist theories and analytical practices for understanding images of gender in media and of cultural formation of gender and sexuality through representation.

MS  407 - Alternative Media and Social Change (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. Investigation into the content, practices and politics of alternative and community-based media and social change communications practices in US and internationally. Students will conduct fieldwork in San Francisco.

MS  409 - International/Global Media (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. Analysis of structures and content of international media and role of culture in globalization.

MS  410 - Popular Music and Communication (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. Aesthetics, economics and history of Anglo-American popular music and relationship of pop music to mass media, including radio, film and television. Students will produce a 30-page paper over the course of the semester that comprehensively investigates the history, economics, aesthetics and conditions of consumption of one album/CD/mixtape of their own choosing.

MS  411 - Popular Culture Studies (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. Seminars vary by semester.

MS  412 - Media, Memory, History (4)

Prerequisites: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. This seminar explores how communities write their history and memories and the role that the media play in this process. Students look at the social construction of memories, their trans-generational transmission, and their representation in a variety of media that include television, magazines, film, music, monuments and memorials. Requirement: Senior standing.

MS  413 - Imagining Journalism (4)

This course investigates the role of journalism in society, democracy, and culture through a popular cultural lens. Topics may include journalim in film, television, literature, or philosophy, among others. As a senior seminar course, students are required to complete a substantial independent research and writing project.

MS  414 - Undoing Gender (4)

Prequisites: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. This course investigates the ways in which some popular culture -- especially speculative, queer, feminist, and trans cultural work -- has critiqued, challenged, or revised conventional understandings of genders and sexualities. We investigate key historical and contemporary texts (novels, films, performing art) in which people have reimagined the meanings of gender.

MS  420 - American Journalism Ethics (4)

Prerequisite: MS-224 or permission of instructor. This course is the capstone in the Journalism minor, and students should review its prerequisites before signing up for it. In it students will explore the historical development of the First Amendment in the United States and then consider the dilemmas that arise in contemporary journalism when reporters attempt to reconcile the idea that freedom of the press should be absolute with the limitations, both legal and ethical, that many would place on news gathering and newswriting. The course will not propose easy answers to these difficult questions. The emphasis will be on promoting ethical awareness and developing a process for tackling such questions. Offered every Fall.

MS  490 - Honors Seminar in Media Studies (4)

Prerequisite: MS 311 or MS 313 or permission of instructor. This is a capstone course for selected senior Media Studies students in which they will research a significant Media Studies problem and produce an Undergraduate Honors Thesis in Media Studies.