B.A. in Media and Information

Do you want to make films, games and virtual reality? Design technology that changes the world? Follow your passion to become an entrepreneur? Our Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Media and Information is the right degree for you! It prepares you for exciting careers in filmmaking and media production, interactive media and games, and the creation of human-centered technology.

Our graduates are in high demand and have found jobs in a broad range of occupations, including recent placements at companies such as Facebook, Electronic Arts, ESPN, CBS, Discovery, WILX, Rockstar Games, Quicken Loans, GE, Ford, Liquid Web, TechSmith, and Volition to name but a few. Our 2015 placement rate was 97.6%.

A BA in Media and Information prepares you to design high impact media products. You will learn to:

  1. understand and harness the power of media using interdisciplinary artistic, methodological and theoretical perspectives
  2. use the design process to create and innovate with current and emerging media technologies
  3. use media to address pressing social issues and empower individuals and groups
  4. become proficient with the tools, practices, and techniques used in the creation of current and emerging mediated experiences
  5. analyze, evaluate, critique, and manage many forms of media products, services and applications
  6. develop a global perspective on media and information industries

Many of our courses rely on experiential learning. Students and professors work in lab settings and with business and government clients. Practical solutions developed by our faculty have won prizes and accolades. The Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab, Behavior Information Technology (BIT) Lab, Quello Center, multiple state of the art studios (film, TV, digital media, audio) provide additional opportunities for learning in an experimental and hands-on fashion.

These experiences will provide you with a solid foundation for anticipating trends in media and communication technologies, preparing you well for a field characterized by rapid and continuous change.

Degree Requirements

Our degree is designed in an innovative, modular way that allows students great flexibility to acquire cutting-edge knowledge and skills in media and information. This section provides a quick overview of the degree requirements. Please consult MSU’s official program catalog for the B.A. in Media and Information for additional details.

General degree (33 credits total)

A Bachelor's degree in Media and Information involves completion of 33 credits amongst the 120 required credits in accordance with MSU’s undergraduate education requirements. You will:

  • Start with foundation courses
  • Specialize in one or more focus areas
  • Conclude with capstone experiences

Foundation courses (15 credits)

In these courses, you will learn the foundations of being a successful media and information professional. You will take the following three department core courses over the course of the first three years:

  • MI 101 Understanding Media in the Information Age (3 credits)
  • MI 201 Introduction to Media and Information Technologies and Industries (3 credits)
  • MI 301 Bringing Media to Market (3 credits)

In addition, you will participate from the beginning in the Media Sandbox, a unique learning community and pedagogy that will immerse you in an active, experiential learning environment. Freshmen level Media Sandbox courses introduce creative thinking whereas higher-level Media Sandbox courses deepen digital literacy, software skills and create collaborative environments for learning in teams modeled after real-world work experiences. You will need to take at least two of the following courses:

  • CAS 110 Creative Thinking (3 credits)
  • CAS 111 Design and Layout (3 credits)
  • CAS 112 Story, Sound, and Motion (3 credits)
  • CAS 116 Media Sketching & Graphics (3 credits)
  • CAS 117 Games and Interactivity (3 credits)
  • MI 239 Digital Footprints (3 credits)

Focus area courses (15 credits)

In parallel to enrolling in foundation courses, you will be able to build knowledge and skills in the areas of digital media and information you are most passionate about. We redesigned our curriculum in a modular fashion to increase your flexibility to put together an exciting program. You can either pursue a learning experience that builds deep knowledge in one focus area or combine courses from two or more focus areas in innovative ways (e.g., complement film with games, film with animation, human-centered technology with research, or film and management).

At least five courses need to be completed and at least three of the five courses must be from the same focus area:

Film and Media Production

  • CAS 396 Integrated Media Arts Special Topics
  • MI 241 Filmmaking I
  • MI 311 Introduction to Documentary Production
  • MI 341 Filmmaking II
  • MI 342 Multi Camera Production for Television
  • MI 343 Audio Production
  • MI 344 Sound Design for Cinema, Television, and Games
  • MI 351 Producing for Cinema and Television
  • MI 440 Advanced Video Editing
  • MI 441 Advanced Lighting and Camera Techniques
  • MI 435A Creating the Fiction Film I

Game and Interactive Media Design

  • CAS 396 Integrated Media Arts Special Topics
  • MI 231 Game and Interactive Media Development
  • MI 346 Game Design
  • MI 349 Web Design and Development
  • MI 445 Game Design and Development I
  • MI 449 Advanced Web Development and Database Management
  • MI 455 Game Design and Development II
  • MI 482 Building Virtual Worlds
  • MI 484 Building Innovative Interfaces
  • MI 497 Game Design Studio

Graphics and Animation

  • CAS 396 Integrated Media Arts Special Topics
  • MI 247 Three-Dimensional Graphics and Design
  • MI 337 Compositing and Special Effects
  • MI 347 Advanced Three-Dimensional Computer Animation
  • MI 377 Advanced 3D Modeling

Creating Human-Centered Technology

  • MI 220 Methods for Understanding Users
  • MI 250 Introduction to Applied Programming
  • MI 320 Reasoning with Data
  • MI 350 Evaluating Human-Centered Technology
  • MI 420 Interactive Prototyping

Media and Information Management

  • MI 360 Media and Information Management
  • MI 361 IT Network Management and Security
  • MI 452 Media Entrepreneurship and Business Strategies
  • MI 462 Social Media and Social Computing
  • MI 472 Digital Business and Commerce

Society, Policy and Research

  • MI 302 Networks, Markets, and Society
  • MI 305 Media and Information Policy
  • MI 355 Media and Information Research
  • MI 480 Information and Communication Technologies and Development

Capstone (3 credits)

One of the following capstone courses.

  • MI 401 Topics in Media, Information, and Society (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 411 Collaborative Documentary Design and Production (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 435B Creating the Fiction Film II (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 442 Design of Cinema and Television Projects (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 443 Audio Industry Design and Management (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 447 Three-Dimensional Graphics and Animation Portfolio (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 450 Creating Human-Centered Technology (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 488 Information and Communication Technology Development Project (W) (3 credits)
  • MI 498 Collaborative Game Design (W) (3 credits)
  • CAS 496 Advanced Media Project Design and Production (W) (3 credits)
  • ITM 444 Information Technology Project Management (3 credits)

Option: General degree with transcriptable concentrations (39 credits total)

students looking at the cameraFilm and Media Production students in the field.

The general degree is the most efficient and allows the most flexibility for students. If you would like to have a formal recognition of your area of expertise beyond the degree itself, you may complete one of three optional concentrations. These concentrations encompass the work required for the general degree but provide additional depth in that they combine coursework in a more rigid way and require completion of a total of 39 instead of 33 credits. Concentrations will be a good option for students who seek a pre-structured learning experience and who prefer to have an area of specialization listed on the transcript.

Electives (up to 27 credits)

In addition to these required courses, you may take up to 27 credits in elective courses in the department of Media and Information (but not more than 60 credits in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences count toward the 120 total credits). All focus area courses and capstones can be taken as electives. By enrolling in additional focus area courses as electives, you can build additional depth and breadth. You may also take complementary courses in other colleges to strengthen your qualifications.

Optional Minors (15 credits)

Five optional minors complement and deepen the knowledge and skills that can be obtained in the general degree courses and in the concentrations. The minors are offered jointly with other colleges on campus. Each of the minors includes courses that are only accessible to the most motivated and talented students. An application for admission to the minor is required. Courses taken in pursuit of a minor also count toward the general degree. Minor(s) are listed on your transcript, in addition to your major. Currently, the following minors are available:

Job Opportunities

Business leaders have responded to the challenges of our dynamically changing times with a strong plea for an approach to higher education that combines both depth and integrative systemic knowledge (often referred to as “T-shaped” graduates). Our curriculum is designed to meet the demands of the modern job market and our graduates are prepared to pursue a broad range of career opportunities as employees and entrepreneurs. By way of example, following is a list of selected employment opportunities available with our degrees:

If you focus on Film and Media Production, possibly combined with a Minor in Fiction Filmmaking or Documentary Production, you might pursue careers including:

  • Documentary or Fiction Filmmaker
  • Film Director
  • Executive Producer
  • Videographer/Editor
  • Production Assistant
  • Camera Production Assistant
  • On-air personality
  • Audio/video engineer
  • Audio Lead
Robby RatanAssistant Professor Robby Ratan

With a background in Game and Interactive Media Design, possibly combined with a Minor in Game Design & Development, you will have tremendous opportunities in careers such as:

  • Game Designer
  • 2D/3D Artist
  • Technical Designer/Artist
  • Producer
  • Programmer
  • Web/User Interface/User Interaction Designer
  • Usability Engineer
  • Information Architect
  • User Experience Designer/Researcher
  • Technical Writer
  • Web and Mobile App Developer
ITM 444Students in ITM 444, the Information Technology Capstone, with Wietske van Osch (right)

A focus in Information, Management and Design for Society, possibly combined with a Minor in Information Technology or ICTD, will open job opportunities in numerous occupations, including:

  • Interface Developer
  • Interaction Designer
  • User Experience Lead
  • User Experience Architect
  • Web Application Front-end Developer
  • Production manager
  • Media and IT Consultant
  • Database Support/Administrator
  • Digital Marketing Associate
  • Information Technologist
  • Business Analyst
  • Network Architect
  • IT Strategy Analyst
  • Market/Media Researcher
  • Media Strategist
  • Media Policy Analyst
  • Media Consultant
  • Media and IT Entrepreneur
Huh.Suddenly, Batman appears at the M&I Scholarships and Award Ceremony at the Broad Museum

Given the pervasive presence of media and information in our lives and work, these are exciting and dynamic employment opportunities. Opportunities for entrepreneurs abound, as the digital economy facilitates innovation and the scaling of successful business models to national and international scale. Come join us and start the next YouTube, WhatsApp, or AirBnB!

For more information please contact your team of CAS Advisors: Corey Moore (moorec@msu.edu) and Julie Hagopian (hagopia9@msu.edu) or schedule and appointment at http://msu.campus.eab.com/.

Last updated June 17, 2016

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