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Undergraduate Studies: Comparative Media Studies

The undergraduate program in Comparative Media Studies offers students an opportunity for interdisciplinary study of film, television, game design, virtual worlds, digital artworks, civic media, interactive writing, and other communications media.

Options include a major, minor, and concentration and a concentration in Education. While students are free to choose from among all of our required classes and electives to construct a major which best meets their unique interests, our classes can been seen as being broadly grouped into five clusters: Computing and Society, Education, Games and Interactive Media, Film and Television, and Media Cultures.

Major

Requirements for the CMS Full Major

One Introductory Subject
CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies
One Media Practice/Production Subject
CMS.301 Game Design Methods
CMS.335 Short Attention Span Documentary
CMS.362 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio
CMS.590 Design and Development of Games for Learning
CMS.609 The Word Made Digital
CMS.627 Imagination, Computation, and Expression Studio
CMS.628 Advanced Identity Representation
CMS.633 Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies
CMS.636 Extending the Museum
21W.752 Making Documentary: Audio, Video, and More
One of These CI-M Subjects
CMS.400 Media Systems and Texts
CMS.405 Visual Design
CMS.407 Media and Methods: Sound
CMS.614 Critical Internet Studies
CMS.618 Interactive Narrative
CMS.336 Social Justice and The Documentary Film
CMS.621 Fans and Fan Cultures
Information about the CI-M Subjects Requirement
One Capstone Subject
CMS.701 Current Debates in Media
Six Electives
From the list of CMS required classes or electives

Major Advisors

Students with questions about the Major in Comparative Media Studies, how to declare a CMS Major, or how the Major requirements can be fulfilled, should make an appointment with any of following individuals.

Paul Roquet
Major Advisor
proquet@mit.edu
Justin Reich
Major Advisor
jreich@mit.edu
Paloma Duong
Major Advisor
pduong@mit.edu
Shannon Larkin
Academic Administrator
slarkin@mit.edu

Joint Major

Joint Major in Humanities and Engineering

The Humanities and Engineering (21E) degree and Humanities and Science (21S) degree are offered in CMS in combination with a field in engineering or science. Students completing a joint degree are required to complete 8 CMS subjects and 6 subjects in an engineering or science major. For more information on these degrees, contact  Academic Administrator Shannon Larkin, slarkin@mit.edu.

Minor

The Comparative Media Studies minor requires six subjects: one introductory, one intermediate, one capstone, and three electives:

One Introductory Subject
CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies
One of These Intermediate Subjects
CMS.335 Short Attention Span Documentary
CMS.362 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio
CMS.400 Media Systems and Texts
CMS.405 Visual Design
CMS.407 Media and Methods: Sound
CMS.590 Design and Development of Games for Learning
CMS.595 Learning, Media, and Technology
CMS.609 The Word Made Digital
CMS.614 Critical Internet Studies
CMS.622 Applying Media Technologies in the Arts and Humanities
CMS.627 Imagination, Computation, and Expression Studio
CMS.627 Advanced Identity Representation
CMS.633 Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies
21W.752 Making Documentary: Audio, Video, and More
One Capstone Subject
CMS.701 Current Debates in Media
Three Electives
From the list of CMS required classes or electives

Minor Advisors

Students with questions about the Minor in Comparative Media Studies, how to declare a CMS Minor, or how the Minor requirements can be fulfilled, should make an appointment with either of the following individuals.

Fox Harrell
Minor Advisor
fox.harrell@mit.edu
Shannon Larkin
Academic Administrator
slarkin@mit.edu

Concentration

Comparative Media Studies offers two concentrations directly —  Comparative Media Studies and Education — and participates in the Computing and Society concentration.

The Comparative Media Studies concentration requires any four classes from the complete list of CMS required and elective classes.

Students with questions about the concentration in Comparative Media Studies, how to declare a CMS concentration, or how the concentration requirements can be fulfilled, should make an appointment with either of the following individuals.

Ed Barrett
Concentration Advisor
ebarrett@mit.edu
Shannon Larkin
Academic Administrator
slarkin@mit.edu

CMS Concentrations

Students pursuing a CMS concentration may choose any four subjects from the full listing of  CMS required and elective classes.

Below are some sample areas of study for a CMS concentration, but students are not required to restrict their concentration proposal to the samples given below.

Games and Interactive Media

CMS.300 Game StudiesCMS.618/21W.765/21L.489 Interactive Narrative
CMS.301 Game Design MethodsCMS.627 Imagination, Computation & Expression Studio
CMS.314/21W.753 Phantasmal Media: Theory & PracticeCMS.628 Advanced Identity Representation
CMS.627 Imagination, Computation & Expression Studio
CMS.609/21W.764 The Word Made DigitalCMS.631 Data Storytelling Studio
CMS.610 Media Industries and SystemsCMS.633 Digital Humanities
CMS.611/6.073 Creating Videogames
CMS.614/21W.791 Critical Internet Studies11.127/CMS.590 Design and Development of Games for Learning
CMS.615 Games for Social Change21A.502 Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
CMS.616/21W.768 Games and CultureMAS.110 Fundamentals of Computational Design
STS.085 Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier

Film and Television

CMS.307 Critical Worldbuilding21G.052 French Film Classics
CMS.309/21W.763 Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Sci-Fi21G.063 Anime: Transnational Media and Culture
CMS.311/21F.055 Media in Weimar and Nazi Germany21G.065 Japanese Literature and Cinema
CMS.313 Silent Film21G.094 Cinema in Japan and Korea
CMS.333/ES.333 Production of Educational Videos21G.420 Visual Histories: German Cinema 1945 to Present
CMS.334/21W.788 South Asian America: Transnational Media, Culture and History21L.432 Understanding Television
CMS.335/21W.790 Short Attention Span Documentary21L.433 Film Styles and Genres
CMS.336/21W786 The Social Documentary21L.435 Literature and Film
CMS.338 Innovation in Documentary: Technologies & Techniques21M.283 The Musical
4.341 Introduction to Photography and Related Media21M.284 Film Music
4.352 Advanced Video21M.624 Acting with the Camera
4.354 Introduction to Video21W.749 Documentary Photography and Photojournalism
4.373 Advanced Projects in Art, Culture and Technology21W.752 Making Documentary: Audio, Video and More
4.602 Modern Art and Mass Culture 21G.039 Gender and Japanese Popular Culture21W.787 Film, Music, and Social Change
21G.046 Modern Chinese Fiction and CinemaSTS.056 Science on Screen

Media Cultures

CMS.308 The Visual Story: Graphic Novel, Type to Tablet21G.027 Visualizing Japan in the Modern World
CMS.311/21G.055 Media in Weimar and Nazi Germany21G.030 Intro to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to Pop 21G.036 Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives
CMS.334/21W.788 South Asian America: Transnational Media, Culture and History21G.038 China in the News: The Untold Stories
21G.039 Gender and Japanese Popular Culture
CMS.360 Intro to Civic Media21F.046 Modern Chinese Fiction and Cinema
CMS.361 Networked Social Movements: Media and Mobilization21G.052 French Film Classics
CMS.362 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio21G.063 Anime: Transnational Media and Culture
CMS.376 History of Media and Technology21G.065 Japanese Literature and Cinema
CMS.610 Media Industries and Systems21G.067 Digital Media in Japan and Korea
CMS.613/21W.751 Writing for Social Media21G.414 German Culture, Media, and Society
CMS.614/21W.791 Critical Internet Studies21H.315 American Consumer Culture
CMS.619/WGS.111 Gender and Media21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative
CMS.621 Fans and Fan Cultures21L.421 Comedy
CMS.622 Applying Media Technologies in the Arts & Humanities21L.430 Popular Narrative
CMS.631 Data Storytelling Studio21L.434 Science Fiction and Fantasy
21A.500/STS.075 Technology and Culture21L.486 Modern Drama
21A.502 Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives21L.707 Problems in Cultural Interpretation
21A.503 Language and Technology21M.840 Performance Media
21A.505/STS.065 The Anthropology of Sound21M.846 Topics in Performance Studies
21A.508 Anthropology Through Speculative FictionSTS.008 Technology and Experience
21G.011 Topics in Indian Popular CultureSTS.085 Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier

Education

See Education Concentration for more info.

CMS.586J Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on EducationSTS.014 Embodied Education: Past, Present, Future
CMS.587J Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating EducationCMS.594 Education Technology Studio
CMS.590J Design and Development for Games and LearningCMS.595 Learning, Media, and Technology
CMS.591J Education Theory and Practice ICMS.593J Education Theory and Practice III
CMS.592J Education Theory and Practice II

Computing and Society

CMS also participates in the Computing and Society concentration, and the following subjects may count toward it.

SubjectHASS Requirement Type
CMS.314J Phantasmal Media: Theory and PracticeHASS-A
CMS.360 Introduction to Civic MediaHASS-H
CMS.361 Networked Social MovementsHASS-S
CMS.595 Learning, Media, and TechnologyHASS-S
CMS.614J Critical Internet StudiesHASS-H
CMS.616J Games and CultureHASS-S
CMS.701 Current Debates in MediaHASS-H