Media & Information Bachelor’s Degree - Overview

Do you want to make films, games and virtual reality? Design technology that improves lives? 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, Quicken Loans, GE, Ford, Liquid Web, and TechSmith to name but a few.

A BA in Media and Information prepares you to design high impact media products. You will focus on: 1) understanding and harnessing the power of media through interdisciplinary artistic, qualitative, and quantitative methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives, 2) using the design process to inform the creative act and fuel innovation using current and emerging media technologies, 3) using media to address pressing social issues and other meaningful themes, 4) gaining fluency with the tools, practice, and techniques used in the creation of current and emerging mediated experiences, and 5) analyzing, evaluating, critiquing, and managing many forms of media products, services and applications and each provides a solid foundation for anticipating trends in media and communication technologies to prepare students for a field characterized by rapid and continuous change.

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 have won prizes and accolades. The Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab, Behavior and 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. Our curriculum provides a global perspective, enhancing on-campus education with study abroad programs on all continents.

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 requirements (33 credits total)

A Bachelor’s degree in Media and Information involves completion of 120 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 professional in media and information jobs. 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 to creative thinking for a complex world 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 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)
  • CAS 116 Media Sketching & Graphics (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
  • Game and Interactive Media Design
  • Graphics and Animation
  • Creating Human-Centered Technology
  • Media and Information Management
  • Society, Policy and Research

To learn more about these focus areas and the job opportunities they offer please follow the links.

Capstone (3 credits)

One of the following capstone courses.

  • CAS 496 Advanced Media Project Design and Production (W) (3 credits)
  • ITM 444 Information Technology Project Management (3 credits)
  • 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)

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

The general degree allows most flexibility and will be the most attractive course of study for many students. If you would like to have a formal recognition of your area of expertise you may complete one of three optional concentrations. These concentrations combine coursework from the focus areas in a more rigid way and require completion of a total of 36 instead of 33 credits. They will be good courses of study for students who seek a pre-structured learning experience.

The concentration will be noted on your transcript. Note that there is some (but not complete) overlap with the focus areas above. Courses completed to satisfy the focus area requirement may also be used to satisfy the requirements of a concentration. (18 to 24 credits)

Electives (up to 27 credits)

In addition to these required courses, you may take up to 27 credits in elective courses (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 TV, Cinema & Radio, 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

With a background in Interactive and Social Media, 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

A focus in Media Management, possibly combined with a Minor in Information Technology or ICT4D, 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

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 Brian Winn (winnb@msu.edu) or your team of CAS Advisors: Corey Moore (moorec@msu.edu) and Julie Hagopian (hagopia9@msu.edu) or schedule and appointment at egr.msu.edu/adcalendar.

Last updated May 30, 2016

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