Graduate Program in Media Studies Curriculum

The Graduate Program in Media Studies M.A. consists of 30 credits taken over three semesters, and a thesis. The program can be completed in three semesters if you discover during the first two what you want to do as a final project/thesis, then prepare to complete it in the third semester. Even so, we generally recommend an extra semester to allow more to time to find, explore and develop the thesis/project that will best serve your interests.

The core sequence for the M.A. consists of Mediologies 1 and 2 (6 credits total) and Encounters 1 & 2 (2 credits total), Practices 1 and 2 (elective courses totaling 6 credits), seminars and project courses (electives totaling 12 credits), an Internship course (for those who wish; HMS 9700, 9701, 9702, 9703) and a final thesis with required Final Project/Thesis Workshop (4 credits total); and for those who wish, a “Thesis in Progress” course.

Mediologies courses (HMS 650a/b) provide students with crucial critical and theoretical tools; students take a sequence of two required introductory courses during their first semester. These courses are designed to address students with substantial experience in media studies as well as students with less exposure. Practices courses comprise a range of electives, including those taught in other programs, such as Digital Arts. These courses enable students to acquire basic competence in media aesthetics and production.

Encounters courses (HMS 549 a/b) enable students to engage directly with others working in media fields, and with timely issues and ideas, in an open-discussion “salon” environment. The Final Project/Thesis Workshop (HMS 659a) offers an intensive small support group in which students can develop and write their thesis; students who want more time to finish their thesis take HMS 659b (Thesis In Progress).

Students may also choose to undertake an internship for academic credit (HMS 9700, 9701, 9702, 9703) and professional enrichment.

In addition to core courses, the program offers a range of electives in areas of specialization and interdisciplinary constellations within media studies, enabling students to develop particular areas of concentration, first through coursework and then in their one-on-one work with thesis advisors. Faculty represent areas that include New Media, Documentary Studies, Global Media, Media and the Urban Environment, Media and Performance, Music/Sound Studies, Media/Attention Economies, Media Ecology, Archaeology of (New) Media, and Media, Activism, and Social Change.

Elective seminars run in the format of small discussion courses focused on individual or team presentations on the analysis of texts, films, objects, themes, theories. Elective project courses are semester-long laboratory/workshops in which students and one or more faculty members—in any one of several departments—engage a topic, idea, interface, space, or modality, focusing on the interface between the theorization and production of media objects. Foci will vary based upon specific expertise and interests of involved faculty and students.

Degree Requirements

Applicants must submit (1) a statement of purpose in which they describe their interest in the program; (2) 10–20 pages of relevant writing sample(s), with emphasis on analytical writing about media (uploadable on application); (3) unofficial transcripts of undergraduate coursework (uploaded to application); and (4) two letters of recommendation (also may be uploaded to application). All applicants must follow the standard admission process for graduate programs at Pratt. The new online application will be posted in late August with instructions.


Requirements for MA Media Studies

  • Semester 1

    Complete these courses plus 6 credits of All Institute Electives.

    HMS-650A Mediologes I

    HMS-549A Media Studies Encounters 1

  • Semester 2

    Complete these courses plus 6 credits of All Institute Electives.

    HMS-650B Mediologes II

    HMS-549B Media Studies Encounters 2

  • Semester 3

    Complete these courses plus 6 All Institute Elective credits.

    HMS-659A Media Studies Final Project/Thesis

Total Required Credits: 30