The creative process begins with the need to communicate something—a message, a concept, a vision. Our curriculum is designed to offer the skills you need to bring your ideas to life.
As a Media Studies student you will be introduced to the skills of media production, including screenwriting, cinematography, editing, broadcast operations, computer graphics and effects. You will learn about the history of film and mass media, and how the Internet, mobile media, and social networks have transformed that history. You will analyze films by great directors for the lessons they offer in the expressive arts of cinema: storytelling, composition, lighting, editing, and special effects Field trips, visits from entertainment and media industry professionals, and internships are designed to take advantage of LaGuardia’s prime location in the world's leading center of film and video production, and of the broadcast, music, and advertising industries.
This is a course in the art and craft of writing a fictional
narrative for the screen. Screenwriting genres and applications vary widely,
yet every one reaches its audience through storytelling. Students examine the
ways cinematic narratives show, rather than tell. Students then create their
own 10-minute movie script. They explore scene and act structure, character
development, dialogue, description, etc. Students learn professional standards
for writing for the screen and how to use screenplay software.
In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation. Your Advising Team, made up of faculty and professional advisors, will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:
Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment.
Please feel free to reach out to these advisors if you have any questions or need assistance
Individuals can work as full-time staff members for broadcast networks, cable stations, film production or postproduction companies, or one of a number of major motion picture studios that are located in New York City. Many creative and craftspeople are free-lance workers. Other self-employed workers, such as event videographers, operate their own businesses.
The types of careers available in television, motion pictures, video, and Internet are too numerous to list them all here. However, a sample of today’s media occupations includes: writer, producer, line producer, director, assistant director, director of photography, camera assistant, camera operator, sound recordist, sound mixer, Foley artist, production assistant, boom operator, grip, gaffer, editor, assistant editor, animator, broadcast technician, ENG operator, event videographer (weddings, memorial videos, college athletics recruiting videos), legal videographer, media librarian, public relations, sales, cinema and media studies educator.
When setting career goals, it’s good to keep in mind that there are many rewarding careers outside the major motion picture and broadcast industries. Graduates with media degrees have found jobs in educational institutions and corporations. Today, in spite of difficult economic conditions, there are secure careers in the legal and government sectors for producers, videographers, and individuals trained in digital asset management. Video for the Web, social networking, and other emerging digital media are setting the stage for new opportunities every day.
Explore career possibilities on Career Connect.
Log in to the CUNY Portal to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take.
Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.
Review the Media Studies Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.
Industry professionals agree that, no matter how sophisticated the technology becomes, nothing is more important than content. The creative process begins with the need to communicate something—a message, a concept, a vision. Our curriculum is designed to offer the skills you need to bring your ideas to life. It also seeks to build expressive and conceptual skills—effective writing and critical thinking. It seeks to expand your knowledge of our world, its history and cultures. This is why Media Studies students enroll in the College’s Liberal Arts and Science program and earn the Associate in Arts degree.
You will begin your coursework with the First Year Seminar and Liberal Arts “Introductory Cluster.” The cluster combines media studies courses with courses in English composition and may include a course in a third discipline, such as social science. All the courses are taken together in the same term with the same group of students and make up a full-time course load. The different cluster courses are linked through a common theme and share common educational goals. Media cluster themes have included: “Truth, Lies and Videotape,” “From the Movies to the Internet: Media for the Masses,” and “Fame: Examining Stardom and Celebrity.”
Cluster classes include activities such as field trips, and visits with industry professionals. Each course in the cluster satisfies Media Studies and Liberal Arts curriculum requirements. Later, as you near the end of your coursework, you will participate in the “Liberal Arts Seminar,” also called “Final Seminar.” You may enroll in the final seminar once you have completed 33 credits. The final seminar provides an opportunity for you to think about connections between the various Liberal Arts courses you have taken and consider what you have learned in the broader context of the Humanist tradition.
All students must select one course that is designated “Urban Study.” All Urban Study courses focus on some aspect of life in New York City. Course content centers on the many unique sites and resources that our city has to offer. We ask that Media Studies students enroll in Film and New York City, HUN196.
Learning Communities are groupings of two or more courses, often surrounding a common theme. There are two types of Learning Communities, Clusters (consisting of three or more classes) and Pairs (consisting of two classes).
Learning Communities can help you:
Continuing students are encouraged to select a Cluster or Pair in their second semester.
Recent Learning Community Themes include:
Review Liberal Arts Learning Communities for the current semester.
LIB200: Science, Humanism and Technology is the capstone course for Liberal Arts majors. This course invites you to consider a topic in an interdisciplinary manner, drawing on the various courses you have taken as well as experiences outside of college; therefore, it is recommended that this capstone course be taken in your last semester. The themes available for this class the course varies from semester to semester—previous themes include "American Museum," "Epidemics," "Genocide," "Modern Medical Practice," and "Performance and Disability." Review LIB200 themes for the current semester.
The following course sequence is recommended for new Media Studies majors.
Current students should check their Degree Audit and the information below for recommended Flexible Core courses.
First Year, Fall I
First Year, Fall II
First Year, Spring I
First Year, Spring II
Second Year, Fall I
Second Year, Fall II
Second Year, Spring I
Second Year, Spring II
For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.
* Recommended course ** Recommended but not required; taking this course will bring total accumulated credits to 63
Places to see films, do research and network
Film Festival Search Sites
Places to Visit and Organizations to Join
The introductory and advanced video production classes are offered in a large television/video studio (M122) with adjacent editing suite (M121). Students in these classes learn to use DSLR and HD cameras, lighting, audio, switcher/fader, and Premiere Pro non-linear editing. The studio and editing suite are also available at designated times so that students can work on their projects outside of class time. Classes in film history and criticism are offered in a classroom equipped for large-screen projection in 16mm and digital formats. Our media history and issues courses meet in a "Smart Room" that is equipped with PC and Smart Board for Power Point presentations, live Internet connection, and DVD and digital projection.
Students also have access to a screening venue where they can view their projects—from work-in-progress to final cut—on a large screen. The screening room is also used for visits by filmmakers and industry professionals who are invited to LaGuardia to screen their work, talk with classes, and critique student work.
The college's Media Resources Center has a collection of nearly 2,000 films on DVD and VHS. These include nearly all films screened in classes, which students may review on their own at individual viewing stations free of charge. In addition, the Center's Streaming Media Project offers feature films, screened in classes and other films in the collection that are available for viewing on campus for free. The Media Resources Center is located in the LaGuardia College Library, room E101.
The editing lab in M121, along with the television/video studio in M122, serve as the central hub for the Media Studies program. In M121 we have 26 new 27" imac 3.4 Ghz Intel Core i7 workstations that are available for current students and alumni to utilize. Each workstation is equipped with the following software:
Tom Seymour is the College Lab Technician (CLT). Tom and his staff are on hand to offer technical assistance and support, as well as valuable advice drawn from their own professional experience in film, video, Internet, and television. New Media Technology students also have access to the same technology in the multimedia lab in room E 301. Tom can be contacted at email@example.com or 718-482-5675.
Regular lab hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and Saturday hours are also available to day and extended day students.
Priority is given to students currently enrolled in Media Studies, New Media Technology, and Digital Media Arts Certificate courses so that they are able to fulfill required class assignments.
We also heartily encourage Media Studies and New Media Technology majors and Certificate students to take advantage of open lab hours. The capabilities of editing and screenwriting software are vast. What you learn in the classroom is a great start, but that’s just the beginning. There is no limit to what you can learn-by-doing on your own. Here’s another good reason to use the lab as much as you can -- access to the same hardware and software that is available to you for free in our lab, would cost you hundreds of dollars in for-profit courses or in rental fees at post-houses.
Access to lab hardware and software is based on the following guidelines. Qualified students must be one of the following:
The lab schedule varies from term to term, based on the number of classes that are taught in M 121, and in the studio, M 122. A lab schedule for each term will be posted in the lab and online. Certain days and times are reserved for classes, and, toward the end of the term, are reserved for students who are completing final projects for those classes.
All other times are Open Lab Hours. Any student who fulfills any of the guidelines listed above, can – and should – use the lab for class projects, for continuing work on a class project to be screened at the June student film festival, or for pursuing a personal creative project.
Lab users should come prepared with their own hard drives. Storage on the lab’s computers is limited, and the drives must be cleared on a regular basis. Storing data on your own drive insures that your hard work will be safe and portable. Students who wish to transfer their projects to DVD should bring their own blank DVD discs.
Students who meet the qualifications for access to open lab are also qualified to reserve time to stage and shoot productions in the video studio. Access to the video studio is limited because the space is shared with another program, so advance planning is required. Discuss your request with lab supervisor, Tom Seymour, before reserving time at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Media Studies AA degree offers foundation courses for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science degree programs in: cinema studies, media studies, media librarianship, film production, video production, television production, content creation for the Web and social media and related major degree programs. Students with career goals in media fields can get off to an early start by choosing the Liberal Arts: Media Studies program, as this option leads to an Associate in Arts degree and credits can transfer to a four-year college.
LaGuardia has an agreement with the Department of Film and with the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College for students from our Media Studies major who wish to transfer there. Other CUNY colleges with baccalaureate programs in film studies, media studies, film and video production (Hunter College, Queens College, Baruch College, City College, College of Staten Island) will apply all or most LaGuardia courses in the Media Studies major toward their own degree requirements and elective credits. Pathways requirements satisfied at LaGuardia are automatically applied when transferring to other CUNY colleges.
Faculty advisors and college counselors offer individual assistance to LaGuardia students who wish to transfer to film, video, digital media, and media studies programs at: The School of Visual Arts, Tisch School of the Arts/NYU, University of Southern California, Purchase College SUNY, and other non-CUNY colleges. In the past, LaGuardia students transferring to those institutions have had all or most of their Media Studies credits applied toward degree requirements and elective credits.