Media Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor

Director: Michele Forman (Department of History)

The Media Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in learning the theory and production practices of new media technology. The minor provides students a solid grounding in the history, theory and practice of documentary film, film history, oral history, ethnography, community studies, and media theory. Students will gain experience in community-based research, as well as attain proficiency in various new media technologies.

The courses are taught by members of the UAB Arts and Sciences faculty, offering students instruction in digital video cinematography, field audio recording, computer-based editing, applied research techniques, and professional presentation methods. The minor in Media Studies emphasizes experiential learning and offers students opportunities for hands-on participation in local communities through service learning and internships with non-profit organizations, businesses, and educational and governmental institutions.


The Media Studies minor will require 18 semester hours, including three courses in the core for the minor (9 hours), six hours of additional advanced media studies coursework (either 2 courses or one 6 hour-course), and one elective (3 hours). The elective will be drawn from a number of relevant courses already existing in the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences involving technology, media, and/or community studies. No grade below C will be counted as credit for the minor.

Minor in Media Studies

Media Studies Core - Select three courses or 9 hours from this list9
Media, Culture and Society
Introduction to Film and History
History of Documentary Film
Digital Storytelling
Ethnographic Filmmaking/SL
Independent Media Studies
Internship in Media Studies
Media and Film-related Courses - Select 9 hours from this list 19

Select from: AAS 311, AAS 335 , ARS 103, ARS 104, ARS 110, ARS 260, ARS 280, ARS 360, ARS 361, ARS 362, ARS 460, CMST 283, CMST 383 CMST 483, DCS 101, DCS 150, DCS 201, DCS 208, DCS 309, DCS 391, DCS 401, DCS 450, DCS 455, DCS 460, DCS 470, DCS 471, DCS 490, DCS 499, EH 210, EH 309, EH 431,WLL 303, WLL 304, HY 206, HY 208, HY 305, HY 307, HY 309, HY 310, HY 311, HY 431, HY 498, MU 115, MU 245, MU 441, PSC 270, PSC 370, SOC 316, THR 102, THR 200, THR 216, THR 316


DCS 101. Media, Culture and Society. 3 Hours.

This course offers an introduction to the study of the media industries and their impact on society. Aimed at consumers of media of any form, this course examines the technology, aesthetics, and rhetoric of the media through history and encourages a critical analysis about media's influence on our understanding of social reality. This course meets Blazer Core Humans and their Societies with flags in Global and Multicultural Perspectives and Service Learning, Community-Based Learning.

DCS 150. Introduction to Film and History. 3 Hours.

This course will examine fiction and non-fiction films as socially significant documents. Students will receive an introduction to the techniques of film analysis in the class.

DCS 201. History of Documentary Film. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of the documentary tradition by studying the major stylistic movements, works, and filmmakers of non-fiction film and photography in the 20th century.

DCS 208. Women in Film. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of women in film, focusing on both women working in the film industry and the representation of women on screen. The course will focus on American film history, 1930's Hollywood to the present.

DCS 291. Community Ethnography and Public History. 3 Hours.

This experiential course addresses how to investigate and represent local community history and stories through the methodologies of service learning, participant observation, ethnographic research and oral history. This class addresses the concepts of human memory, nostalgia, folklore, storytelling and public history. Students will learn how to use new media technologies, such as digital video, podcasting and website production, as a way to represent community history and culture for the public.

DCS 309. American Independent Film. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of the American Independent filmmaking tradition by studying the major stylistic movements, works, and filmmakers of the 1970s-the present.

DCS 391. Digital Storytelling. 3 Hours.

In this non-fiction video production course, students will learn how to use new media technologies, such as digital video, digital audio, music, graphics, and still photography, as a way to represent community history, personal narratives, and local culture for the public.

DCS 401. Ethnographic Filmmaking/SL. 6 Hours.

This course is an interdisciplinary course in which students pair up to produce a short documentary film which represents a community in the Birmingham area. The course contains four key elements: 1) community outreach, 2) intro to social science theory and methods, 3) film theory and the aesthetics of filmmaking, and 4) technical aspects of camera work and digital video editing. This is a designated service-learning course intergrating academic learning, civic learning and meaningful service to the community. Preq: Permission of the instructor.
Prerequisites: DCS 101 [Min Grade: C] and DCS 201 [Min Grade: C]

DCS 455. Professional Producing. 3 Hours.

This course offers students the practical application of producing skills and techniques to prepare them for professional work in the media and film industry. The course includes project development, budgeting, grant and pitch preparation, professional reel and website development. Emphasis is on non-fiction media.
Prerequisites: DCS 401 [Min Grade: C]

DCS 460. Independent Media Studies. 3-6 Hours.

This course will provide an opportunity for advanced students to pursue individual projects in multimedia studies. Prerequisites: Permission of the Instructor.
Prerequisites: DCS 401 [Min Grade: C]

DCS 470. Internship in Media Studies. 3-6 Hours.

Internships will provide students with the opportunity for hands-on experience with digital technology in workplace setting. This course is a designated capstone experience. Permission of the Instructor.
Prerequisites: DCS 401 [Min Grade: C]

DCS 490. Special Topics in Media. 3 Hours.

Study of thematic topics throughout media studies. This course is a designated capstone experience.

DCS 499. Special Topics in Media Studies. 3 Hours.

Study of thematic topics throughout media studies.