What to Expect
Students working towards a media studies degree sharpen their analytical
skills as they keep a close watch on the cultural effects of media.
But since media studies does not carry the popularity and fame of related
majors such as journalism, students often fall into it quite by accident.
"The first media studies course I took was to fill up a time slot on my
schedule," says Carol Hodgins. "[I took] the next three ... because the first
one turned out to be so interesting."
Hodgins feels that her media studies courses complemented her coursework
in English, creative writing and women's studies.
Lauren Badolato, a graduate of Wheelock College, also wound up in media
studies by chance. "It was really because of the teacher," says Badolato.
"And the recommendations of friends."
Once she got into the subject, she was hooked. Badolato says that her media
studies classes helped her determine, "where I stand and what my beliefs are,
how to think critically and look at things in a different way than [I] used
Hodgins says that she spent up to 20 hours per week on homework and projects,
while Badolato says that her maximum was "a good couple of hours" each day.
"You can't go wrong taking a media studies course. Media invades our daily
lives and it is always a good idea to understand what it is you are dealing
with," stresses Hodgins. "These classes will give you insight into what you
see and hear every day."
"It is really intense and really challenging," adds Badolato. "It
forces you to look at things in a different way."
How to Prepare
Media studies incorporates so many disciplines that a broad background
is best. Take social studies classes if available. Getting involved in
the yearbook and the student newspaper can be useful.