1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Media Studies Major Requirements for Current Majors

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php

Major Requirements For Students Declared Before January 2020

These following requirements are for students admitted to the Major during the Spring and Summer 2019 application process and before. 

The bulk of your major must be completed in the Media Studies Department. You are allowed to take any practice of media course on our list. Your 4000 level course is a capstone course and must be a Media Studies course taught by a member of our faculty. For your remaining 6 electives, 4 must be Media Studies courses, taught by a member of our faculty, including affiliated faculty. The remaining two courses may be study abroad or courses from other departments at UVA. All courses from outside the department must be on our approved lists or approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs prior to being accepted toward the major. Please see the Course Offerings and/or Transfer courses for information regarding course approval.

  • MDST 2000
  • MDST 3050 (pre-req MDST 2000)
  • One (1) Practice of Media Course (3 or more credits) from approved list.  Only one (1) Practice of Media course may be applied toward the major.
  • Seven(7) MDST electives at the 3000-level or above (3 or more credits per course) with at least:
    • one (1) MDST Capstone Course. The MDST capstone is an intensive seminar intended for fourth-year MDST majors. The course is limited to 20 students. The final assignment in the course will entail a rigorous research project (scholarly or creative), minimum 15 pages or equivalent. This course is offered at the 4000 level and must be taught by Media Studies faculty. 
    • one (1) Diversity and Identity Course from an approved list
    • one (1) Global Media Course from an approved list

Academic Standards: Students are expected to maintain a 2.000 Cumulative GPA per university policy, and a 2.300 minimum grade for each course eligible to count toward the major. Students who are unable to maintain these academic standards will be put on probation by the Media Studies department for one semester. Students who are not able to raise their grade point averages in the subsequent semester will be asked to leave the major.

Transfer Students: Students transferring to UVA and interested in pursuing the Media Studies major must complete MDST 2000 in their first fall semester at UVA. Exceptions made only at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Media Studies students are strongly urged to choose the balance of their MDST courses according to an individual plan of study. Students should consider the broad range of topics relevant to a full understanding of media studies: media aesthetics (rhetoric and the shape of argument in media, formal analysis, media criticism, and theory of a specific medium); the history of media (film, photography, television, digital, and print media); the experience of media (sociology); the social experience and effects of media (political science and government, law, or public policy, ethics, anthropology, and sociology); and the economics and business of media.

Media Studies Declaration: Here is a sample of a completed declaration form, demonstrating an understanding of the courses needed to complete the requirements.