Major/Minor Requirements

Goals for the Media Arts and Sciences Major

The Media Arts and Sciences major provides a well-rounded understanding in both areas supporting it: art and computer science. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to:

  • Describe and debate the broader impact of digital media on individuals, communities, and society at large.
  • Collaborate effectively with a multidisciplinary team to solve problems and to create novel art, multimedia content, and applications.
  • Identify, discuss, and explain historical and contemporary trends that drive the creative application of digital media in our society.
  • Demonstrate competency in art theory, art practice, digital media design, and technical proficiency in haptic and digital tools.
  • Recognize indicators, context, and characteristics for assessing the impact and reliability of digital information.
  • Conduct an evidence-based inquiry into the impact, context, and reliability of digital information.
  • Examine, analyze, interpret, and critique digital media, applications, and art.
  • Produce digital media, applications, and art that are conceptually, aesthetically, and technically competent.

major in Media Arts and Sciences requires 12 units of course work, at least eight of which must be above the 100 level and at least two of which must be at the 300 level. No more than one can be 350 or 360. In particular, to major in Media Arts and Sciences a student must take three required introductory courses, one each from studio art, art history and computer science and at least three required art/music core courses and at least three required computer science core courses.

Flexibility has been built into the major to allow students to adapt their course of study to their interests, choosing an optional concentration either in Media Arts by adding two more art/music core courses, or in Media Sciences by adding two more computer science core courses.

Majors are also encouraged to take at least one approved media culture course and an advanced media production course (e.g., a MAS individual study). In addition to other courses at Wellesley, students can take approved courses at the MIT's Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies program or at Olin College of Engineering. See sample ways to structure the major.

The Major consists of:

1. Three required introductory courses, one each from Art History, Studio Art, and Computer Science:

  • Either ARTH 100 The Power of Images: An Introduction to Art and its Histories, or CAMS 101 Introduction to Cinema and Media Studies

  • Any ARTS 100 level course (or the equivalent CAMS courses)

  •  CS/MAS 115 Computing for Socio-Techno Web 

2. At least three required Art Courses (at least five required for emphasis in Media Arts) from the following:

3. At least three required Computer Science Courses (at least five required for emphasis in Media Sciences) from the following:

  • CS 111 Computer Programming and Problem Solving

  • CS 220 Human-Computer Interaction

  • CAMS/MAS 216 Creative Media Manipulation

  • CS 204 Introduction to Front-End Web Development

  • CS 230 Data Structures

  • MAS 225 Making and Fabrication: Methods, Culture, and a Heuristic Approach to Technology

  • CS 231 Fundamental Algorithms

  • CS 242 Computer Networks

  • CS 304 Databases with Web Interfaces

  • CS 307 Computer Graphics

  • CS 315 Web Search and Mining

  • CS 320 Tangible User Interfaces

  • CS 321  Mixed and Augmented Reality

4. Students must create and present an online portfolio by the end of the Fall semester of their Senior year.

At least one Media Culture course is recommended from the following:

  • ARTH 225 Modern Art Since 1945

  • ARTH 226 History of Photography: From Invention to Media Age

  • ARTH 391 Persuasive Images

  • CAMS 200 Thinking Through Cinema: Film and Media Theory

  • CAMS 222 Gimme Some Truth? Documentary Film and Media

  • CAMS 270 The Light and the Dark of the Net: Histories and Theories of the Internet

  • ARTH 364 Women Filmmakers: Theory and History of Subversion

  • ECON 242 The Information Economy

At least one Production course is recommended from the following (can be done in groups):

Honors may be supervised by members of the departments associated with the major in accordance with the requirements of the host department. Supervisors from other departments can be arranged by permission of the directors.

Related Courses for Credit toward the Major

The courses listed below are representative of Wellesley and MIT courses that emphasize topics related to the MAS major. Students may include courses not listed below in their major with permission of the program directors.

  • ANTH 232 Anthropology of the Media

  • ARTH 373/CLCV 373 Antiquities Today: The Politics of Replication

  • CAMS 234/ENG 204 The Art of Screenwriting

  • CS 249 Topics in Computer Science (REQUIRES PERMISSION of the program directors)

  • CS 342 Computer Networks

  • CS 332 Visual Processing by Computer and Biological Vision Systems

  • CS 349 Advanced Topics in Computer Science (REQUIRES PERMISSION of the program directors)

  • PHIL 203 Philosophy of Art

  • POL 316 Mass Media in American Democracy

  • SOC 231 The Sociology of Art, Media, and Culture-Comparative Perspectives

MIT Courses

The MIT Media Lab and the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program offers a large variety of courses that may be appropriate for a MAS major. These offerings vary per semester; please consult the MIT catalog at student.mit.edu/catalog/mMASa.html and student.mit.edu/catalog/mCMSa.html.

Olin Courses

The Olin College of Engineering offers the following course that may be appropriate for a media arts and sciences major.

  • ENGR 2250 User-Oriented Collaborative Design