School of Media Arts and Design

School of Media Arts and Design
Roland Dille Center for the Arts 116, (218) 477-2126
Don Clark
Faculty: Anthony Adah, Tom Anstadt, Trista Conzemius, Alexandria Fogarty, Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson, Raymond Rea

The School of Media Arts and Design offers majors in Animation, Film Production, Film Studies, Graphic Communications, and Graphic Design. Minors offered are in Film Studies, Film Production, Graphic Communications, and Media Arts.

The faculty and students of the School of Media Arts and Design are linked together by a common focus on the creation and analysis of messages that powerfully affect their chosen audience. We provide a challenging, contemporary, relevant curriculum within the context of the Liberal Arts that prepares our graduates to become contributing and ethical citizens in a diverse, global community. We promote creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong discovery through courses that integrate theory and history with practice and application.

The B.F.A. degree in Animation provides a broad range of classes that focus on both traditional and contemporary animation techniques, including the theory, practice, and aesthetics of motion image creation, image sequencing, and frame manipulation. Students are introduced to filmic systems, motion image history and theory, media arts practices, as well as a range of software, hardware, practical tools and techniques.

Course projects and lectures focus on stop motion, rotoscoping, pixilation, technical graphics, motion graphics, 3D modeling, abstract and experimental animation, animation for live performance, installation, interactive and new media environments.

Graduates may find employment with animation studios, video production houses, television stations, multimedia, web, and advertising agencies, as well as data visualization markets in science, medical, and business fields.

The School of Media Arts and Design offers a B.F.A. degree in Film Production, as well as a B.A. degree in Film Studies. These majors are designed for students who wish to work in some aspect of the film industry as well as those who are interested in the academic study of film.

The Film Studies major focuses on the theoretical and historical analysis of cinema as it relates to various genres, directors, and other topical studies. Emphasis is placed in visual and critical analysis, media literacy, curating, festival programming and critical writing skills. Students are encouraged to build a writing portfolio and to publically present academic work at the Student Academic Conference, as well as professional conferences.

The Film Production major gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in directing, producing, cinematography, sound and picture editing, sound recording, and screenwriting. Production classes incorporate the traditional format of 16mm film, HD video and new digital technologies into the curriculum. Abstract motion image creation, experimental practices, installation, documentary and non-fiction practices, as well as narrative filmmaking are all taught within the major. Students will build a portfolio of work from freshman through senior year.

Graduates of our program have gone on to work for major galleries, film festivals, post-production houses, trailer and special effects houses, television networks, independent feature film production, and freelance positions in all departments of production. Additionally, our students have gone on to some of the top graduate schools in North America.

Graphic Communications
The B.A. degree in Graphic Communications educates students in many areas of the graphics industry, including interactive multimedia, 3D graphics, and digital design and production. The degree program provides experiences in computer graphics, multimedia, photography, printing, advertising, graphic design, motion graphics, and television.

Courses train students in the technologies and principles necessary to design graphics, layout images, manipulate and enhance images, prepare projects for offset lithographic press, use digital prepress techniques, create multimedia projects, design websites, front end coding and scripting, as well as produce technical graphics, motion graphics, 3D modeling and animation. Projects are prepared from concept to production.

Graduates work in advertising agencies, web design firms, newspaper and magazine companies, printing companies, in-house corporations, video and television production, television stations, as well as music and multimedia production agencies.

Declaring a Graphic Communications Major
As a part of declaring a Graphic Communications major, students must first complete the Pre-Graphic Communications program (see GCOM Handbook on website). Once completed, students must apply for admission to the Graphic Communications program.

Graduation Requirements for a Graphic Communications Major
To graduate with a B.A. degree in Graphic Communications, students must complete ALL of the courses in the major with a ā€œCā€ or above and have a GCOM major GPA of at least 3.0.  Any course transferred into the major needs to have a grade of C or above.

Graphic Design
The BFA in Graphic Design's program guides students through the nuanced skill development process required to achieve excellence in typography, print, packaging, visual identity and branding, experience design, and motion graphics. The faculty is comprised of recognized professionals who challenge their students to reach their personal creative potential.

In order to achieve its mission of providing a stimulating environment for education in the professional practice and critical study of graphic design, the graphic design program is engaged in the continual development and refinement of its curricula. These efforts reflect the graphic design faculty's high standards of professionalism and scholarship, and their efforts to maintain up-to-date technologies and practices for the innovative study of graphic design.

The BFA in Graphic Design is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

BFA Graphic Design Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all major coursework
  • A grade of C or higher must be earned in order for all major courses to count towards the major
  • Senior Project Exhibition
  • Sophomore Portfolio Review
  • Senior Project Review

Additional Degree Requirements
Undergraduate students will meet and complete the following criteria:

Computer and Software Requirement: A Macintosh laptop computer with appropriate software is 'highly recommended' for students majoring in Graphic Design and entering their first 303 level course. Specifications for the hardware and software may be obtained from the professors or the MSUM bookstore.

Internship, Mentorship and Study Abroad: Students seeking a Graphic Design degree must seek out and complete an internship, mentorship or study abroad opportunity. Internship requests should be made to the major advisor and must be approved for credit in advance.