MEDC - Media Communications


Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

Global Citizenship Program
Knowledge Areas
ARTS Arts Appreciation
GLBL Global Understanding
PNW Physical & Natural World
QL Quantitative Literacy
ROC Roots of Cultures
SSHB Social Systems & Human Behavior
Global Citizenship Program
Skill Areas
CRI Critical Thinking
ETH Ethical Reasoning
INTC Intercultural Competence
OCOM Oral Communication
WCOM Written Communication
** Course fulfills two skill areas


MEDC 1010 Introduction to Mass Communications (3)

Students learn the history, development, and impact of the mass media, including print, photography, film, radio, television and digital media. The course focuses on communication theories and research, media systems, structure and ethics, the relationship between the media and society, and future directions in media communications.

MEDC 1050 Introduction to Media Writing (3)

Students learn the basics of writing for a number of applications as well as the style, structure, and techniques involved in journalism, scriptwriting, advertising, public relations writing, critical writing, writing for interactive and other emerging media. GCP Coding: (WCOM)

MEDC 1500 Applied Media Aesthetics (3)

Students learn the basic aesthetic principles involved in the production of visual media by analyzing the various audio and visual stimuli that become elements of photography, video, or film forms; their nature; how these elements function individually and together; how they may be used creatively; and how a viewer may perceive them. Students learn the aesthetics of light, color, space, time, motion, and sound. (No longer offered at Webster Groves campus.) Prerequisite: EPMD 1000. 

MEDC 1630 Media Literacy (3)

Students learn to systematically decode, evaluate, and analyze information conveyed through the channels of mass communication. They learn the process, language, and effects of the media and develop a critical awareness of messages conveyed through channels of mass communications, as reflected in children's programming, advertising, journalism, and political communications. GCP Coding: (SSHB) (CRI)

MEDC 2200 Ethics in the Media (3)

Students learn the ethical considerations applied to journalism, broadcast journalism, photography, audio, film, video, interactive digital media, the Internet, public relations, and advertising. Students learn to analyze the ethical dilemmas facing media professionals. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010 or MEDC 1630

MEDC 2490 Media Externship (1)

Students participate in a series of informational interviews as a means of learning the characteristics, structure, and operations of media-related professional organizations. Attendance is required at an orientation and two seminars. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

MEDC 2630 Studies in Media Literacy (3)

This course extends and deepens the theoretical foundations and practical applications of the field of media literacy. Students become familiar with the significant developments by scholars in the field of media literacy and its historical and cultural context. They also explore the application of media literacy in various sectors, including education and media production. Prerequisite: MEDC 1630

MEDC 2800 Cultural Diversity in the Media (3)

Students learn how media images and messages portray people of different races, genders, classes, faiths and sexual orientations and how those images impact our understanding of and attitudes toward those groups. Students also investigate the multiple ways that they have learned about cultural diversity through personal reflection, formal education, as well as the media. GCP Coding: (SSHB) (INTC)

MEDC 3099 Practicum (3-6)

On-the-job experience, an internship, fieldwork, an apprenticeship, and direct participation in community or professional activity are all possible within the framework of a practicum. Evaluation is usually based on the quality of the student's performance in the chosen practicum setting and on reflective analysis of the experiential learning. Practica are arranged with the appropriate department or program. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Requires the filing of official form and permission of instructor.

MEDC 3150 Topics (1-3)

These courses are offered periodically to feature topics in media and journalism not covered by regularly offered courses. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: May vary with the topic.

MEDC 3190 Introduction to Media Research (3)

Students learn how to use qualitative and quantitative media research methodologies, including content analysis, focus groups, and field research. The course provides strategies and methodologies for examining the process and impact of the media. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010 or MEDC 1630

MEDC 3260 International Communications (3)

Students learn the philosophy, process, problems, and potentials of communication across cultural boundaries by studying the interrelationships between communications and social, political, economic, and cultural factors that affect international communications. Cross-listed with INTL 3260. Students who take the course at the Webster Groves campus may repeat it for credit if they also take it at an international campus. GCP Coding: (GLBL) (INTC)

MEDC 3350 Media Design (3)

Students learn the strategies and techniques employed in the design of multimedia presentations used in business, government, and education. Students learn the design of resource centers, libraries, and classrooms. Workshops on operation of digital cameras, audio-recording field equipment, and production equipment enable students to design their own instructional sight and sound presentations. Prerequisites: AUDI 1000 and PHOT 1000.

MEDC 3599 Independent Study (Juniors or Seniors) (1-12)

Independent study involves research work on a specialized subject or project, artistic work, or study of an interdisciplinary nature. In contrast to a practicum, the emphasis in an independent study is usually on individual pursuit of a specific content area. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Requires the filing of official form and permission of instructor.

MEDC 3700 Topics in International Communications (3-6)

Students learn the cultural aspects of international media communications; international advertising; international public relations; international communications as a political tool; international communications and cultural stereotypes; and media systems as a reflection of a country's cultural, political, and economic structures. May be repeated once for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: May vary with topic.

MEDC 3800 Studies in Cultural Diversity (3)

Students learn the relationship between the media and the issue of cultural diversity in the United States. Students consider media coverage of groups, including people of color, gays and lesbians, women, and ethnic groups. Students learn to apply a framework for examining the impact of media coverage of these groups on society, and explores issues related to the role and responsibilities of the media in this area. Cross-listed with SPCM 3800. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: MEDC 2800.

MEDC 3850 Television: A Critical Study (3)

Students learn how the medium of television affects human thinking and behavior within the context of American culture. Students investigate and study questions elicited through reading, discussion, and research. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010 or MEDC 1630

MEDC 3900 Topics in Media Literacy (3)

Students learn the social issues embedded in media literacy analysis by studying case studies, the operation of specific media, and significant developments in the field. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: MEDC 1630.

MEDC 4100 The Law and the Media (3)

Students learn the specifics of First Amendment freedoms and the laws that restrict or regulate the flow of information in American society, libel and privacy torts, information access problems, shield laws, broadcast regulation, copyright laws, and constraints on various means of communication, as well as basic principles of contracts within a variety of media fields. Junior or senior standing is advised.

MEDC 4110 Media and Digital Culture (3)

This course applies the principles of media literacy to digital media, which includes interactive media, voice and image transmission devices, simulations, and video games. The course examines the technological characteristics of digital media as well as the impact of digital technology on content. The course also considers the impact of digital media on the individual and society and identifies strategies for the analysis of media messages. Prerequisite: MEDC 3190 or MEDC 5460 for graduate students.

MEDC 4190 Media Research Methodologies (3-6)

Students learn specific methodologies in media research and design and implement a research plan. Topics vary and may include applied research in advertising and public relations or theoretical research including media literacy, content analysis, etc. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: MEDC 3190 or permission of instructor.

MEDC 4220 Genre Studies (3)

This course offers an in-depth study of genres that appear in the media, such as reality shows, film noir, and the evening news. Students learn a range of approaches to the study of genre, including formulaic, ideological, historical, cultural, and audience response analysis. Students conduct primary research on a particular genre using selected approaches. Prerequisite: MEDC 3190 or MEDC 5460 for graduate students.

MEDC 4440 Patterns of Ownership in Media (3)

Students learn the impact of media economics on content by studying media ownership patterns, such as state-run, state-owned, privately owned, and individually owned systems, and topics such as cross promotion, conflicts of interest, bottom-line programming decisions, and internal organizational/staffing decisions. Students study the recent concentration of media ownership. Other topics include historical context, international trends, regulations, and issues of gender and diversity in ownership and management. Students will conduct primary research focusing on one of these topics.

MEDC 4500 Political Communications (3)

Students learn the role of the media on the American political process. Topics include the history and evolution of political media, the role of the press and its influence on the political process, and how media strategies are created, developed, and produced. Political advertising campaigns are analyzed. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010 or MEDC 5000 for graduate students.

MEDC 4600 Senior Seminar in Media Literacy (3)

Students demonstrate proficiency in media literacy analysis by applying media literacy theories and research methods to conduct an in-depth media literacy analysis.

MEDC 4610 Readings in Media Studies (3)

May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: Media major, junior/senior standing and permission of the instructor.

MEDC 4620 Senior Overview/Thesis (3-6)

Provides an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their proficiency in a selected area or media. The student assumes responsibility for the production of a project, exhibit or thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Students studying at Webster University Vienna must complete a thesis and register for six hours. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours. Prerequisites: Senior standing, acceptance into the major through portfolio review, and permission of the instructor. Students and their instructors must submit a proposal for the overview project for the approval of the department chair.

MEDC 4850 Seminar in Media Studies (3)

Advanced media literacy students consider issues related to media theory and criticism and learn how media literacy theories were developed and what these theories reveal about individual media. May include topics such as photographic theory and criticism or film theory and criticism. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: May vary with the topic.

MEDC 4950 Internship (3-8)

Provides an internship placement that offers supervised professional experience in audio production, broadcast and print journalism, photography, public relations, advertising and marketing communications, interactive media, animation, video, and film based on appropriateness to academic major. In addition to field placement, students attend regular seminars and write observations and analysis of their internship experience, as well as complete assignments designed to help them make the transition from student to professional. Prerequisites: Students generally do internships during the senior year after passing an initial portfolio review and must have permission of advisor and instructor. (Students may do multiple internships but may earn no more than a total of 8 credit hours for internships during their program at the University.)