Media Studies MA Degree Requirements | The New School

Public Engagement

Degree Requirements

  • The Master of Arts degree is awarded for successful completion of 39 credits. All students must take three core courses: Understanding Media Studies; Media Theory; and Media Design. They must also take one approved methods course and at least two production (practice and project) courses.

    Students can choose between the thesis and the non-thesis options to complete their degree.

    The extensive curriculum and limited number of required courses offer you many ways to design your own path through the program and enable you to sample a wide variety of subjects and approaches.

    Many students focus their studies in one of several areas of focus designated by the School of Media Studies to promote sequential investigation of a particular field or theme within media studies, but students are not required to select a school-designated focus to earn the MA. Electives can include selected courses offered by other graduate programs of the university.

    The program is designed to be completed in two years and must be completed within five years.

    Course Waivers

    Students who have significant experience in either Research Methods or Media Design may apply to have these requirements waived by submitting a course waiver form (PDF). Approval of a requirement waiver fulfills the degree requirement but does not count towards the total number of credits required for the completion of a degree. It allows a student, in consultation with his/her adviser, to select another course for the same number of credits to be taken in lieu of the waived course.

    Special Electives and Transfer Credits

    Students can apply for the transfer of up to nine graduate credits from outside the School of Media Studies to be used toward their degree credit requirements. A maximum of nine credits can be transferred from other graduate programs at The New School, and up to six of these nine credits can be transferred from another graduate institution (including institutions attended prior to The New School). These credits can be applied to seminar, production, or methods course requirements, depending on the nature and content of the course. In order to get initial approval to take courses outside of the School of Media Studies, students must submit a special electives form (PDF) to Peter Asaro, director of graduate programs. Upon completion of a special elective course, students must submit a transfer of credit form (PDF) in order to apply these credits to their degree. Questions regarding the forms should be directed to the director of the MA Media Studies program and the director of Student Affairs at

    Thesis Option Non-Thesis Option
    Core Courses Core Courses
    Understanding Media Studies 3 Understanding Media Studies 3
    Media Theory 3 Media Theory 3
    Media Design 3 Media Design 3
    Methods Courses 3 Methods Courses 3
    Seminar Courses 12-18 Seminar Courses 12-21
    Production Courses 6-12 Production Courses 6-15
    Media Practices: Design Media Practices: Design
    Media Practices: Digital Cinema
    Media Practices: Digital Cinema
    Media Practices: Interactive
    Media Practices: Interactive
    Project-Based Courses
    Project-Based Courses
    Thesis Courses

    Thesis Proposal
    Thesis Tutorial Lab
    Thesis Supervision

    Total 39 Total 39