UT Dallas 2013 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Arts and Humanities

Emerging Media and Communication (BA)

The undergraduate major in Emerging Media and Communication (EMAC) is designed to educate "communicators of the twenty-first century" who can contribute to evolving fields such as journalism, advertising, public relations, corporate and civic communications, and the entertainment industry. The changing nature of communication in a technologically sophisticated, message-saturated and global economy has created a major and fast-growing need for graduates with the ability to communicate effectively in a wide range and mix of media. These new communicators will combine technological expertise with effective communication skills across multiple media platforms, developing "new media literacy" in response to the digital revolution that has radically changed all aspects of human communication.

Students will receive substantive educational training in the rhetorical, cultural, and cognitive aspects of communication, with an emphasis on new and emerging media. The EMAC program reflects a commitment to the concept of "applied humanities," as the curriculum balances theoretical understanding with opportunities for practical application. Some courses are predominantly academic, focusing on matters such as theory and history. Others blend academic analysis with practical application.

Today's technologically sophisticated and media rich environment requires a comprehensive approach to communication that includes but is not restricted to traditional notions of writing and rhetoric. Students who complete the prescribed curriculum will be able to identify appropriate media and effective rhetorical approaches for a wide range of purposes, audiences and situations. The curriculum integrates courses from three areas: communication/psychology, humanities, and media studies. Courses in Communication and Psychology focus both on the cognitive and social processes of communication to help students understand how people create, use, and interpret messages. The humanities courses provide students with aesthetic, cultural and philosophic contexts for studying and employing emerging forms of technologically mediated communication. The media studies courses allow students to gain the expertise to communicate effectively using advanced forms of digital technology while honing collaborative skills. The curriculum culminates with a collaborative capstone project that requires students to integrate the three components with the creation, dissemination and contextual analysis of a multi-media text.

Educational Objectives

Students who complete a BA in EMAC will become effective producers and consumers of technologically mediated communication who can combine technological expertise with strategic communication skills. Graduates will be able to demonstrate this integrated expertise as they:

  • Analyze communication opportunities to employ the most appropriate complex of media and rhetorical strategies to create and disseminate informative, entertaining and persuasive messages
  • Create and/or apply digital content for existing and/or emerging forms of media
  • Adapt their messages to audiences and technological constraints while retaining (and amplifying) the benefits provided by existing and emerging media
  • Anticipate the ethical implications of emerging media and their power to shape public opinion.


EMAC students have access to sophisticated facilities that include computer laboratories, a sound design laboratory, a Motion Capture laboratory and other facilities designed to encourage collaborative learning experiences.

Bachelor of Arts in Emerging Media and Communication

Degree Requirements (120 semester credit hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours1

Communication: 6 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours Communication (RHET 1302)
3 semester credit hours Communication Elective (COMM 3300)

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 15 semester credit hours

6 semester credit hours Government (GOVT 2301 and GOVT 2302)
6 semester credit hours American History
3 semester credit hours Social and Behavioral Science Elective (PSY 2301)

Humanities and Fine Arts: 6 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours Fine Arts (FILM 2332)
3 semester credit hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning: 6 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours College Math (MATH 1314)
3 semester credit hours Quantitative Mathematics (PSY 2317)

Science: 9 semester credit hours including at least one course with a substantial laboratory component

II. Major Requirements, Lower-Division: 15 semester credit hours

ATEC 2382 Computer Imaging
ATEC 2384 Basic Design Principles and Practices
ATEC 2385 Sound Design
ATEC 2321 Writing and Research for Emerging Media
ATEC 2322 Theories of Emerging Media and Communications

III. Major Requirements, Upper-Division: 30 semester credit hours

Major Core Courses

COMM 3300 Reading Media Critically
COMM 3342 Advanced Topics in Communication2
COMM 4314 Persuasion
ATEC 3326 Emerging Media Production
ATEC 3361 Internet Studio I
EMAC 4325 Digital Writing
ATEC 4326 Advanced Emerging Media Production
EMAC 4V80 Capstone Project
PSY 3331 Social Psychology
or COMM 3311 Interpersonal Communication
PSY 3351 Mass Communication and Behavior

IV. Elective Requirements: 33 semester credit hours

Prescribed Electives: 15 semester credit hours

Any five of the following:

ARTS 4308 Image/Text
ATEC 3330 Digital Video Production I
ATEC 3363 Basic Interaction Design
ATEC 4330 Digital Video Production II
ATEC 4346 Story-Telling for New Media
ATEC 4347 Advanced Design
CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I
CGS 4353 Human Computer Interactions II
COMM 3301 Public and Professional Speaking for Business
COMM 3311 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 3342 Advanced Topics in Communication2
COMM 4340 Small Group Communication
COMM 4350 Intercultural Communication
COMM 4351 U.S. Culture & Communication
CRWT 3308 Creating Nonfictions
EMAC 3328 The Digital Society
EMAC 3343 Social Networks
EMAC 4372 Topics in Emerging Media and Communication
PSY 3355 Psychology of Creativity

Free Electives: 18 semester credit hours

Both upper-and lower-division courses may be used as electives, but students must complete at least 51 semester credit hours of upper-division courses to qualify for graduation.

  1. Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
  2. Repeatable for credit up to 6 semester credit hours.
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