UC welcomes new school to College of Arts and Sciences     

Four programs combine to create a new opportunity for students    

By Rebecca Schweitzer 

The University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts and Sciences has established a School of Communication, Film and Media Studies. The new school is a compilation of the existing departments of Communication, Public Relations and Film and Media Studies and the Digital Media Collaborative.

Uniting the existing programs into one school will combine the practical with the creative, with opportunities to learn media history, theory, and analysis, said Valerie Weinstein, Niehoff Professor of Film and Media Studies and professor of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Valerie Weinstein, Niehoff Professor of Film and Media Studies

Valerie Weinstein, Niehoff Professor of Film and Media Studies

“These different opportunities and modes of learning all enhance each other, and students will get to choose from all of them as well as concentrate in the area of their major or minor,” she said.

According to Todd Herzog, director of the Digital Media Collaborative, this collaboration has been in the works for a number of years, thanks to a diverse group of faculty from the represented programs.

“The four media programs that will make up the school share common faculty, interests, and courses,” said Herzog. “So, it made sense to modernize the departmental structure to bring students and faculty from all of these programs together under one common umbrella.”

According to Michael Gott, program director of Film and Media Studies, aiding the student experience was the initiative behind the creation of this school. 

“Program directors and advisers realized from talking to current and prospective students that the media studies landscape at UC was complex and hard to navigate,” said Gott. “The first benefit to students will be a central place (whether physical or the website) to go to pursue their interest in media, to ask questions, and discover the best path or paths for them.”  

With the explosion of digital media and communication technology, institutions are wise to integrate the study of media with their rich social science and humanities traditions.

Suzanne Boys, UC Department of Communication

Courses for this school are already available to students in OneStop under the prefixes COMM, DMC and FILM. It is anticipated that a greater connection between the represented areas of study will form, and more new courses will be added over the coming years. 

According to Suzanne Boys, educator professor and interim head of the Communication department, faculty hopes to add additional opportunities for students such as capstones, internships, student groups and first year experiences.

“UC is responsive to global developments,” said Boys. “With the explosion of digital media and communication technology in recent years, institutions are wise to integrate the study of media with the rest of their rich social science and humanities traditions. Students interested in any of the four represented areas of study (Communication, Film, Media, and Public Relations) will have easy access to a wide variety of faculty, classes, and enrichment opportunities.”

"The new School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies will offer students a wide range of courses, internships and co-ops, and other experiences that will propel them into the careers of tomorrow in the rapidly changing media and communication industry,” said Steve Depoe, professor of Communication. “It will provide an Arts and Sciences orientation grounded in ethical and critical understanding as well as technical skill development--a great combination.”

Featured image at top: Aerial view of UC's Uptown Campus.

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