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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

About Us

The Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies is home to 250 undergraduate students studying one of our four majors. We offer three graduate degrees through our two graduate programs which together contain 60 graduate students. Our classes are small, and range between 8 and 30 students to a classroom. All of our programs are unique in their broad view of the subject, providing students with both a strong theoretical background and integral hands-on, experiential opportunities. 

Most of our undergraduate students and all of our graduate students are expected to fulfill an internship requirement in their field of choice, guaranteeing them a starting point for the post-degree job search. 96.4% of DU graduates have either a full-time job or are enrolled in graduate school within one year of graduation. 

At the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies we develop critical thinkers, capable of applying a broad-based understanding of communication in ways that better ourselves, our communities and the world at large. We encourage both intellectual curiosity and personal creativity to sharpen analytical and artistic literacy. We pride ourselves on giving students the tools they need to succeed in any career they may choose, both post-graduation and 40 years from now. 

Faculty Specialization

Our faculty are leaders and pioneers in the world of media, journalism and film. Their expertise is centered in these areas of study:

  • Strategic Communication: public relations; communication campaigns; health communication; global and multi-cultural communication; media law and ethics; advertising; audience research.
  • Media Studies: contemporary communications media; interactive and digital media; media influence on individuals, culture and society; globalization and media; the history and future of media industries; social, political, economic and cultural implications of media process and content; reading and analysis of media texts; media creators; media law, policy and ethics.
  • Film Studies and Production: film and digital video production; narrative, documentary and experimental styles; script/screenwriting; film history and criticism.
  • Journalism: newswriting; feature writing; design and layout; online journalism; activist media; media law, policy and ethics.
  • Digital Media Studies: Web and multimedia design; programming; digital video/audio; influence of digital media on individuals; culture and society.
Changing the World

Our students and alumni are committed to improving the world. As leaders within the communication field, our students utilize media in a variety of ways to make a difference in society. Some recent projects include:

  • Documentary film students explore a variety of subcultures and the unique impact those subcultures play in today's society.
  • Journalism students keep the pulse of the campus community through the weekly publication of the Clarion. The paper regularly wins local and national awards for its journalistic efforts.
  • Journalism student Mary Jean O'Malley helped start the DU Bike Library (bike sharing program) and raised $50,000 from the City of Denver to fund the initiative.
  • Strategic communication students take on nonprofit organizations as clients and help them build relationships with their publics through strategic messages.
  • Students assist faculty with important research including: health communication and strategic messaging campaigns on college campuses and the developing world; the role of journalism in today's society; and media and culture.
  • Journalism student Elle Mohs, who worked for MTV and PBS during the presidential debate, provided leadership in developing the journalism skills of students in Denver's most diverse high school during her senior year.
  • Journalism student Daliah Singer explored what it means to be a "connected" college student in her thesis, "Sensory Overload: What it Means to be an Informed College Student Today" and presented her findings to the Magazine Publishers of America.
Global Awareness

In recognition of the increasingly global nature of communication, the University of Denver actively integrates global awareness into our curriculum. In recent years, our faculty have brought international experience to students through speaking and teaching engagements and research in diverse locales such as Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Ireland, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Zambia.

The department also tackles the great global issues of our day:

  • The Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media works for the public good by researching how people make meaning out of journalism, digital media and popular entertainment. The center also hosts workshops on issues such as communication during hurricane Katrina, the portrayal of Islam in the media and the role of journalism and First Amendment rights.
  • Strategic communication student Brittany Weiser wrote a senior thesis on "Smallpox and Bioterrorism: An Examination of Public Knowledge about Smallpox and Bioterrorism Risk Communication Techniques."
  • Professor Renee Botta is addressing water sanitation and hygiene issues in an urban slum in Africa by helping building water treatment facilities and implementing hygiene education programs.
  • Professor Christof Demont Heinrich developed a website and blog devoted to covering and promoting the synergy between solar energy and electric vehicles and plug in hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Professor Margaret Thompson spends her summers covering women's rights issues as a journalist for the Feminist Internet Radio Endeavor in Costa Rica and South America.
  • Film faculty produce documentary, experimental and narrative films on a variety of topics such as college sports, religion, sexual orientation, and death and dying.