The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Audio, Visual, & Media Arts

University of Massachusetts alum Mark WildingAlumnus Mark Wilding '79, Disney, Executive Producer & Head Writer

"I think I'm most proud of the fact that I was able to come out to LA, and say I wanted to be a writer, and I managed to do it for the last 25 years. It's easy in life to judge people. But I think UMass prepared me to say, well, before you judge somebody see what they're coming from and what they're doing. And I think that's the value for me. That was the value of essentially was a liberal arts education."

Watch Mark's video to learn more about his experiences.

About the Industry

Students with a creative flair may be drawn to the Audio, Visual and Media Arts industries.  Here you will be able to combine the liberal arts knowledge and technical skills you acquire while in SBS to create audio and video productions, including film, radio, TV, print, digital and other creative media expressions that tell the stories you want to share with your audience.

Sample Classes

Comm 226 - Social Impact of Mass Media: This course explores research on the influence of mass media on audiences. It examines the effects of television (and some other media) on thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.  Topics include politics and the media, the influence of news, public service campaigns and advertising, and media influence on health. 


Comm 33 - Program Process in TV: This course introduces concepts and techniques of television production through weekly lectures and lab meetings.  During the course students work on two major projects:  first, a short, narrative piece shot in single-camera, post-production style, and, second, a multiple camera piece shot live in the studio.


Journal 333 - Intro to Visual Storytelling: In introduction to Visual Storytelling, students will become better producers and consumers of visual media. Students will develop a deeper visual literacy by studying topics like visual ethics, aesthetics, agency, and the currents of the modern visual journalism ecosystem. By reporting their own video, photography and data visualization projects, students will learn how to control exposure with a DSLR camera, how to capture quality video and how to use different editing and production software.


STPEC 296D IS - Propaganda in Film, Print, Art & Music: Understand and appreciate the art and science of propaganda by examining the techniques of crafting propaganda as well as its application to small and large scale populations. Analyze theoretical approaches to propaganda as well as its practical implications.  Political, military and religious themes will follow much of the various media, which will take the forms of art, film, music and the written word. 


POLISCI 391AP - Seminar - Art & Politics: How the worlds of politics and art intersect and/or collide. In this unique course, you'll examine forms of artistic expression from spoken word poetry and film to graffiti art and theater as well as critical analyses by political theorists and artists alike. Consider how thinking of the arts as politics shifts our sense of what it means to think and act politically. 


ANTHRO 224 - Gender in Hip Hop Culture: Critically examine issues of race, representation and the sexual politics of hip- hop culture. Trace the historical implications of race and gender in U. S. culture from slavery onwards and connect how past images of African Americans continue to influence contemporary notions of Black identity. We will trace the early historical moments of the hip- hop movement in order to understand how the culture became synonymous with male dominated spaces and silent women. Look at the role of the internet and alternative forms of media as a means of how hip-hop has moved from the board room to the global stage, giving the power back to the people.

Co-Curricular Activities

Being involved in on and off campus activities and organizations will give you experience and help you hone in on what you really love doing. Consider joining organizations that will provide you with a deeper understanding of the professional areas you’re considering. You’ll learn more about the field, meet people who share your interests, and have something to include on your resume to show your dedication. Go to the RSO webpage and start searching!


  • WMUA
  • Animation Club
  • Her Campus UMass Amherst
  • Independent Film Production Club
  • Soul TV
Internships and Experience

Explore the different aspects of this industry through internships, co-ops, job shadowing, and other experiential opportunities. This will help you hone in on your interests while building an impressive knowledge base and resume for when you enter the job market. Students who thrive in a creative, detail oriented environment will find a home in the audio, visual, and media arts industry.  You don’t need to wait for a job or internship. Start a website with your projects, set up a presence on social media, and start showcasing your work.  SBS students and alumni have completed internships in this field at places like:


  • Campus Design & Copy
  • Teen Vogue
  • New England Public Radio (NEPR)
  • Amherst Media
  • Daily Collegian
  • The New York Times
  • North Jersey Media Group
Sample Job Titles
  • Artistic Director
  • Producer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Videographer
  • Screen Writer
  • Sound Designer
  • Cinematographer