Media Arts

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Media Arts Overview

The Media Arts major provides the opportunity for students to develop creative, conceptual, and technical skills across coursework in film, photography, and graphic design, and fosters a critical awareness of contemporary, convergent media practices. Students are asked to become agents for change within the context of their discipline, asking critical questions about the impact of media in an increasingly global arena. Graduates will be prepared to assume roles in media arts production industries or pursue graduate programs in related fields.
Degrees Offered
  • BA
Program School

Chatham’s media arts program is hands-on from day one. The helpfulness of the instructors, the state-of-the-art equipment, and the seamlessness of the transition into the graduate program are great advantages.


Explore the Media Arts Degree:

The media arts curriculum explores the creative tension between individual expression and the social and political forces that shape mediated networks within culture.

  • All students complete a capstone seminar that channels the knowledge they’ve accumulated into a discipline-specific project under close faculty guidance. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offers such an independent and student-driven undergraduate thesis project.
  • Chatham is walking distance to many of Pittsburgh’s best-loved arts institutions and organizations, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Carnegie Music Hall and Frick Arts Museum. Chatham students enjoy free admission to the Carnegie Museums with their student ID.
  • AIGA Chatham, Chatham’s student group affiliated with the American Institute of Graphic Arts, attends local design lectures, tours local design firms, and hosts campus activities open to all students, such as the t-shirt design contest.

Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey course, students learn skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and “otherness” are culturally produced and disseminated.

Photography I : Black and White Darkroom

This course is designed to introduce students to black and white darkroom photography. Students build on camera skills while investigating 35mm film fundamentals and wet lab methods. They will study exposure and printing in the black and white darkroom. A range of photographic materials, analog processes, and techniques will be covered. Students will study the photograph as a medium for documentation, representation, and expression.

Media Literacy

Students explore digital foundations, media-related histories, theoretical frameworks, and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Students will gain a working knowledge in digital photo editing, video editing, and a variety of other creative software applications.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Prajna Paramita Parasher
Professor, Chair, Arts, Design and Communication and Program Director, Film and Digital Technology and Graphic Design
Photo of nine black film cameras are arranged in a square.


Students explore ideas and develop skills grounded in fine art that are applicable to contexts such as advertising, documentary, fashion, contemporary art, and travel.

Photo of a professor speaking with a student

Film and Digital Technology

Students develop creative, conceptual, and technical skills in film, art, communication, and cultural studies, blending critical awareness with a knowledge base in digital video, audio production, and emerging media technologies.

Graphic image of a computer screen, keyboard, mouse, and tablet

Graphic Design

Students develop design foundations, knowledge of communication, design praxis, and problem solving techniques—adapting these systems to varying forms of media.

Photo of Pittsburgh's yellow bridges and rolling hills framing rivers at sunset.

Network and Collaborate with Film Students across the City

Chatham students participate in Pitch-Burgh, coordinated by the Pittsburgh Film Office and the Media Educators of Pittsburgh. Students from seven local colleges and universities pitch film ideas as a way to network and collaborate with film students across the city.

Photo of two women walking around Chatham University's media arts gallery looking at installations.

Exhibit Your Work Alongside Other Artists

The Susan Bergman Gurrentz ’56 Art Gallery exhibits artwork by students and by international, national, and local artists, providing students with a chance to work up-close and in-person with renowned pieces of art and historical artifacts.