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The Master of Arts in Social and Emerging Media (MASEM) program introduces students to state-of-the-art research methods, strategies, production and practices for social and emerging media.

Students will learn to plan, research, write, produce and distribute professional media for multiple platforms and to do so strategically. Specific areas of study include emerging media technologies, digital storytelling, visual design, audio-video production, user experience production, audience and user experience research, media strategy and analytics, project management and emerging media policy, law and regulation. The program blends technological expertise with the creative arts and promotes peer engagement and faculty mentoring.

Students will learn to approach media creatively and strategically, to understand and to respond effectively to media audiences and to engage users through compelling storytelling, arresting visual design and adept implementation of the lastest interactive technologies. This program will prepare students for work in a variety of fields that value strong written and visual communication skills, professional training in audio and video production, an understanding of new and emerging media platforms, technical savvy, training in research and data analysis, collaboration and team work, critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

Core Courses

MASEM students must take all five core courses.

MAPC 611 Emerging Technologies and Applications

Emerging Technologies and Applications covers the current and upcoming status of technologies in relation to professional communications and leadership strategies. This hands-on course explores open-source and emerging tools related to visual and aural media, immersive tools, mixed and virtual realities, alternative and embedded screens, physical computing, biosensors, trackers, etc., and how those tools provide essential data on how clients and users interact with products.

SEM 601 Digital Storytelling

This course teaches the fundamentals of good storytelling while introducing techniques for engaging audiences across a variety of media forms. Students explore how sound, images, interactivity, immersive video, virtual reality and other emerging technologies are transforming storytelling practices in journalism, content writing, popular entertainment and the arts. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate what they have learned by creating their own digital storytelling projects.

SEM 602 Visual Design for Emerging Media

In this studio-based course, students learn how to integrate diverse practices of art and design as they pertain to web-based, social media and emerging visual communication. Students gain necessary skills to unify visual concepts through an engagement with aesthetics, lighting, platform modification and video presentation methods. This course also gives specific technical information regarding the use of the Adobe Creative Suite, and hands-on materials-based research with a range of tools for digital recording and output.

SEM 603 Audio and Video Production for Emerging Media

A graduate-level introduction to hands-on digital film production and post-production. Each student completes several short projects. Students are introduced to portable equipment at the cage and production facilities, including the black box studio space. Class is comprised of technical demonstrations, in-class shoots and critiques of student work. Basic history, theory and aesthetics of related media are presented. Special emphasis is given to the rapid concepting and shooting effective short social media content. The course also presents an introduction to producing content for augmented and virtual reality distribution.

SEM 604 Social and Emerging Media Strategy and Analytics

This course prepares students to learn and apply strategic digital communication principles for analyzing the impact of media messages. Students acquire knowledge and skills in media analytics to understand how audiences consume and interact with social and emerging media products. Using data recollection and analysis techniques, students learn how to interpret data strategically, for identifying relevant consumer insights to add into actionable plans that respond to challenges and opportunities.

Elective Courses

Students must take two of the following elective courses.

SEM 610 User Experience and Audience Research

This course covers theories and research techniques needed for understanding digital audiences’ behavior and user experience towards media products. Social psychology and consumer behavior theories and concepts discussed in this class will help students to identify audiences’ needs, values and attitudes. Students learn to apply research techniques (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups, eye-tracking, facial mapping and user data retrieval) for understanding user interactions with content on social and emerging media platforms.

SEM 611 Media Development and Project Management

This course introduces students to the processes of developing and managing media projects, including ideation, prototyping, planning and budgeting, media asset management, workflows and team communication. Students demonstrate their mastery of development and management concepts by researching, writing and presenting proposals for their own media projects.

SEM 612 Emerging Media: Industry, Policy and Law

This course explores how laws, policies and industry practices influence the development and viability of emerging media. It covers subjects such as media ownership structures and industry competition, intellectual property, defamation and privacy law, SLAPP litigation, employee non-disclosure agreements and wireless spectrum regulation. Students research and report on a course-related topic of their choosing.

SEM 613 Advanced Production in Emerging Media

In this intensive studio course, students develop both theoretical and practical approaches to working with emerging media technologies, including interactive interfaces, biosensors, spatial computing, mixed and virtual reality, immersive video and how artificial intelligence and machine learning are creating new ways of representation. After a survey and demonstration of how these technologies can be employed in creative projects, students pitch and produce their own projects that employ one or more of these technologies for their final assignments.

MAPC 612 Ethics and Communication Law

This course examines the role of law and ethics in communication. Topics include an overview of the American legal system, the First Amendment and other legal or ethical communication issues. Students learn about a wide range of communication issues including communication in the digital space. By the end of the course students will be able to recognize best contemporary ethical and professional practices in communication.

Capstone

The capstone experience is the final course for the M.A. in Social and Emerging Media, and it culminates in a project that demonstrates the student's expertise in the field. The capstone course is largely independent, and students will plan and produce a project under the supervision of a faculty member. During their final semester, students register for SEM 700, which is an independent study with their faculty advisor. Students who choose to do so have the opportunity to coordinate work on their projects with a nonprofit organization or a business in the Tampa Bay area.

Plan of Study

The following schedule illustrates how a student may progress through the MASEM program in one year based on expected course offerings. The program offers flexibility for those students who wish to complete the program at a different pace. Contact your advisor or program director for more information about alternative paths through the curriculum.

All MASEM courses are held on UT's downtown campus during the evenings. Students take one course at a time in an accelerated format. Fall, spring and summer courses begin at 6 p.m., and two-week January and May term courses begin at 5:15 p.m.

Fall Start 2021—2022

Term and Course Credit hours
Fall 1 (First seven weeks)
MAPC 611 Emerging Technologies and Applications
4
Fall 2 (Second seven weeks)
SEM 601 Digital Storytelling
4
January Term (Two-week intersession)
Elective (see catalog)
4
Spring 1 (First seven weeks)
SEM 602 Visual Design for Emerging Media
4
Spring 2 (Second seven weeks)
MAPC 603 Audio and Video Production for Emerging Media
4
May Term (Two-week intersession)
Elective (see catalog)
4
Summer 1 (First six weeks)
SEM 604 Social and Emerging Media Strategy and Analytics
4
Summer 2 (Second six weeks)
SEM 700 Capstone in Social and Emerging Media
4
Total
(Degree Completed in One Year)
32 Credit Hours

Spring Start 2022—2023

Term and Course Credit hours
Spring 1 (First seven weeks)
MAPC 611 Emerging Technologies and Applications
4
Spring 2 (Second seven weeks)
SEM 601 Digital Storytelling
4
May Term (Two-week intersession)
Elective (see catalog)
4
Summer 1 (First six weeks)
SEM 602 Visual Design for Emerging Media
4
Summer 2 (Second six weeks)
MAPC 603 Audio and Video Production for Emerging Media
4
Fall 1 (First seven weeks)
SEM 604 Social and Emerging Media Strategy and Analytics
4
Fall 2 (Second seven weeks)
SEM 700 Capstone in Social and Emerging Media
(Possible elective, if December completion)
4
January term (Two-week intersession)
Elective
4
Total
(Degree Completed in One Year)
32 Credit Hours

Year One

Term Fall Start Course Spring Start Course

Fall 1

MAPC 611

 

Fall 2 SEM 601

 

January Elective  

Spring 1

SEM 602 MAPC 611
Spring 2 SEM 603 SEM 601
May Elective Elective
Summer 1 SEM 604 SEM 602
Summer 2 SEM 700 Capstone SEM 603

Year Two

Term Fall Start Course Spring Start Course
Fall 1 MAPC 611 SEM 604
Fall 2 SEM 601 SEM 700 Capstone
Elective
January Elective Elective
Spring 1 SEM 602 MAPC 611
Spring 2 SEM 603 SEM 601
May Elective Elective
Summer 1 SEM 604 SEM 602
Summer 2 SEM 700 Capstone SEM 603