Media Arts | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University


Media Arts

Photo credit: Kayla Skaist - Resistance - Media Literacy

B.A. in Media Arts

The Media Arts major provides the opportunity for students to develop creative, conceptual, and technical skills across coursework in film, photography, and graphic design, fostering a critical awareness of contemporary, convergent media practices. The major explores the creative tension between individual expression and the social and political forces that shape global, mediated networks within culture.

Design at Chatham from Chatham Arts.

Students are asked to become agents for change within the context of their discipline, asking critical questions of the impact of media in an increasingly global arena. Graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles in media arts production industries or to pursue graduate programs in related fields.

Chatham University Mission Statement

Chatham University prepares its students, on campus and around the world, to excel in their professions and to be engaged, environmentally responsible, globally conscious, life-long learners, and citizen leaders for democracy. Chatham offers superb career preparation informed by the liberal arts.

Our Mission

The mission of the Media Arts major is to develop individuals who are interested in exploring and conversing in the language of visual culture. To accomplish this mission students not only work with technical applications but also integrate those skills with concepts informed by critical theory, history, and self-exploration, all while keeping in mind the artist's role in a greater social sphere. Students assume creative, scholarly, and leadership roles that will integrate and inform any other field of study while developing the creative approach that will allow them to stand out.


Within the media arts degree, students may choose one or more concentrations from the following: Photography, Film and Digital Technology, and Graphic Design.


Students explore a broad range of approaches to photography in a fine art context. Students explore ideas and develop skills applicable to contexts such as advertising, communication, documentary, fashion, contemporary art, and travel. Photographic practice is situated within the critical and historical contexts of photography. This concentration provides students with the aesthetic and technical proficiencies required for professional opportunities across the creative industries.

Film and Digital Technology

The film/digital technology concentration provides the opportunity for students to develop creative, conceptual and technical skills across coursework in film, art, communication and cultural studies, fostering a critical awareness of media practices and a thorough knowledge base in digital video and audio production and emerging media technologies. The major explores the creative tension between individual expression and the social and political forces that shape culture at large. Graduates will be prepared to produce their own digital films and to assume a creative role in the film, video and new media industries.

Graphic Design

Students develop design foundations, a knowledge of communication methodologies, design praxis, and problem solving techniques. These communication systems are modified and adapted to varying forms of media - from print, video to the web-so that they may become flexible and responsible designers working within a rapidly shifting global culture. Graduates will be prepared to work in design industries. Students will also be able to pursue graduate work within the field.

Students in Photography, Film and Digital Technology and Graphic Design are trained in developing content, production, within the context of history and theory.

If you want to study the Media Arts without giving up other academic and intellectual interests, you'll find no better place than the Art and Design Center–it's an ideal environment for intellectual, creative, and personal growth.

Other Programs

Arts Management

The arts management major is an interdisciplinary program, combining courses from business and the arts. The major is designed specifically to prepare students for leadership roles through expertise in strategic planning, management, marketing and artistic planning. Students will ascribe meaning to the artistic elements, in all their combinations, recognize historic styles, and the cultural forces that shaped them. Students will also identify business opportunities within the art world and focus on planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals in art organizations.

Collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University
Masters of Arts Management, Chatham University's 4+1 Program with Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University offers an Integrated Degree Program to qualified Chatham University students. The program–structured as four years at Chatham followed by one year at Heinz–results in students receiving a bachelor's and master's degrees in less time than is normally required. Students apply in junior year of study and are eligible to enroll in senior year.

Teaching Certification in Art

Talented students interested in sharing their curiosity about learning with others should explore Chatham's art teacher certification program. For certification in art K-12, 42 credits in education coursework is required. Additionally, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, students must satisfactorily complete PRAXIS I & II and required visual arts coursework.

"My experience studying film and media at Chatham has been a rewarding balance of challenge and support. I'm expected to lean to the edge of my comfort zone by pursuing ambitious projects or discussion topics; and I am always surrounded by encouragement from professors and friends. I think it's a rare thing to find."

– Angela Wiley