Undergraduate FAQ

HEALTHY BROWN

 Information for Undergraduate Students


Frequently Asked Questions (MCM Undergrauate)

Full FAQ document available via Google Docs

Concentration

 How do I declare a Concentration in MCM?
1. Review the requirements for your intended concentration: Theory based or Practice based)
2. Complete a declaration in Advising Sidekick (ASK). You will be required to:
*Indicate what courses you have taken and make a tentative plan to meet all concentration    requirements. (Please list 11 courses total.
*Complete the required essay questions.
*A concentration advisor will be assigned to you.
3. COVID-19 Instructions: Please email your concentration advisor to set up a time to meet via Zoom or by phone. Meet with your concentration advisor to review your courses and discuss any issues/questions you may have regarding the concentration. The best way to do this is to look up your concentration advisor's office hours and attend.
4. Your advisor will then approve your declaration in ASK. 

If you are a Junior or Senior who wants to declare MCM as your concentration, please contact Hannah Zoll ([email protected]), Program Coordinator, for more information regarding advising assignments, course information, or other questions you may have.

Can I change my advisor assignment?
It is not recommended that students change their advisor assignments. Unlike finding an advisor for an honors thesis project or dissertation, undergraduate advisors do not need to be aligned with a student's area of interest. If a change in advisor assignment is necessary, students should send a request to [email protected] and expect a reply in 2-4 days.

More information on the ASK system can be found below.

When do I declare my concentration?  
Students must declare a concentration online using Advising Sidekick (ASK) no later than the middle of their fourth semester (usually spring semester of sophomore year).  Students who choose MCM as a second concentration may declare it at any time during the year. Transfer students who enter Brown with fourth or fifth semester standing must declare a concentration in their first term at Brown.  Brown-RISD Dual Degree students may declare as late as the sixth semester if MCM is their first concentration (please see below).

What is the difference between Theory based and Practice based tracks in MCM?  
Theory based focuses on the theories and histories of media. Practice based focuses on production alongside theory. Both tracks require eleven courses.

If I am double-concentrating in MCM and another department, how many courses can I count towards both?  
Students who declare a double concentration may count up to two courses that are also counted towards concentration credit in another department or program for concentration credit in MCM.

Course Work

Does MCM offer a Senior Capstone project?
Yes, the Capstone requirement is fulfilled through enrolling in a senior seminar (1500 or 1700). Other courses that count as a Capstone: MCM1970 (Independent study or research project); MCM1990 (Honors Thesis/Project). A senior capstone project enables students to synthesize knowledge gained in the (inter)discipline(s), often by allowing students to apply what they have learned. More information is available on the MCM website.

 How do I create an Independent Study within MCM?
Students may approach faculty members who previously taught them to discuss the possibility of an Independent Study.  An Independent Study is a credit-bearing course designed by a student in collaboration with a faculty member on a topic not covered by an existing Brown course. Students must enroll in MCM1970 Independent Study in Modern Culture and Media.

 How do I know if my MCM course also counts towards the university-wide WRIT requirement?
Many MCM courses count towards the university-wide WRIT requirement.  To find out which courses, please visit [email protected] and perform a search with “Writing - Designated Courses” selected for under “Curricular Programs.”

 I’ve noticed that MCM production courses require an application.  How do I register for these courses?
COVID-19 Instructions: Application required. Applications are available on the MCM website. Students must complete an application by the start of the fall term, September 9. The final class list will be determined by September 15.  Students who intend to apply to the course must request an override in [email protected] during pre-registration. Overrides will not be granted until the final class list is determined. 

MCM production courses require an application which should be submitted in hard copy to the professor at the first class meeting.  Applications are available in the MCM office (155 George Street) or online.  Applications vary depending on the course.  Enrollment is limited to fifteen students and the final class list will be determined after the first class. Students who intend to apply to the course must request an override in [email protected] during pre-registration, but overrides will not be granted until after the first class.

Outside Credits

I am a transfer student to Brown.  How do I apply courses taken at my previous institution towards a concentration in MCM?
Once courses are approved for university credit by the Registrar and the Office of the Dean of the College, you can schedule a meeting with the Transfer Credit Liaison, Regina Longo, who acts as the Subject Approver for MCM.  The DUS will determine if any of the courses you have taken at a previous institution are equivalent to MCM courses.  Please make sure to bring course syllabi to this meeting.  After the DUS approves your courses, you can enter them into the ASK system (see below).

How many study abroad courses am I allowed to apply towards my concentration in MCM?
A maximum of two courses taken abroad (or during domestic study away) can count towards the MCM concentration.  More information on study abroad credit equivalency can be found on the Office of International Programs website. To ensure that your specific courses will count towards the concentration, check with the Transfer Credit Liaison, Regina Longo, before studying away.  Upon your return, courses should be entered into the ASK system (see below) in order for concentration credit to be awarded.

Can I count an internship towards my concentration in MCM?
Per Brown’s policy, any internship completed for credit must also involve an independent study component.  Please see this website for more details on Academic Internships (AIs).  In order for the AI to count towards a concentration in MCM, the overseeing faculty member must be MCM faculty.

 Can I count courses taken in other departments at Brown towards my concentration in MCM?
Yes.  Some courses will be officially cross-listed with MCM.  If a course is not officially cross-listed with MCM but seems compatible with the MCM concentration, please contact your concentration advisor to discuss the course in question.

Honors

 What does the Honors thesis entail? Where can I see past MCM Honors Theses to get an idea of the work?
A list of previous MCM Honors Theses can be found on the MCM website.  Students may also call up previous projects in full from the Brown Library Reserves. First, locate the thesis in Josiah and select “Request This” to have the thesis sent to the John Hay Library and placed on reserve in your name. Next, you will be able to view the thesis in the Special Collections Reading Room.

 How do I apply for Honors in MCM?
Students should begin thinking about Honors projects in the junior year*. Applying for Honors is a two-step process. Students should reach out to their primary thesis advisor and submit a Memo of Intent in the spring of the junior year (sixth semester) and a finalized Honors Application at the beginning of the senior year (seventh semester).  For specific due dates and further information for mid-year graduates, please see the Honors Timeline.

*Please note that Brown-RISD Dual Degree students may submit the Memo of Intent in their eighth semester (please see below). 

Can I have a thesis reader from outside MCM?
Yes, but please read through the specific requirements carefully. Every thesis must be overseen by a primary thesis advisor and a second reader.

 I am a double concentrator in MCM and another department. May I pursue Honors in both concentrations?
Yes, but if honors in the particular concentration programs require a thesis, then only one thesis may be used to earn the honors distinction in only one concentration. In short, students may not use the same thesis to gain honors in more than one concentration. Instead, it must be a distinct work.

Department Resources

 How can I access the MCM Archives?
The MCM Archives are separate from Brown University’s library and museum holdings. They are housed in facilities managed by MCM.  For information on accessing these collections for research, study, or screenings, please contact the MCM Archivist, Dr. Regina Longo ([email protected]).

 I am an MCM Concentrator.  Can I borrow production equipment if I am not using it for an MCM course?
No.  Only students currently enrolled in MCM production courses and independent studies, or students working on their Honors Theses, are permitted to borrow equipment for course projects.

 How can I check out equipment for my MCM production course, independent study project, or Honors Thesis?
Information regarding equipment check out for MCM production courses or Honors theses are available on the MCM website.

 Do I have access to the editing suites after hours in order to work on course projects?Yes.  Students enrolled in MCM production courses can access the editing suites at 135 Thayer Street 24/7, unless they have been reserved for a course or workshop.

Work Opportunities

 How can I find work opportunities within MCM?
COVID-19 Instructions: The University hiring freeze extends to student employment. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Undergraduates may apply to work for a few hours a week in MCM.  Positions vary from semester to semester.  All jobs are posted in Workday and the Program Coordinator will send out open positions to concentrators via email as well.  In the past, positions open to undergraduates have included: Production Course Teaching Assistant, Digital Media Lab Assistant, Computer Lab Assistant, Audiovisual Media Projectionist, Office Assistant, and Graphic Designer.

Awards

Are there award or grant opportunities I can apply for outside of MCM?
The Brown Arts Initiative administers Student Grants that may be of interest to MCM concentrators.  Please see their website for more information on the application process.  The Program Coordinator will share relevant opportunities via email with MCM concentrators.

Student Production Funds are used to support production projects made in connection with MCM production courses, MCM courses with a required production component, MCM independent studies, or MCM honors theses. The Program Coordinator will share when applications for Student Production Funds are available. 

Fifth-Year Master’s Degree

How do I apply for a Fifth-Year Master’s Degree in MCM?
The Fifth-Year Master’s Degree allows an MCM concentrator to continue at Brown for a master’s degree after completing the bachelor’s degree. A student must apply for the program no later than the second week of the final semester of undergraduate study. Admission must be approved by both MCM and the Graduate School. Two courses taken as an undergraduate will be counted toward the master’s degree, leaving six courses to be taken in the postgraduate year.

Brown-RISD Dual-Degree

Can I apply to become a Brown-RISD Dual Degree Student after I have matriculated at Brown?
No. Students cannot transfer into the Dual Degree Program or apply to it after they have matriculated at Brown or RISD.

If I am a Brown-RISD Dual Degree Student, will some of my requirements or deadlines differ from those listed on the MCM website?
Yes.  Because the Dual Degree is a five-year program, some deadlines and requirements may be different for these students.  For example, Brown-RISD Dual Degree students may declare a concentration as late as the sixth semester, and can begin the process of applying for Honors at the end of the eighth semester. Please contact the Program Coordinator for specific deadlines.

Point People

Where is the contact information for point people in the department?
Kevin McLaughlin, Chair of MCM

Ariella Azoulay, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Honors Director

Jinying Li, Honors Director

Tina Campt, Junior and Senior Concentration Advisor

Bonnie Honig, Junior and Senior Concentration Advisor

Ellen Rooney, Junior and Senior Concentration Advisor

Regina Longo, Media Archivist, Sophomore Concentration Advisor, Transfer Credit Liaison

Liza Hebert, Department Manager

David Udris, Media and Technical Director

Hannah Zoll, Event and Screening Assistant, Program Coordinator

ASK (Advising Side Kick) System

If I am taking a course in another department that is cross-listed with MCM, how do I enter into the ASK system?
You should always enter courses as they appear on your registration.  Thus, a non-MCM course that is cross-listed with MCM should be added to your course list with the home department’s course number.  You must indicate in the “Notes” section if the course is cross-listed with MCM.

For example: GNSS 1720 Technologies of/and the Body: Mediated Visions (use the GNSS 1720 course number +  put a note about this being an MCM approved cross listed course MCM1504V)

If future courses are not yet advertised, how do I make a future plan in the ASK system?You can put a generic, placeholder course if you are undecided about which future course(s) you will take and count towards your MCM requirements (MCM 1200s, 1500s, 1700s, etc.).  See the image below for an example. You can go into the ASK system at any time to revise your course plan, changing the title/code to the specific course.

How do I revise my concentration courses in the ASK system?
If you want to submit a revision in ASK, you must check off the box "My declaration is complete" + hit “Save”!  Make sure you complete this two-step process because otherwise the change will not be “submitted” only “saved.”

How do I enter study abroad or transfer credits into the ASK system for the MCM Concentration?
Please visit the ASK information page for instructions on how to input outside courses into the ASK system. Remember that transfer courses must be approved by Dr. Regina Longo ([email protected]).