2023-2024 Catalog


The Media Arts & Culture Department (MAC) integrates the study of film and media, digital and visual culture, and media production, working with students to engage an increasingly participatory media landscape. We produce graduates who are media literate, technologically savvy, critically engaged, and culturally and historically informed.

Our students research and write about a broad range of topics in the fields of film and media; they create a wide variety of audiovisual media, including fiction, documentary, and experimental work; they advance media making beyond the screen into installation, public, and mobile spaces; and they learn new tools for digital scholarship. Students produce senior comprehensives capstone work in one of two concentrations: Critical Media or Media Production. All students, regardless of their project choice, are expected to push the boundaries of media scholarship, project form, and modes of audiovisual communication.

Note that given its rigor and course sequencing, it is not possible to complete the MAC major in less than three years. In accordance with College Policy, students must declare the major by the end of their sophomore year. In order to do so they must have successfully completed two 4-unit courses in MAC, one of which must be a designated gateway course. In accordance with College Policy, students must attain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in these two courses in order to be accepted as a major. It is therefore strongly recommended that students initiate coursework and meet with a MAC faculty member to map out a plan of study in their first year. 

If interested in a study abroad semester, this must occur in the fall of junior year, as junior majors must be at Occidental in the spring for required advanced-level coursework. MAC Senior Comprehensives is a year-long fall/spring semester process, and so majors must commit to being present at Occidental for a full senior academic year.

Given the demand for the MAC major and the particular sequencing of classes, transfer students entering as juniors are not able to pursue the MAC major but are welcome to consult with MAC faculty in developing a five-course MAC minor.