Program Overview

Discover your voice and develop your talents with the online Bachelor of Arts in Writing for Screen and Media from Point Park University. Storytellers are needed in today’s job market for everything from television and movies to video games and internet platforms. As one of only a handful of programs of its kind in the nation, the online B.A. in Writing for Screen and Media program helps writers gain the skills they need to successfully manage their own creative careers.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is taught by award-winning professionals and includes online courses in screenwriting and media production as well as courses designed to help students create content for journalism, television, video games, TV animation and more. The online format uniquely prepares students for the practical realities of working the format and medium required for their chosen careers. Students will complete a full portfolio of work, giving them an edge in a highly competitive job market.

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  • Next Start Date:January 7, 2018
  • Est. Program Length:2 - 4 Years
  • Credit Hours:120
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$433
 

Faculty Spotlight

Our faculty know the power of storytelling. Discover how that power relates to you with Writing for the Screen and Media professor Rick Hawkins.

Thematic Core Courses (42 credits)
  • COMM 101 – Oral Comm. & Pres.
  • ENGL 101 – College Composition
  • UNIV 101 – City-University Life
  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Investigate Mathematics
  • Interpret Creative Works
  • Understand People
  • Succeed in Business
  • Appreciate & Apply the Arts
  • Discover Technology
  • Senior Capstone – CINE 406 – Advanced Screenwriting II
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Course Description
This course included communication theory, as well as speech preparation, delivery, and communication technology. Student learning focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and impromptu speeches and presentations. Topics include research, analyzing and adapting audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages and effective use of visual aids and technology. This course will develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively with respect to audience and purpose. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of presentations ranging from one-on-one pitches, and small group discussion, to large audience speeches.
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Course Description
Students will write argument-based assignments leading to an independently researched project based on academic and professional goals. Students will be required to 1.) find and integrate a variety of sources, 2.) read and analyze these sources, 3.) develop strong thesis statements that reflect perspectives on topics or issues, and 4.) construct persuasive arguments that engage with the viewpoints of experts and commentators. As the term progresses, students will have the opportunity to re-think or revise the ideas and perspectives they explored in earlier writing assignments by engaging with peer feedback and revising earlier drafts. Placement recommendations will require students to take ENGL 101 as a three credit course OR in conjunction with an additional credit of lab or studio instruction. Students who earn F or NP grades in ENGL 101 will be required to re-take the course in conjunction with a one-credit Writing Studio course.*One Writing Intensive course in addition to ENGL 101 is required for graduation.
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Course Description
This course introduces students to the kinds of communities that people construct for themselves (e.g. social, political, artistic, etc.) and the values and dynamics that define such communities (e.g. cooperation, civility, tolerance, responsibility, etc.). The notion of what it means to be a responsible member of the “community” will actively be explored and discussed by engagement and analysis of multiple communities: the classroom community, the Point Park University community, and the Pittsburgh community. Students will also examine the responsibilities they have to their personal academic development.
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • GCS/MLNG 205 – Languages of the World
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210/POLS 204 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions
  • SOC/MLNG 260 – Japanese Culture
  • THEA 225 – History Theatre I
  • THEA 226 – History Theatre II
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • CHEM 101 – General Chemistry I
  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II
  • NSET 120 – Environmental Science
  • NSET 122 – The Science of Light
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • MATH 150 – The Mathematical Experience
  • MATH 175 – Elementary Statistics
  • MATH 180 – College Algebra
  • MATH 190 – Calculus I
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 252 – Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 120 – Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • ENGL 255 – Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature
  • JOUR 225 – Deconstructing the Story
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • EDUC 220 – Family and Community Diversity
  • EDUC 228 – Educational Psychology
  • HIST 206 – Foundations in Feminism: Women’s History in Western World
  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations
  • PSYC 203 – Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • PSYC 230 – Characterological and Psychotic in Film and Fiction
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BUS 404 – Business Ethics
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • CINE 170 – Intro to Screenwriting for Non-Majors
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts
  • EDUC 251 – Art and Music in Teaching
  • ENGL 200 – Creative Writing
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • MLNG 220 – French Literature in Translation
  • PHOT 101 – Photography for Non-Majors
  • THEA 230 – Introduction to Theatre
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Choose one from the following:

  • CMPS 114 – Problem Solving with Info Tech
  • DUC 101 – Technology Literacy in Education for the 21st Century
  • JOUR 103 – Graphic Design I
  • NSET 101 – Intro to Natural Sciences and Technology
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Course Description
Recognizing that drafting a professional quality screenplay is a process that often requires more than one academic semester, this course is designed for students who have started projects in other courses and are interested in continuing to develop and rewrite the concept. Students must have a completed draft at the start of the course. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
Departmental Major Requirements (45 credits)
  • CINE 101 – Intro to Cinema
  • CINE 102 – History of American Cinema
  • CINE 105 – Intro to Screenwriting
  • CINE 110 – History of International Cinema
  • CINE 150 – Production I
  • CINE 205 – Narrative Structure of Cinema
  • CINE 208 – Classical and Modern Drama
  • CINE 305 – Intermediate Screenwriting
  • CINE 306 – Story Analysis
  • CINE 3____ – Writing for Television
  • CINE 405 – Advanced Screenwriting
  • CINE 406 – Advanced Screenwriting II
  • CINE 412 – The Professional Writer’s Life
  • CINE 416 – Rewriting the Script
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Course Description
This course is an introduction to techniques and technologies of cinema production. The fundamental principles and practices of producing, cinematography, editing, directing and sound-design will be studied. Both traditional film and state-of-the-art digital tools and techniques will be discuss
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Course Description
The course will focus on the history of American cinema, decade by decade, from the early experiments with moving images through the invention of sound, color, and digital effects. Students will study the evolution of cinematic form, style and language as well as the social and artistic impact of the medium on socie
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Course Description
This course is designed as an introduction to screenwriting. Students will, for the first part of the semester, learn the elements of storytelling and apply that knowledge to the analysis of short and feature length stories. For the second part of the semester, students will take the knowledge gained in the first part of the semester and apply it to short scripts that they will develop and rewrit
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Course Description
This course is designed as an introduction to the history of international/global film. Students will screen films from around the globe and will study the economic and geo-political forces that shaped the film industries of certain countries and created film movements and genres. Prerequisites: CINE 10
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Course Description
This course is an introduction to the basic principles and practices of cinema production. Students will learn the fundamentals of single-camera production including the basic aesthetic and technical aspects of producing, directing, cinematography and film editing. Lectures, screenings and in-class exercises will focus on teaching students the skills they need to write, shoot and edit three short films outside of class. Each project will incorporate new skills and demand a higher level of proficiency from the filmmaker. Student work will be screened and discussed in class. Prerequisites: CINE 101 & CINE 105
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Course Description
An in-depth analysis of the structure, formulas and storytelling techniques of the feature length screenplay will be the focus of the course. Students will study a wide range of successful films and discover the common elements that they share. Prerequisites: CINE 105
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Course Description
Recognizing theatre as one of the cornerstones of cinema, this course is a survey and analysis of historically significant plays that examines common elements of dramatic structure, character development, and theme as they relate to, and have influenced, cinematic forms. Prerequisite: CINE 205.
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Course Description
This course is designed for students who wish to advance their screenwriting skills and move beyond the introductory course. In the first half of the course students will be challenged to pitch an original short film idea and follow through with its development to a completed draft & rewrite. During the second half of the course, students will pitch an idea for a commercial feature length film, which they will continue to develop, culminating in the completion of a detailed outline of their feature. Prerequisite: CINE 205.
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Course Description
Students will learn the skills of professional screenplay analysis, including, writing a concise plot synopsis, evaluating a script based on structure, character, theme and market ability, and developing a detailed plot outline. Prerequisite: CINE 250.
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Choose one of the following courses:

CINE 362 – Writing the Half-Hour Comedy

With its origins in radio and its future in new media, the situation comedy has been a staple of television since its inception. In this course students study the classics of the genre, write an episode of a current situation comedy, and develop and pitch an original concept for a comedy series. Prerequisite: CINE 305.

CINE 363 – Writing the Hour TV Drama

One of the principle forms of entertainment on television, the hour drama has remained popular with audiences for generations. In this course students examine the classics of the genre, write an episode of a current hour drama, and develop and pitch an original concept for a series. Prerequisite: CINE 305.

CINE 368 – TV Animation Writing

Television animation scripts look very much like all other kinds of scripts. Yet there are numerous differences, some subtler than others, between writing for animators to interpret rather than writing for those who produce live-action motion pictures and television. Writing for TV Animation provides students an opportunity to explore the craft of creating speculative screenplays for existing television series, enabling each student to gain and in-depth understanding of what is required to work as a professional writer in the TV animation industry. Prerequisites: CINE 305.

CINE 369 – Writing the Web Series

Students will study and practice the essential elements and conventions for writing, producing, marketing, and distributing the web series including concept, character, structure, budget, and audience. Students will write the pilot episode for an original web series as well as four polished episodes of their web series.

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Course Description
This course is designed as an introduction to the history of international/global film. Students will screen films from around the globe and will study the economic and geo-political forces that shaped the film industries of certain countries and created film movements and genres. Prerequisites: CINE 102.
×
Course Description
This course is designed for students to examine, create and pitch an original, feature film idea, and through a writers’ workshop experience, develop it through outlining and crafting a polished first draft of a screenplay. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
×
Course Description
Recognizing that drafting a professional quality screenplay is a process that often requires more than one academic semester, this course is designed for students who have started projects in other courses and are interested in continuing to develop and rewrite the concept. Students must have a completed draft at the start of the course. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
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Course Description
This course is an amalgamation of CINE 311 – The Writer’s Life and CINE 348 – The Cinema Arts Professional, providing students with a more streamlined focus on the aspects of being a professional writer. Subjects include an overview of professional writing forms including writing for film, television, interactive media, journalism, broadcasting and public relations. Students will engage with professional writers in various media to gain a comprehension of the professional writer’s life.  Topics will also include job search strategies, compiling an effective portfolio, personal and business finance, and helping a student transition into a professional career.
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Course Description
It is often said that writing is really all about rewriting.  Among the many necessary skills that a screenwriter must master in order to become a seasoned professional is the ability to rewrite, revise, and polish their own work, as well as rewriting the work of others.  This course will enable students to dig deeper, to hone and improve the work that they have produced in other classes.  The goal of this class is for each student to produce a well-polished, market-ready feature length script.
Professional Media Writing Requirement (12 credits)
Choose four of the following courses: (must include BMGT 221)
  • BMGT 221 – Business Comm. & Research
  • JOUR 150 – Journalistic Writing and Editing
  • JOUR 220 – Writing for the Multimedia and Web
  • JOUR 255 – Public Relations Writing
  • JOUR 306 – Social Media Practices
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Course Description
The objectives, methods and forms of business communications; business research and the classification and presentation of findings. Prerequisites: BMGT 101; ENGL 101.
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Course Description
This course will introduce students to professional-level writing and editing skills and techniques. Students will learn to recognize news, conduct interviews, report and collect information, and then write in a variety of formats, including news, feature and narrative, opinion and news feature, all of which are applicable to information provided in the traditional mass media, advertising and public relations, and multimedia applications. Students will learn how to edit and prepare copy for publication and dissemination in those formats.
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Course Description
This course will provide students with the skills necessary to write multimedia content for many different media platforms, including advertising, public relations, journalism, photography, and video. This class will cover Web writing skills, including writing for search engine optimization (SEO), social media and blogging. Upon completion of this course, students will have a variety of written assignments spanning multiple disciplines to add to their portfolios. Prerequisite: JOUR 150
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Course Description
This course will cover devices used in persuasive writing, internal communication and media relations, including both paid and unpaid messages to reach target audiences and stakeholders (or publics). Students will use creative skills and learn the many writing styles and techniques an organization uses to communicate with its varied audiences (or publics). This course is equivalent to IMC 330
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Course Description
This course will provide students the conceptual and technical understanding of the power and philosophy of social media. The course will specifically focus on how social media is changing media, business, journalism and government in fundamental ways. Upon completion of this course, students will have practical knowledge in the use of social media tools and building and maintaining an online community as well as a solid foundation in writing and reporting for social media. Prerequisite: 30+ credits
General Electives (12 credits)
Electives provide students with the opportunity to study content areas that meet personal, professional, or vocational interests.
Major Elective Requirements (12 credits)
In addition to the Writing for Television Requirement, students may take other TV courses as electives. Choose four of the following courses:
  • CINE 301 – Cinema Studies
  • CINE 302 – Cinema Authors
  • CINE 308 – History of Television
  • CINE 326 – Acting and Directing for Writers and Filmmakers
  • CINE 350 – Production III
  • CINE 362 – Writing the Half-Hour Comedy
  • CINE 363 – Writing the Hour TV Drama
  • CINE 365 – Writing the Adaptation
  • CINE 367 – Writing Video Games
  • CINE 368 – TV Animation Writing
  • CINE 369 – Writing the Web Series
  • CINE 398 – Production Crew
  • CINE 495 – Special Topics
  • CINE 498 – Internship
  • CINE 499 – Independent Study
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Course Description
The CINE 301 courses are designed to allow students to explore the depths, via review and analysis, of specific periods, histories and topics of cinema already covered in the freshman year sequence of courses. Some of the courses already offered have been Film Noir; Women Filmmakers; The French New Wave, an Overview; The Horror Film; Five International Masters; Comedy on Film; and American Cinema of the 1970s-The Age of the American Auteur. Prerequisite: CINE 110.
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Course Description
The courses comprising the Cinema Authors sequence have been developed to pinpoint one specific filmmaker’s work for analysis over the span of an entire term in order for the students to have a deeper understanding of artistic evolution and an appreciation of such. Courses already offered have detailed the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Joel and Ethan Coen. Prerequisite: CINE 110.
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Course Description
An overview of television as a means of popular entertainment, this course also examines how social,
technological, and market forces have influenced the evolution of the medium. Prerequisite: CINE 102.
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Course Description
In order to create successful screenplays, writers must have an understanding of how directors and actors interpret their work. Students will have the opportunity to work as a director in analyzing and staging scenes, and as an actor in creating a character and developing a performance, with the goal of understanding the challenges of translating the written word to the stage or screen. Prerequisite: CINE 150.
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Course Description
Students will work in groups to produce a narrative or documentary short that approaches professional quality. Each project will be a collaborative effort, created with involvement of a student screenwriter, producer, director, cinematographer, editor, and sound designer. Prerequisite: CINE 305, 310, 315, 320, 330, or 340.*With Program Director Approval Only. May count as a Major or General Elective.
×
Course Description
With its origins in radio and its future in new media, the situation comedy has been a staple of television since its inception. In this course students study the classics of the genre, write an episode of a current situation comedy, and develop and pitch an original concept for a comedy series. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
×
Course Description
One of the principle forms of entertainment on television, the hour drama has remained popular with audiences for generations. In this course students examine the classics of the genre, write an episode of a current hour drama, and develop and pitch an original concept for a series. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
×
Course Description
Many successful screenplays are adapted from other sources. In this course, students will find preexisting material, whether it is a book, short story, song, biography, or graphic novel, and develop it into a feature or web series or short script. Students are encouraged to obtain the rights to any materials they choose to adapt. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
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Course Description
Writing for Video Games is designed to provide students an introduction to the narrative gaming industry as well as cover the functions of the narrative video game writer. Topics covered include game theory, history of video games and games consoles, game studios today, gaming structure, and the documents created in video game development. Students will pitch and develop their own video game concepts along with corresponding documents to leave the course with a portfolio of materials. Prerequisite: CINE 305.
×
Course Description
Television animation scripts look very much like all other kinds of scripts. Yet there are numerous differences, some subtler than others, between writing for animators to interpret rather than writing for those who produce live-action motion pictures and television. Writing for TV Animation provides students an opportunity to explore the craft of creating speculative screenplays for existing television series, enabling each student to gain and in-depth understanding of what is required to work as a professional writer in the TV animation industry. Prerequisites: CINE 305.
×
Course Description
Students will study and practice the essential elements and conventions for writing, producing, marketing, and distributing the web series including concept, character, structure, budget, and audience. Students will write the pilot episode for an original web series as well as four polished episodes of their web series.
×
Course Description
This course allows students the ability to gain useful, practical experience working on the film sets of junior- and senior-level productions. Functioning as a member of a crew in a professional-style production environment, students learn the roles and practices of a specific department on a film set, practice and develop collaborative skills, and through engagement with a faculty mentor, reflect on and learn from the experience, to prepare them for future production work. This course may be taken up to three times, for a total of 3 credits. Prerequisite: CINE 101.
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Course Description
To make available experimental or non-traditional studies or to use the talents of a particular professor,
departments periodically offer courses in special topics. These courses are designated with 295, 395, or 495 course numbers.
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Course Description
Individualized based on internship location. Prerequisites: CINE 250.
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Course Description
Independent studies are offered if a comparable course is not available on campus or at another institution. Students must secure a faculty supervisor and obtain permission from a department chair before registering for an independent study. Students must illustrate achievement of the independent study course objectives/learning outcomes in order to receive credit. The student must interact with the faculty member on a regular and substantive basis to assure progress within the course.

Students applying for entry into Point Park University’s B.A. in Writing for Screen and Media program should complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit official transcripts. To submit your transcripts, print and complete the official transcript request form and fax it to 1-800-473-2512.
  3. Submit a creative portfolio.
  4. Complete interview with faculty.

Career Outcomes

Earning a bachelor’s degree can open the door to new professional opportunities. Because the B.A. in Writing for Screen and Media curriculum is personally designed by each student, you can build your program of study to support your unique career goals.
Film

Those who work in the film industry use their communication skills to help tell compelling stories for varied audiences. They may outline story ideas, craft fascinating characters, adapt other written works for the screen format, conduct research and much more. Job titles include screenwriters, script editors, script readers, script supervisors or development professionals.

Journalism

Journalism spans print, radio, television and internet formats. Professionals in journalism must be skilled in written and verbal communication, research, critical thinking, hitting deadlines and assessing the appropriate ways to present stories for varied media sources. Journalism professionals may hold job titles such as broadcast journalist, editorial assistant, publicist, copy editor or reporter.

Public Relations

Professionals in public relations work to influence how organizations are perceived by the public. They must be keenly aware of and have the capacity to successfully analyze current events and industry trends. Specific areas within this field may include media relations, market communication, community relations, special events, crisis management, research and employee communication.

Social Media Management

Those in social media management handle the daily operations and overall strategies for an organization’s social media efforts. Responsibilities such as scheduling posts, managing online communities, participating in digital conversations, providing customer service or designing approaches for SEO practices are common. Specific job titles might include content manager, content strategist, engagement coordinator, community manager or interactive media associate.

Content Creation

Content creation professionals help organizations sell their products and services by writing and designing content that is easy for search engines to find. They may conduct research and write blogs or news articles as well as copy for banner ads, landing pages and product descriptions. Job titles may include copywriter, media content creator or digital content creator.

Advertising

Those in advertising work to promote goods or services through media such as print, digital formats, radio and television. They may work in any stage of planning or executing campaigns, research audiences to better tailor their work and collaborate with teams to better understand the needs of their clients. Specific job titles may include copy associate, editor, media specialist, advertising assistant or media account manager.

Next Steps

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Official Transcripts

Print and complete the Transcript Request Form and fax it to 1-800-473-2512

Download Transcript Form