Explore the relationship between media and society through a flexible interdisciplinary curriculum examining film, television, advertising, video games and other emerging media. You will learn to respond creatively and pivot quickly when faced with technological, institutional, economic or social disruptions and challenges. You will graduate with a portfolio of work to impress future employers or graduate schools. Develop the skills necessary for living and working in the 21st century with a major or minor in Media and Society.

Student Spotlight


Major: Media and Society
Minors: French and Entrepreneurial Studies

“I love the way that our Media and Society professors provide such a well-rounded curriculum. They combine both academic analysis and media industry practices, and share practical knowledge that they have gained working in the field. I feel as though my professors have pushed me to be a better student and prepared me for life after HWS.”



Experiential EducationFrom Geneva to New York to Los Angeles

Attend film screenings at the Smith Center for the Arts in downtown Geneva or the Fish Screening Room in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Go on an excursion to the George Eastman Museum or study the history of video games at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester. Explore careers in media on a networking trip to New York City or Los Angeles.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.




No Borders:Global Education

Intern for an advertising agency in London or make a documentary about artisanal food cultures in Rome.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.



Belonging, Diversity and Equity

The Media and Society Program facilities discussions about race and intersectionality through our curriculum and programming. Study topics such as Black representation, feminist film theory, algorithm bias, and queer visual culture in our classrooms, public lectures, and screening events.  Make films, documentaries, and video games to foster belonging and enact social justice in our community and the world.

In September 2020, the department co-hosted the screening of “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a documentary about the Civil Rights leader and U.S. Representative, and a panel discussion with staff from the Colleges and community activists.

During fall 2021, students and faculty in Introduction to Media and Society worked to build a website comparing historical and contemporary news photographs. Students’ curation of images revealed continuities between the American media’s representation of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement, as well as between the Vietnam War and the war in Afghanistan.


Learn to analyze a wide range of media objects – from television commercials to documentary films to social media campaigns – and use that knowledge to create your own portfolio of work.


    Learn to examine advertisements as economic, aesthetic and ideological forces and discover how they can reveal crucial information about their time and place. Explore the history of advertising by analyzing the strategies, themes and practices of various campaigns and then craft your own.


    Study the theories and histories of experimental film making including structuralism, post-structuralism, feminist, queer, and radical Black trends. Approach the art of filmmaking as a socially and critically informed practice and then create your own.


    Cultures, Aesthetics, Politics: Explore the production, distribution, and consumption of video games as a global culture. Then, design your own.

Critical Museum Studies

Investigate the histories of practices of museums from a decolonial perspective while building the skills necessary to work in the industry through the Critical Museum Studies minor. You'll get to follow tracks like history museums and art museums and galleries that will allow you to focus on the issues and practices most relevant to the type of cultural space that most interests you. Students in all tracks gain experience with installation techniques, designing, cataloging, collections management, and writing exhibit labels. You'll leave prepared to work in and think critically about a variety of fields.



Experience movie theater quality during courses and presentations in the Fish Screening Room. Nestled inside the Gearan Center for the Perfoming Arts, the room features an 825 square-foot screen and seats 60 people.

Located at the heart of campus, the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts is a 65,000-square-foot facility that brings together Music, Dance, Theatre and Media and Society in a unified academic and community space.



Alum Impact


A California kid, William was determined to get a job in Hollywood, a lifelong dream of his. Through courses and work at Hobart and William Smith, he found that he loved using his voice to amplify the voices of others and discovered his passion for the communications industry.


  • ABC
  • CBS
  • MTV Networks
  • NBC Universal
  • Netflix
  • Peacock
  • TikTok
  • Yahoo! Europe
  • Condé Nast
  • Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin Group
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • John Wiley & Sons
  • Artsy’s Art Gallery
  • Christie’s
  • DreamYard Project
  • Playwrights Horizons
  • Women’s Way
  • IHS Markit
  • John Hancock Financial
  • MasterCard
  • Morgan Stanley


  • American University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business
  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland, Merrill College of Journalism
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Southern California