Jun 17, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Narrative Studies (BA)

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Narrative Studies prepares students for the development and evaluation of original content for novels, films, theatre and other narrative platforms, but recognizes that the range of professional opportunities in literature and the performing arts is much wider than the roles of author, screenwriter or playwright. To recognize a good story, to critique, help shape, realize and transform it, requires a background in the history of narrative, crosscultural and contemporary models, and an understanding of the broader context of popular culture.

Narrative Studies assumes that an effective narrative will be adapted from the medium in which it first appears as new media become available. To prepare students for a future in which the platform is likely to change, the Bachelor of Arts in Narrative Studies allows students to study across the current platforms while concentrating on the techniques of effective construction common to them all.

In so doing, it draws upon course work from several schools of art but finds its home in the humanities. To help develop the flexibility necessary to understand how stories change across platforms, students are expected to complete at least three courses in literary and three courses in performance-based media. The remaining three courses may be chosen to reflect the student’s personal preference and initial career aspirations.

MDA 490x Directed Research  or MDA 494 Directed Creative Project  are capstone experiences: Students work under the guidance of a faculty member in a relevant discipline or professional field, which may include fulltime faculty from the college or the participating schools of the arts. Projects intended for the stage should be done under the direction of School of Dramatic Arts faculty.


The Narrative Studies major requires 36 units distributed across six required categories, two upper-division electives, and a senior capstone project. Of the 36 units, only 12 units can be from schools outside of Dornsife (i.e. Cinematic Arts, Thornton, Roski, Dramatic Arts, etc.) and only 8 units can be lower-division (100-200 level).

Writing and Narrative Forms (choose one or two courses, totaling 4 units):

Two additional courses

(three if CTWR 412 /CTWR 414  are chosen) (8 units) at the upper-division 300 or 400 level, from different departments, chosen from the lists above.

Capstone Enrollment:

Total: 36 units

Nine or 10 courses, including at least seven at the upper-division level, for a total of 36 units.

*Prerequisite required

**Corequisite required

***Recommend preparation suggested

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