Chairperson: Ana C. Garner, Ph.D.

The media studies major is an undergraduate interdisciplinary communication major that examines the media’s relationship with, and role in, democratic society. Rooted in the liberal arts disciplines, the major is for students who want to understand the mediated messages through which contemporary society is constructed. Courses for the major cover all types of media, placing them within their historical, cultural, social, economic, legal and ethical contexts. Students engage in critical, cultural analysis to assess media practices and structures and the impact these have on individual perceptions, issues of social justice, public policy and the media themselves.

The major focuses upon critical inquiry and analysis of the media’s role and impact on contemporary society rather than upon media skills. Students who complete this major are, for example, able to: 1) understand and articulate the historical and legal practices and relationships between media, culture and society, 2) critically evaluate the ethical responsibilities of media in society and 3) apply relevant theories and research methods to gauge the individual and social impact of media messages. The major is appropriate for students who are pursuing careers in law, business, politics, teaching, the media professions, or media-driven businesses and industries, or who are planning to pursue graduate studies.

Media Studies Major

A total of 36 credit hours are required.

Students whose first major is advertising, digital media, journalism or public relations may not double major in media studies.

Required Courses:

COMM 3800Media Law3
COMM 3900Ethical Problems of Mass Communications3
COMM 4500Race and Gender Issues in Mass Media3
or COMM 4550 Media and the "Other"
COMM 4750Media, Technology and Culture3
COMM 4999Senior Thesis3
CMST 4350Modern Rhetorical Theory and Criticism3
DGMD 4850Television Criticism3
or FILM 2280 Film and Popular Culture
JOUR 4600Journalism History3
Electives (refer to course options below)12
Total Credit Hours36

Elective Courses:

International Advertising and Public Relations
Mass Media and the American Family
International Communication
Mass Communication Theory and Research
Media Management
Media and Politics
Seminar in Communication
Communication Technologies in the Workplace
History of Documentary Film
Digital Campaign Strategies, Planning and Analysis
Topics in Digital Media
Topics in Film Studies
Economic and Social Aspects of Film
Total Credit Hours0

Note: No more than two courses outside of the COMM designation may be taken within a major area (e.g. DGMD) without prior approval.

Typical Program for Media Studies Major

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
COMM 1000 or 12003COMM 1200 or 10003
COMM 10501COMM 1100 or elective3
ENGL 1001 or ESSV1 (MCC )3ENGL 1001 or ESSV1 (MCC)3
PHIL 1001 or THEO 1001 (MCC)3PHIL 1001 or THEO 1001 (MCC)3
Electives6Minor or elective3
 16 15
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
COMM 25003DSCV (MCC)1, 23
COMM 1100 or elective3DSCV (MCC)1, 23
CORE 1929 (MCC)3Minor or electives9
DSCV (MCC)1,23 
Minor or electives3 
 15 15
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
COMM 38003COMM 39003
COMM 47503COMM 4500 or 45503
JOUR 46003CMST 43503
DSCV (MCC)1, 23Media Studies electives6
Minor or elective3 
 15 15
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
DGMD 4850 or FILM 22803COMM 49993
CORE 4929 (MCC)3Media Studies elective3
Media Studies elective3Minor or electives8
Minor or electives6 
 15 14
Total credit hours: 120