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BA in Communications

The mission of the BA in communications program is to equip students with an adaptable approach to the rapidly evolving nature of media-related careers. The breadth and flexibility of the major enables a strategic integration of courses in which students learn professional practices, analytical techniques and expertise on the media's wider social, cultural and economic relationships.

The program's required courses foster key learning outcomes that emphasize the skills sought by both demanding employers and competitive graduate programs:

  • Effective communication skills to convey ideas clearly and concisely in writing and in oral presentations
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving with respect to the challenges and issues facing media industries, professionals and the public
  • The ability to conduct, analyze, critique and apply research related to the media
  • Understanding of the complex relationships among media institutions, producers, texts, audiences/users and wider society

Communications students obtain positions in diverse professional environments, including television networks, the music industry, public relations and marketing firms, advertising agencies and media research organizations. The program also prepares students to enter graduate training in business, law, journalism, public relations and education.

Curriculum + Requirements

The required curriculum for the communications degree, including a wide range of elective courses.

Major Requirements (39 credits minimum)

Course Title Credits
Required Core Courses (12 credits)
JRN 160* Introduction to Media Writing 3
MSS 101* Media Industries and Trends 3
MSS 220* Media History 3
MSS 340 Communications Law and Policy 3
Other Required media studies courses (15 credits)
MSS 231 Media & Society 3
MSS 332 Research Methods 3
MSS 450 Senior Seminar 3
COM 490 Internship 3
MSS 495 Media Analysis & Critique (capstone) 3
Electives (select three) (9 credits)
COM/HS 307 The Holocaust 3
MSS/WS 311 Diversity in the Media 3
MSS 320 Communication Technologies 3
MSS 344 Popular Culture & the Media 3
MSS/WS 345 Media Users & Audiences 3
MSS 346 Global Communication 3
MSS 348 Song & Dance 3
MSS 349/PO 348 Political Communication 3
MSS 400 Special Topics 3
MSS/SPS 420 Sports, Media & Society 3
And/or any PRR, JRN or FVI courses -- other non-School of Communications courses with chair's approval.
Open Elective (3 credits)

*Must be completed by the end of sophomore year with a minimum B- average