Communication is an ancient field of study, tracing its roots to the Golden Age of Greece when Aristotle studied rhetoric, the art of persuasion. Citizen participation in politics was at the heart of Greek democracy and the power of the spoken word was key to participation.

 During the 20th Century, communication inquiry began to broaden beyond its traditional focus to include knowledge gained from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other contemporary fields of study.  Scholars examined the effects of communication on attitude formation, interpersonal relationships, group decision making, and organizational behavior.  Meanwhile, the introduction of radio, television, and film further expanded the scope of the discipline. 

Today, students and faculty consider issues involving gender and communication, multiculturalism, ethics, health communication, media and public policy, and other current topics.  Understanding the process of communication is as important to our democracy as public speaking was for the ancient Greeks. 

 The bachelor of arts degree in communication provides comprehensive knowledge about the nature of communication, the symbol systems by which it functions, the environments in which it occurs, its media, and its effects.  Employing critical and empirical approaches, the program spans the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts.

The bachelor of arts in media studies focuses on understanding, creating, and exploiting various social and participatory media through a program of integrated courses in media writing, criticism, and production.  Our goal is to graduate literate, capable, and responsible media professionals. 

The Communication and Media Studies Department also offers two minors.  The minor in cinema studies and the minor in communication and media studies.

News & Events

Maine Association of Broadcasters Winners for 2015
Media Studies seniors Julia Giancola and Cathlin Smith have been chosen to receive the Maine Association of Broadcasters Award for spring 2015. Cat and Julia were chosen as a result of nomination from the media studies faculty at USM based on interest in broadcasting and their promise in the field. Thank you Maine Association of Broadcasters for funding this award! Read the recipients’ interviews …
interpretation of S(her)lock
Read about Media Studies senior Kate Tracy's Kickstarter campaign to fund a new web series, "S(her)lock". The series features a cast and crew of mostly USM students and aims to play with traditional gender roles and feminist theory. The Press Herald article is available here: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/12/30/usm-media-student-casting-female-lead-for-sherlock-web-series/ To check out the Kickstarter campaign, go to Kickstarter.com and search for S(her)lock.
Shot from Student Video
Student work from Professor Killmeier's media studies senior project class is now available on the Communication and Media Studies Production Vimeo page. Enjoy the show at http://vimeo.com/cmsvideo/videos.

The Cinema Studies Minor

The Circus poster with Charlie Chaplin

The Cinema Studies minor offers students a multidimensional understanding of film as form of art, product of industry, and mode of communication. The program can serve as a base of knowledge for students intending to enter careers in the media, as a foundation for further study, and/or as the opportunity to gain deeper insight into one of the most culturally significant media of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  For more information, contact Matthew Killmeier.

Internships in Communication and Media Studies

Interested in an internship in communication and media studies? Communication majors should contact Russell Kivatisky (russellk@maine.edu) and media studies majors contact Dennis Gilbert (dgilbert@maine.edu) regarding credit requirements.