2013-14 Catalogs

CMS Overview

Chair of the Department: David Pierson, 126 Bedford Street, Portland

Professors: Shedletsky; Associate Professors: Killmeier, Lockridge, Panici, Pierson; Assistant Professors: Kivatisky, Rogers; Lecturers: Ebben, Gilbert; CMS Production Center Manager and Lab Instructor: Ives, Administrative Specialist: Towns

The Department of Communication and Media Studies offers two bachelor of arts degrees, one in communication and the other in media studies. These two degree programs are distinct in several ways. In terms of focus, the communication degree program takes a broad view of communication, including the examination of face-to-face contexts and mediated ones. The media studies degree program more specifically focuses on media writing, criticism, and production. Another difference in these degree programs occurs at the senior level. Media studies majors prepare a senior project (intended to serve as a portfolio of their writing and/or production work) and participate in a service learning practicum (working for a community organization in a media capacity). Communication majors take two senior seminars. One seminar is chosen from a list of topics and the other is a capstone seminar designed to be a culmination of their undergraduate work and as a transition to graduate studies. Aside from the differences that make each program unique, the programs share a common core of courses that serve as a foundation for both. The two programs also embrace a liberal arts philosophy. This means that the emphasis is on critical thinking rather than vocational training.

The Department of Communication and Media Studies offers courses on both the Portland and Gorham campuses.  Additionally, several CMS courses are offered online.  

All students must complete CMS 102: Introduction to Communication, CMS 103: Introduction to Media Studies, and CMS 200: Research Methods in Communication. These are the core courses that serve as the foundation for both degree programs. Introduction to Communication and Introduction to Media Studies provide students with an overview of the field. Research Methods in Communication prepares students to decipher and critically analyze various types of research.

Students must receive a grade of C or higher in all required courses in their respective degree programs in order to graduate. The Department of Communication and Media Studies is pleased to accept transfer credit from other accredited institutions of higher learning. Students wishing to receive credit for courses taken outside of USM will need to meet with the chair of the Department in order to discuss specific courses. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 credits in the major. The transfer of credits is at the discretion of the Department. Students are encouraged to contact us with any questions about the Department or our programs.

For students interested in pursuing a double major in Communication and Media Studies, please check the double major requirements posted on the department's website. The Department also offers minors in Communication and Media Studies and Cinema Studies. The Department of Communication and Media Studies website is available through the directory on the University's web homepage.