Communication and Media Studies Department

BA in Communication

The communication bachelor of arts degree program takes a broad view of communication including the examination of face-to-face contexts and mediated ones. The program examines communication theories and their practices including intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organization, intercultural, gender and family, and mass media. 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. This program embraces a liberal arts philosophy and emphasizes critical thinking rather than vocational training.

This degree program can also be taken in a fully online format. 

Major Requirements (36 credit hours)
A grade of "C" or higher is required in all courses for the major.  

Foundation Courses (6 credits)
     CMS 102 Introduction to Communication
     CMS 200 Research Methods in Communication

Communication Courses (15 credits)
     CMS 190 Nonverbal Communication
     CMS 201 Introduction to Public Relations
     CMS 235 Communicating Security
     CMS 242 Communication and Social Media
     CMS 255 Business and Professional Communication
     CMS 265 Intrapersonal Communication
     CMS 272 Persuasion
     CMS 290 Intercultural Communication
     CMS 298 Topics in Communication I
     CMS 303 Media Effects
     CMS 323 Understanding Technology
     CMS 330 Theories of Interpersonal Communication
     CMS 332 Communication in the Family
     CMS 345 Small Group Communication
     CMS 350 Internet and Society
     CMS 360 Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age
     CMS 374 Media Criticism and Aesthetics
     CMS 375 Meaning and Communication
     CMS 390 Theories of Organizational Communication
     CMS 398 Topics in Communication II

Senior Seminar (3 credits)
     CMS 401 Launching into Life After College
     CMS 423 First Amendment
     CMS 480 Gender Communication
     CMS 497 On Bullshit
     CMS 498 Topics in Communication III

Topics courses allow faculty to develop and offer new courses on a rotating basis. Some previous courses include, Intergenerational Communication and the Internet, Discursive Practices, Communication in Sports, Crisis and Risk Management, and Communication Revolutions.

Capstone Senior Seminar (3 credit hours)
     CMS 495 Theories of Communication

CMS Electives (9 credits)
Communication majors may select any three courses offered by the Department as electives as long as they have fulfilled the necessary prerequisites. This includes CMS 430 Communication Internship (up to 3 credits can be used in this category). Majors are strongly encouraged to take additional internship credits, which will count toward the 120 needed for graduation. Internship experiences involve students in the community and strengthen resumes. Please contact Dr. Kivatisky ( if you are interested in an internship.

For the best overall Financial Aid package, submit your USM application and complete your FAFSA by January 15. However, you can apply at any time. Undergraduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  


Learn More about the Undergraduate Application Requirements & Process

Many Students opt for the double major in Communication and Media Studies. A total of 51 credit hours are required in CMS for a double major in Communication and Media Studies. A total of 120 credit hours are required for a bachelor's degree at USM. For major credit, students must receive a "C" or higher on major coursework. To fulfill requirements for the double major, the following courses are required:  

CORE COURSES- 9 credit hours (3 courses)

CMS 102 Introduction to Communication
CMS 103 Introduction to Media Studies
CMS 200 Research Methods in Communication

COMMUNICATION THEORY COURSES- 9 credit hours (3 courses)

Select three-CMS 242, CMS 255, CMS 265, CMS 290, CMS 298, CMS 272, CMS 275, CMS 330, CMS 332, CMS 345, CMS 360, CMS 375, CMS 385, CMS 390, and CMS 398

MEDIA THEORY COURSES- 9 credit hours (3 courses)

Select three-CMS 210, CMS 215, CMS 240, CMS 284, CMS 286, CMS 288, CMS 294, CMS 303, CMS 323, CMS 310, CMS 350, CMS 375, CMS 355, CMS 370, CMS 374, CMS 380, CMS 394, CMS 423, and PHI 211

MEDIA WRITING COURSES- 6 credits (2 courses)

Select two CMS writing courses-CMS 150, CMS 274, CMS 202, CMS 205, CMS 225, CMS 300, CMS 302, CMS 305, CMS 315 and  CMS 325

MEDIA PRODUCTION COURSES- 6 credit hours (2 courses)

Select two CMS production courses-CMS 203/204, CMS 220, CMS 222, CMS 320, 322, CMS 340/341, CMS 440/441 and CMS 460

COMMUNICATION SENIOR COURSES- 6 credit hours (2 courses)
Communication senior seminar:

Select one -CMS 420, CMS 423, CMS 432, CMS 475, CMS 480, CMS 484, CMS 485, CMS 486, and CMS 498

Communication Capstone: 

CMS 495 Theories of Communication (available most semesters)

MEDIA STUDIES SENIOR COURSES- 6 credit hours (2 courses)

Media Studies Capstone courses:

CMS 400 Senior Project (every fall semester)
CMS 450 Service Learning Practicum (every spring semester)