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.  For more information about the online program, please visit Professional and Continuing Education at

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

I. Common Core (9 credit hours)
     CMS 102 Introduction to Communication
     CMS 103 Introduction to Media Studies
     CMS 200 Research Methods in Communication

II. Communication Theory (9 credit hours - select three)
     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 330 Theories of Interpersonal Communication
     CMS 332 Communication in the Family
     CMS 345 Small Group Communication
     CMS 360 Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age
     CMS 375 Meaning and Communication
     CMS 390 Theories of Organizational Communication
     CMS 398 Topics in Communication II

III. Media Theory (6 credit hours – select two)
     CMS 210 Topics in Media Criticism I
     CMS 240 Rhetoric, Media, and Culture
     CMS 284 Cinema Studies
     CMS 286 History of International Cinema to 1945
     CMS 288 History of International Cinema since 1945
     CMS 294 Visual Communication
     CMS 303 Media Effects
     CMS 310 Topics in Media Criticism II
     CMS 323 Understanding Technology
     CMS 370 Media and Social Change
     CMS 374 Media Criticism and Aesthetics
     CMS 380 Film Genres
     CMS 384 Topics in Cinema Studies
     CMS 394 Theories of Cinema
     CMS 423 The First Amendment

IV. Senior Experience (6 credit hours)

Senior Seminar (3 credit hours – select one)
     CMS 420 Communication and Cognition
     CMS 423 First Amendment
     CMS 480 Gender Communication
     CMS 484 Advanced Topics in Cinema Studies
     CMS 486 Women in Film
     CMS 490 Theories of Mass Communication
     CMS 498 Topics in Communication III

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

V. Electives (6 credit hours)

  • Communication majors may select any two courses offered by the Department as electives as long as they have met the prerequisites. The exceptions are internships and independent studies. These count toward the total number of credits needed for a bachelor of arts degree, but not as electives in the major.

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 Studie Capstone courses:

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