Communication and Media Studies, BA

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies equips graduates with a solid theoretical and historical understanding of human communication, combined with practical skills in professional writing and speaking. Students in the CMS program may elect to focus their degree studies in Media Production, Communication and Human Relations, or Media and Cultural Studies.

Student organizations that are designed to support, augment, and supplement the educational and professional development of students in the CMS program include the Bent Tree (student newspaper), and CSU Radio and Television.

Communication and Media Studies Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the BA program in Communication and Media Studies will demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. Communicate effectively using multiple channels of communication;
  2. Conduct primary and secondary research on media products and communicative practices;
  3. Critically analyze the aesthetic dimensions and layered meanings of past and present communication and media products;
  4. Understand theoretical perspectives on communication, media and global culture;
  5. Apply media aesthetics to the production of communication vehicles using appropriate technologies; and,
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical theories, professional standards and legal constraints in communication and media environments.

Communication and Media Studies Writing Assessment Requirement

CMS majors and minors are required to pass the CMS Writing Assessment in order to complete the degree. Students are strongly encouraged to take this assessment soon after passing ENGL 1102 English Composition II. A passing score is a prerequisite for several required CMS courses, so failure to pass the test in a timely manner may result in a delay in graduation. The test is administered at the campus Testing Center and may be repeated, but it is offered only one time per semester.

Students may also fulfill the CMS Writing Assessment Requirement by enrolling in ENGL 3900 Professional & Tech. Writing, passing the course with a C or better, and notifying the Visual and Performing Arts department chair or the CMS Coordinator in writing that they have passed the course and need to have their academic records updated.

Program Requirements

Communication and Media Studies students must earn a grade of C or higher for all courses applied toward upper-division requirements. Upper-division courses are all courses other than those of Areas A through F. 1000- or 2000-level courses used in the upper division are included in this restriction.

Core Curriculum (Areas A-E)42
All Core Curriculum requirements for the Communication and Media Studies major are shown under Core Curriculum in the Graduation Requirements section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
Lower Division Major Requirements (Area F)18
CMS 2010Introduction to Media Studies3
CMS 2100Introduction to Film3
Spoken Communication and International Language6-9
Choose two or three from the following: 1
Public Speaking 2
Intermediate French I
Intermediate French II
Intermediate Spanish I
Intermediate Spanish II
Media Production or Aesthetics6-9
Choose two or three from the following:
2-D Design/Color Theory
Digital Imaging I
Intro to Aesthetics
Intro to Field Production
Introduction to Acting
Major Area Core Requirements24
CMS 3020Research Methods3
CMS 3101Media and Culture3
CMS 3200History of Communication3
COMM 3300Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 3210Communication Theory3
CMS 3710Writing for Digital Media3
CMS 3901Internship/Practicum for CMS I3
CMS 4500Global Contexts in C.M.S.3
Concentration Requirements21
Choose one option/concentration from the following:
Minor/Guided Electives15
Choose 15 hours of guided electives toward completion of a minor (encouraged): 3
Total Credit Hours120

Option/Concentration Requirements (Choose the CMS Electives option or one of the three concentrations below)

Communication and Media Studies Electives Option

Choose 21 hours from the following:
Any 3000-4000 level class with a CMS or COMM or JOUR prefix (not designated to be used elsewhere in the upper division requirements),
Intro to Creative Writing
Professional & Tech. Writing
Critical Theory
Playwriting
Acting for the Camera
Total Credit Hours21

Media Design and Production Concentration

Choose seven courses from the following:
Media Industries
Communication Law
Lighting for Motion Pictures
Audio Recording & Sound Design
Writing & Editing - Mass Media
Introduction to Public Relatio
Introduction to Broadcasting
Corporate Communication Design
New Media Design
Advanced Media Production
Digital Video Production
Digital Video Post-Production
Modes of Video Production I
Modes of Video Production II
Modes of Video Production III
Public Relations Prin. & Prac.
Audio Podcasting
Selected Topics in CMS I (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS II (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS III (upon approval)
Directed Research in CMS
Communication in Context I (upon approval)
Communication in Context II (upon approval)
Communication in Context III (upon approval)
Principles Project Management
Voiceover
Acting for the Camera
Total Credit Hours21

Organizational and Corporate Concentration

Choose seven courses from the following:
Media Industries
Communication Law
Writing & Editing - Mass Media
Introduction to Advertising
Introduction to Public Relatio
Introduction to Broadcasting
Corporate Communication Design
New Media Design
Public Relations Prin. & Prac.
Crisis & Change Communication
Social Media
Selected Topics in CMS I (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS II (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS III (upon approval)
Directed Research in CMS
Professional Speaking
Communication in Context I (upon approval)
Communication in Context II (upon approval)
Communication in Context III (upon approval)
Rhetorical Criticism
Persuasion
Communication Technologies
Principles Project Management
Organizational Communication
Nonverbal Communication
Interracial Communication
Intercultural Communication
Professional & Tech. Writing
Total Credit Hours21

Advocacy and Social Justice Concentration

Choose seven courses from the following:
Communication Law
Writing & Editing - Mass Media
New Media Design
Media Industries
Film Analysis and Criticism
Television Criticism
Crisis & Change Communication
Social Media
Selected Topics in CMS I (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS II (upon approval)
Selected Topics in CMS III (upon approval)
Media, Rhet, & Social Move I
Media, Rhet, & Social Move II
Media, Rhet, & Social Move III
Communication in Context I (upon approval)
Communication in Context II (upon approval)
Communication in Context III (upon approval)
Rhetorical Criticism
Persuasion
Democratic Deliberation
Argumentation and Debate
Organizing for Social Change
Intercultural Communication
Organizational Communication
Writing for Nonprofits
Mass Media and Politics
Total Credit Hours21