Television, cinema, newspapers and the Internet all profoundly influence our lives. The bachelor's program in Media and Communication Studies provides students with tools to analyze critically the forms and contents of mass media. An interdisciplinary field, media and communication studies at Catholic University is rooted in traditions of rhetorical and historical criticism across the humanities.

Core program courses promote understanding of film, television and related media in their varied aesthetic, social, historical and cultural contexts. After completing the core, majors anchor their elective courses with either a critical studies course (311: Critical Approaches to Media) or a production course (312: Media Composition). Students may take both.  Majors in the program also have opportunities to gain professional experience through internships while earning credit.

Curriculum 

Majors take six core courses:

  • MDIA 201: Introduction to Media Studies
  • MDIA 202: Media and History  
  • MDIA 301: Media and Rhetoric
  • MDIA 302: Media Rhetoric and Aesthetics
  • MDIA 399: Junior Seminar
  • MDIA 499: Senior Seminar

Also required is an elective gateway course--either MDIA311 Critical Approaches to Media and/or MDIA312 Media Composition — which then anchors the final six advanced electives, generally focusing on either critical studies or production.

Up to two approved courses from other departments (e.g., ART309, Introduction to Photography) may count as in-major electives. The full list of approved interdisciplinary electives is available on the course tracking sheet.

Important Requirements

  • Students may declare the major as incoming freshmen. Students who wish to transfer into the major after the beginning of freshman year should complete at least one introductory course (MDIA201, 202 or 301) first before being considered for acceptance.
  • All majors must earn a 2.5 GPA average in MDIA201 and MDIA202. All students failing to achieve this level of academic performance will be dismissed from the major; they may re-take either course within two semesters, meet the 2.5 requirement, and then reapply for acceptance to the major.
  • No course in the major may be re-taken more than once. Additionally, all students must maintain a 2.3 (C+) GPA average in the major. Students dropping below this level will be given one semester to restore their in-major GPA, or face dismissal from the major. 
  • MDIA201 is a prerequisite for most advanced electives; MDIA399, Junior Seminar, is a prerequisite for MDIA499, Senior Seminar.  (Nota bene: MDIA499 is offered exclusively during Fall semester.) Students must pass the senior comprehensive examination in their final semester.