Communication and Culture

The Communication and Culture major combines humanistic and social science approaches to the study of all aspects of human and mediated communication, including:

  • the strategic application and implications of communication theories, tools and techniques
  • the institutions and industries engaged in the production and distribution of mediated content
  • the receivers and their reciprocal relationship with such messages
  • the media texts in their social, political, local and global cultural contexts

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is clear that the right words and images strategically chosen, can be powerful instruments to help us move towards a more ethical world with greater social justice. The Communication and Culture major prepares the media professionals of tomorrow to use the power of mediated communication with responsibility, by training them to be critical consumers and ethical producers of mediated communication in all areas of their lives: personal, professional and civic.

The undergraduate program has three areas of concentration that students will explore:

Students take four classes in a primary concentration, and two each in a secondary concentration.

Learning Outcomes

  • To examine the ways in which scientific and critical theories about media are informed by political, cultural, social and economic contexts;

  • To address ways in which media technologies, structures and practices are defined, implemented and regulated, as well as the rationales and ideologies behind these strategies;

  • To apply these theories to concrete, lived experience and systems of power and identify on the local, national and global levels;

  • To heighten the abilities of students to recognize the ethical dimensions of media production, content, and reception and to engage in informed media criticism;

  • To improve the abilities of students to think critically, creatively and independently as media producers and consumers;

  • To enable students to communicate their ideas and substantiate their beliefs about the mediated environment in which we live within professionals, civic, and personal contexts; and

  • To enable students to be ethically responsible communicators and media professionals.

Major Requirements

The Communication and Culture (COMC) major requires eleven (11) courses.

  • Departmental introductory course: COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies (new) or COMM 1010 - Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
  • One Ethics, Law and Policy course.
  • Major introductory course: COMC 1101 - Communication and Culture: History, Theory and Methods
  • Four courses in one of the three concentrations: Communication Studies, Cultural Studies or Media Studies
  • Two courses in each of the remaining two concentrations

Click here for the requirements checklist.

*To become a communication and culture major, a student must demontrate an earned cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better or receive written permission from the associate chair or chair of the department. In addition, no D-grade work will be credited toward the major or minor.

**Double majors may count up to two courses from another major within our department, excluding any course with a COMM designator.

Minor Requirements

The Communication and Culture (COMC) minor requires six (6) courses.

 
 
 
 
  • Departmental introductory course: COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies (new) or COMM 1010 - Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
  • One Ethics, Law and Policy course.
  • Major introductory course: COMC 1101 - Communication and Culture: History, Theory and Methods
  • Two courses in a single concentration: Communication Studies, Cultural Studies or Media Studies
  • One other COMC course

*Note: COMC 1000 or COMM 1010 is a prerequisite for COMC 1101.

Ethics, Law and Policy Courses

  • COMC 3340/ COMM 3103: Freedom of Expression
  • COMC 3370/ COMM 3476: Ethical Issues and the Media
  • COMC 3330/ COMM 3110: Peace, Justice and the Media 
  • COMC 3350/ COMM 3112: Media Law
  • COMC 3380/ COMM 3106: International Communication
  • DTEM 4440: Privacy and Surveillance
  • DTEM 4480/ COMM 4005: Digital Media and Public Responsibility
  • FITV 4570/ COMM 4001: Films of Moral Struggle