In a time when communication technologies are increasingly digital, interactive, and global, participation in the public sphere requires critical engagement across a range of media, genres, and cultural contexts. UMBC's Media and Communication Studies Department represents an innovative and interdisciplinary response to this need. The Department offers students theoretical and practical encounters with dynamic and complex changes in communication, culture, and knowledge. The core of the curriculum emphasizes reading, composition, and reflection within the liberal arts tradition.
Our curriculum focuses on communication skills, a critical understanding of the media, and the use of relevant new technologies. Media and Communication Studies comprises critical media literacy, intercultural communication, and new media and applied communication to prepare students to enter the communities and workplaces of the 21st century.
To earn an undergraduate certificate in Media and Communication Studies, students must complete the core (13 credits), the required applied experience (3 credits), and 9 credits of electives, all from one content area of their choice.
Required Applied Experience (3 credits):
Three Electives (9 credits)
(At least 6 of the 9 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level)
Certificate students must take all nine credits in only one of the three areas
- Critical Media Studies
Coursework on the cultural history of specific media, critical media analysis, industry analysis, audience studies and special topics in media genres.
- Intercultural Communication
Coursework on intercultural communication; race, gender, ethnicity, social class and media; comparative studies and media; U.S. media in global perspective.
- New Media and Applied Communication
Coursework in video, audio and digital production; Web content design; technical writing; journalism and oral communication
A total of nine credits towards the completion of the certificate may be "double counted" towards the completion of an additional major, minor, or certificate.
Critical Media Studies Elective Options
A "C" or better is required in all courses applied toward the major.
The Study of Foreign Languages/Study Abroad
A knowledge of at least one foreign language and familiarity with foreign cultures are important for understanding media and communications under the conditions of globalization in the 21st century. Beyond the language and culture requirements of the General Education Program, MCS students are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language to at least the 202 level (with appropriate exemptions made for native speakers of languages other than English). Study abroad is also strongly encouraged, for it can provide not only understanding of another culture but also important perspectives on U.S. culture and media.