Major in Mass Communication

Programs of the Major

The Mass Communication major enables students to learn the practical application, structure, processes, aesthetics, responsibilities and effects of the mass media. The objectives of the Mass Communication major are 1) to provide students with appropriate training for careers in mass communication and 2) to help students become more critical consumers of the media.

Mass Communication majors are expected to develop and refine their visual and written skills; to think critically about ways in which the mass media influence society; and to recognize and appreciate the need for a broad and diverse liberal arts education.

Students who complete the Mass Communication major will have many career options, especially in the broadly defined fields of print and broadcast journalism, new media, advertising, strategic public relations and integrated communications. Majors are expected to learn how the various fields in mass communication are structured and function and to understand how the media are converging and the consequences of that convergence.

Students who complete the Mass Communication major are expected to:

  • understand and apply relevant theories of mass communication
  • understand and utilize research in mass communication
  • understand legal issues, statutes and regulations affecting mass communication
  • understand and apply ethical principles that can be used to prevent and resolve potential conflicts and dilemmas in the operation of the mass media
  • demonstrate proficiency in writing for the mass media
  • demonstrate competence in the student’s chosen track within the major

Graduation Requirements

All major requirements must be completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher. The Pass (PS) grading option is not available for courses applied to the major. Students must complete at least 18 units of upper-level courses in the major.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Option

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts degree by completing the intermediate (202) level of a foreign language.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Mass Communication majors complete 36 units: 9 units in required courses, 6 units in elective courses and 21 units in track courses. Students must fulfill the requirements of one of the following tracks: Journalism and New Media, Advertising, or Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communication. Students are reminded that it is their responsibility to check all prerequisites before registering for any course.
  2. No more than 6 units of independent study and/or internships can be applied to the Mass Communication major.
  3. Students who wish to double major in Mass Communication and Communication Studies may apply up to 9 units simultaneously for satisfaction of both majors. Students who wish to major in Mass Communication and minor in Communication Studies may apply 6 units simultaneously for satisfaction of both major and minor.
  4. Transfer students are required to take 21 units in residence in their major area. The department will transfer up to 15 credits of compatible transfer courses.
Required Courses (9 Units)
MCOM 101INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 390MASS COMMUNICATION RESEARCH3
MCOM 350MEDIA LAW3
or MCOM 433 MEDIA ETHICS
Electives (6 Units)
Select two of the following or any courses not already selected in the student’s own track: 16
SOCIAL MEDIA AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
MEDIA CRITICISM
MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
BROADCAST JOURNALISM I
MASS MEDIA AND SOCIETY
PHOTOJOURNALISM I
SPORTS WRITING
LITERARY JOURNLSM
COMMUNICATION PROCESS
MASS MEDIA GRAPHICS
PUBLIC OPINION AND THE PRESS
PHOTOJOURNALISM II
INTERNSHIP IN ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS 2
INTERNSHIP IN JOURNALISM AND NEW MEDIA 2
SPECIAL TOPICS IN JOURNALISM
SPECIAL TOPICS IN ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
SPEC TOPICS IN MASS COMMUNICATION
BROADCAST JOURNALISM II
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN MASS COMMUNICATION 2
Non-MCOM courses:
PERSUASION
BUSIN & PROF COMM
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
PRINCIPLES OF FILM AND MEDIA PRODUCTION
TOPICS IN ARTS, MEDIA, COMMUNICATION, AND SOCIAL ACTION
Track (21 Units)
Select one of the tracks listed below.21
Total Units36
1

Any additional units beyond six will be counted toward 120 units required for graduation. If non-MCOM courses are chosen from this list, one course may count toward MCOM major. Students need to fulfill course prerequisites in advance of taking these courses.

2

Internships and independent studies must be approved by the department before registration. See the department website for the approval process. No more than 6 units of independent studies and/or internships can be applied to the Mass Communication major.

Journalism and New Media Track

Note: To begin this track, students should enroll in MCOM 257.

Required Basic Courses
MCOM 257JOURNALISM/NEW MEDIA I3
MCOM 258JOURNALISM AND NEW MEDIA II3
MCOM 341DIGITAL PUBLISHING3
MCOM 356FEATURE WRITING 13
MCOM 358NEWS EDITING3
MCOM 383NEWS REPORTING3
MCOM 407MULTIMEDIA REPORTING CAPSTONE3
Total Units21
1

Meets the University Core requirement (Core 9)

Advertising Track

Note: To begin this track, students should enroll in MCOM 214.

Required Basic Courses (9 Units)
MCOM 214PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING3
MCOM 323ADVERTISING MEDIA PLANNING3
MCOM 447ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS3
Required Professional Skills Writing Courses (6 Units)
MCOM 256WRITING FOR THE MEDIA3
MCOM 325ADVERTISING COPYWRITING3
Track Electives (6 Units) 2
Select two of the following or from any courses not already selected in the required courses:6
PRINCIPLES OF STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION
PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING 1
ADVERTISING MEDIA SALES
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS & INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS.
PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION
Total Units21
1

MCOM 357 meets the University Core requirement (Core 9)

2

If a student takes more than 6 units of track electives, the additional units are counted toward MCOM major electives.

Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communication Track

Note: To begin this track, students should enroll in MCOM 253.

Required Basic Courses (9 Units)
MCOM 253PRINCIPLES OF STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION3
COMM 419ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 453STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS & INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS.3
Required Professional Skills Writing Courses (6 Units)
MCOM 256WRITING FOR THE MEDIA3
MCOM 357PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING 13
Electives (6 Units) 2
Select two of the following or from any courses not already selected in the required courses:6
PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING MEDIA PLANNING
ADVERTISING COPYWRITING
ADVERTISING MEDIA SALES
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
Total Units21
1

Meets the University Core requirement (Core 9)

2

If a student takes more than 6 units of track electives, the additional units are counted toward MCOM major electives.

Journalism and New Media Track Suggested Four-Year Plan

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 1013ENGL 102 (Core 2)3
TSEM 102 (Core 1)3COMM 1313
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
 15 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 2573MCOM 2583
Core3MCOM 3413
Core3Core3
Elective3Core3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 3583MCOM 350 or 4333
MCOM 3833MCOM 356 (Core 9)3
MCOM 3903MCOM Elective3
MCOM Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 4073Elective3
MCOM Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 120
1

Students must select three of the following MCOM electives: MCOM 352, MCOM 385, MCOM 333, MCOM 415, MCOM 431, MCOM 477, MCOM 496, COMM 304, IDFA 480, MCOM 381, MCOM 391, MCOM 461, MCOM 359, MCOM 402, MCOM 409.

 Additional electives available for majors in the Journalism and New Media Track: MCOM 457MCOM 411MCOM 481COMM 315COMM 377EMF 221. Please note prerequisites outlined in each course's description. 

Advertising Track Suggested Four-Year Plan

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 1013ENGL 102 (Core 2)3
TSEM 102 (Core 1)3COMM 1313
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
 15 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 2143MCOM 256 (May be taken concurrently with MCOM 214.)3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 350 or 4333MCOM 3233
MCOM 3903MCOM 3253
Elective3MCOM Elective3
Elective3Advertising Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 4473MCOM Elective3
MCOM Elective3Elective3
Advertising Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 120

Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communication Track Suggested Four-Year Plan

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 1013ENGL 102 (Core 2)3
TSEM 102 (Core 1)3COMM 1313
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
 15 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 2533MCOM 256 (May be taken concurrently with MCOM 253.)3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
MCOM 350 or 4333MCOM 3573
MCOM 3903MCOM Elective3
Elective3SPRIC Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 4193MCOM 4533
MCOM Elective3Elective3
SPRIC Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 120

1. Student should be able to think critically and constructively about current issues and trends in the field.
2. Student should know how to apply scientific theories to the analysis and practice of mass communication.
3. Student should demonstrate proficiency in writing for the mass media.