MCS Bachelor of Arts

Ready to declare this major? Complete this form and submit it to the Registrar’s office.

MCS Bachelor of Arts – Curriculum

Completing a BA in Media and Communication Studies 

To earn a B.A. in Media and Communication Studies, students must complete 37 credits of coursework, divided as follows:

CORE COURSES (25 credits)
Course Number Course Name
MCS 101 Media Literacy (no prerequisite)
MCS 144 Professional Communication & Development (no prerequisite)
MCS 222 Introduction to Media & Communication Studies (no prerequisite)
MCS 333 History and Theory of Mass Communication and Media Studies (prerequisite is 222)
MCS 334 Media, Communication and Globalization (prerequisite is 101 OR 222)
MCS 399 Methods in Media and Communication Studies (prerequisite is 101 AND 222)
MCS 404 Internship (Department Permission Required)
MCS 499 Capstone Seminar (prerequisite is 333 AND 399)


MCS ELECTIVE COURSES (12 credits) – Choose two courses from each of the two designated content areas.  Students may double count up to 9 credits in another major, minor, or certificate.

Group 1 (6 credits)
Course Number(s) Course Name


MCS 311 Films of Resistance
MCS 322 Cultures of Surveillance
MCS 326 Media and Politics
MCS 345 Virtual Ethnography and Digital Life
MCS 355 Social Media: Networking and Mobility  WI
MCS 360 Internet Video Production
MCS 366 Podcasting
MCS 370 Special Topics in Media and Communication Studies
MCS 377 Making Visual Culture
MCS 388 Modern Public Relations
MCS 395 Television Production Techniques I
MCS 484 Media Production Fellows
MCS/ MLL 406 Theory and History of Intercultural Media
MLL 480/ MCS 390 Transcultural Studies in Global Television
MCS MLL 495 Video Ethnography


Group 2 (6 credits)
Course Number(s) Course Name


AFST 205 Contemporary Black Popular Culture
AMST 200 What is an American?  AH
AMST 320 Television in American Culture  AH
AMST 321 Radio in American Culture  AH
AMST 322 American Society and Culture in Film  AH
AMST 325 Studies in American Popular Culture  AH
AMST 352 US in Global Perspective  AH/C
AMST 375 Studies in Asian American Culture  AH
ANTH 211 Cultural Anthropology  C/SS
ANTH 310 Ethnographic Film
ART 210 Visual Concepts 1
ART 211 Visual Concepts 2
ART 213 Time Based Media – Portfolio Milestone
ART 215 Introduction to Art and Media Studies
ART 305 Introduction to Cinematic Arts – Portfolio Milestone
ART 324 History of Film  AH
ART 325 History of Film and Video 1965-Present  AH
ART 326 History of Photography I
ART 327 History and Theory of Photography  AH
ART 331 Graphic Design – Portfolio Milestone
ART 342 Film/Video Theory and Criticism – Portfolio Milestone
ART 343 History of Animation
ART 360 Mixed Media Book Arts – Portfolio Milestone
ART 361 Digital Darkroom – Portfolio Milestone
ART 362 B&W Photography – Portfolio Milestone
ART 363 Color Photography – Portfolio Milestone
ART 364 Studio Photography – Portfolio Milestone
ART 365 Photography and Multi-Media Environment – Portfolio Milestone
ART 369 Topics in Photography – Portfolio Milestone
ENGL 303 Art of the Essay
ENGL 324 Theories of Communication and Technology
ENGL 380 Intro to News Writing
ENGL 382 Feature Writing
ENGL 385 New Media and Digital Literacies
ENGL 387 Web Content Development
ENGL 391 Advanced Exposition and Argumentation
ENGL 393 Technical Writing
ENGL 480 Seminar in Advanced Journalism
GWST 315 Modern Masculinities
GWST 320/MLL 320 International Women Directors  AH/C
GWST 321 Queer Representation in Film and TV
GWST 322/AFST 347 Women and the Media  AH
GWST 323 Gender and Sitcoms
GWST 344 Transnational Femininities
GWST 352 Women, Gender, and Informational Technology
MLL 213 Film and Society in Spain
MLL 218 Film and Society in Latin America
MLL 220 Film and Society in China
MLL 301 Textual Analysis: Words, Images, Music  AH
MLL 305 Introduction to Intercultural Communication  C
MLL 306 Intercultural Communications: Issues Confronting Immigrant and Heritage Communities
MLL 320/GWST 320 International Women Directors  AH/C
MLL 406* History and Theory in Advanced Journalism
MLL 495 Intercultural Video Production
MUSC 214 History of Jazz  AH
MUSC 230 Music of the World?  AH
POLI 443 First Amendment Freedoms
RUSS 315 Studies in Russian Film
SPCH 100 Public Communications Keep
SPCH 210 Interpersonal Communication
THTR 310 History of Theatre



This is the curriculum as of June 1, 2018.  If you declared your MCS major prior to May 31, 2018, please follow the pre-2018 curriculum. If you are enrolled in the pre-2018 curriculum and would like to switch to the current curriculum, fill out the Undergraduate Requirement Term Change form and submit it to the Registrar’s office.


Additional information:

  • A “C” or better is required in all courses applied toward the major.
  • A total of 9 credits towards the completion of the major may be “double counted” towards the completion of an additional major, minor, or certificate.
  • Students who wish to retake MCS classes in which they earned a grade of D or F may do so, following UMBC policy.  When a student fails a course, the department does not guarantee a seat in that course for the following semester and faculty are under no obligation to over-enroll their courses to accommodate demand for repeat enrollment.
  • For courses that do not require permission, students will follow the regular enrollment procedure for adding the course.  For courses that do require departmental permission, students wishing to retake the course must fill out the requisite permission form.  Second- or third-attempt permissions will not be issued until permissions have been issued within the standard time frame for students enrolling in the course for the first time who require it for timely graduation.  Thereafter, if seats are available, permissions will be issued to second- and third-attempt students in the order they are received. In the event that multiple students simultaneously request permission to retake a course and there are not enough seats to accommodate them, the department will issue permissions in descending order of final grades earned during the previous attempt at the course (i.e. a student who earned a 68% would have priority over a student who earned a 65%).
  • MCS students double-majoring in a discipline that also requires a capstone course may be able to satisfy this MCS requirement with the other capstone course. The subject matter and methods must, in the opinion of the Director, be relevant to the study and/or practice of media and communication.
  • 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, therefore, 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.
  • For students who began their MCS major before June 1, 2013, MCS 101 will count as a Critical Media Studies elective, and 334 can either count as an Intercultural Communication elective, or can be substituted for the theory/methods requirement in the core courses (AMST 334/ENGL 324/ART 215/MLL 305).