Communication
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BA in Communication

Communication is the study of basic human social processes: the creation and dissemination of meaning and information. The major prepares students for graduate study or professional positions in such fields as interpersonal and organizational communication, journalism, media production and criticism, political communication, and public relations. Students develop skills and knowledge that put them at the edge of a rapidly changing communication industry. Majors learn to construct and evaluate messages across platforms—web, print, audio and visual.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

COMM 200 Communication Theory 3
COMM 300 Foundations of Public Communication 1 3
COMM 305 Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core) 3
COMM 400 Research Methods in Communication 2 3
Total Credits 12
1

Must first complete COMM 200 Communication Theory with a grade of C or better.

2

Must first complete six credits from COMM 300 Foundations of Public Communication, COMM 301 Foundations of Interpersonal Communication, or COMM 305 Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core) with a grade of C or better.

Concentration

Students must complete coursework in one concentration. Students may also declare a second concentration. They must declare a concentration before they earn more than 75 credits. Transfer students with 60 or more credits are encouraged to declare a concentration by the end of their first semester. COMM 399 Special Topics in Communication or other special topics courses from other concentrations may be applied toward a concentration when the topic is relevant to the concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

Available concentrations
  • Concentration in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (IOC)
  • Concentration in Journalism (JNL)
  • Concentration in Media Production and Criticism (MPC)
  • Concentration in Political Communication (PCOM)
  • Concentration in Public Relations (PR)

Concentration in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (IOC)

Required Courses  
COMM 301 Foundations of Interpersonal Communication (core course) 3
COMM 335 Organizational Communication (core course) 3
COMM 201 Small Group Communication 3
or COMM 332 Nonverbal Communication
Electives  
Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Small Group Communication  
Case Studies in Persuasion  
Foundations of Health Communication  
Issues in Intercultural Communication  
Business and Professional Communication  
Nonverbal Communication  
Family and Health Communication  
Children and Media  
Special Topics in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication  
Special Topics in Health Communication  
Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace  
Persuasion  
Environmental Communication  
Interviewing  
Digital Communication  
Ceremonial Speech Writing and Performance  
Topics in Communication and Gender  
Total Credits 21

Concentration in Journalism (JNL)

Required Courses  
COMM 203 Introduction to Journalism 3
COMM 303 Writing across the Media 3
COMM 454 Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core) 3
Select three credits from the following: 3
News Writing and Reporting  
News Editing: Print and Beyond  
Online Journalism  
Multimedia Journalism  
Electives  
Select 9 credits from the following: 9
Newspaper Workshop I  
Radio Workshop I  
Digital Media Workshop  
Foundations of Media Theory  
Newspaper Workshop II  
News Writing and Reporting (if not taken as a required course)  
News Editing: Print and Beyond  
Broadcast Journalism  
Video: Performance and Writing  
Online Journalism (if not taken as a required course)  
Feature Writing  
Sports Writing and Reporting  
Business and Economic Journalism  
Political Journalism  
Special Topics in Journalism  
Multimedia Journalism (if not taken as a required course)  
History of Journalism  
Journalism Law  
Total Credits 21

Concentration in Media Production and Criticism (MPC)

Required Courses  
COMM 208 Introduction to Media Production 3
COMM 302 Foundations of Media Theory 3
COMM 380 Media Criticism 3
Electives  
Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Radio Workshop I  
Digital Media Workshop  
Media and Society  
Voice and Articulation  
Introduction to Media Literacy  
Writing across the Media  
Performance for Communication Arts  
Yearbook Workshop  
Cable TV Programming and Marketing  
Radio Workshop II  
Mass Communication and Public Policy  
Broadcast Journalism  
Radio Production  
Video: Performance and Writing  
Multi-Camera Studio Production  
Media Management  
Digital Postproduction  
Media Career Seminar  
Videography  
Gender, Race, and Class in the Media  
Visual Communication  
Children and Media  
Sports and the Media  
Mass Communication Advertising and Promotions  
Special Topics in Mass Communication  
Special Topics in Production  
Digital Communication  
Media Production Practicum  
Comparative Mass Media (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 21

Concentration in Political Communication (PCOM)

Required Courses  
COMM 302 Foundations of Media Theory 3
COMM 327 Political Communication 3
COMM 430 Persuasion 3
COMM 454 Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core) 3
Electives  
Select 9 credits from the following: 9
Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts  
Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts  
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies  
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies  
Case Studies in Persuasion  
Basic Debate Theory and Practice  
Theories of Argumentation  
Business and Professional Communication  
Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)  
Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts  
Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts  
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies  
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies  
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)  
Political Journalism  
Media Criticism  
Special Topics in Political Communication  
Politics and the Mass Media  
New Media and Democracy  
Environmental Communication  
Topics in Communication and Gender  
Total Credits 21

Concentration in Public Relations (PR)

Required Courses  
COMM 204 Introduction to Public Relations 3
COMM 303 Writing across the Media 3
COMM 331 Advanced Principles in Public Relations 3
COMM 430 Persuasion 3
Electives  
Select 9 credits from the following: 9
Media and Society  
Case Studies in Persuasion  
Basic Debate Theory and Practice  
Theories of Argumentation  
Foundations of Media Theory  
Business and Professional Communication  
Organizational Communication  
News Writing and Reporting  
Media Management  
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)  
Mass Communication Advertising and Promotions  
COMM 384
Public Relations and Social Media  
Special Topics in Public Relations  
Public Relations for Associations and Nonprofits  
Issues in Public Relations  
Writing for Public Relations  
Public Relations Study Abroad  
Public Relations Practicum  
Environmental Communication  
Ceremonial Speech Writing and Performance  
Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 21

Electives

Select six credits of COMM courses in consultation with an advisor 1 6
Total Credits 6
1

COMM 100 Public Speaking (Mason Core) and COMM 101 Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

Courses Limited to 10 Credits

Of the 39 credits applied to the major, no more than 10 credits may be in these courses. In addition, no more than 6 credits of COMM 450 Internship in Communication or 3 credits of COMM 452 Media Production Practicum may be applied to the major.

COMM 140 Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts 1
COMM 141 Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts 1
COMM 142 Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies 1
COMM 143 Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies 1
COMM 145 Newspaper Workshop I 1
COMM 148 Radio Workshop I 1
COMM 157 Digital Media Workshop 1
COMM 340 Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts 1
COMM 341 Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts 1
COMM 342 Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies 1
COMM 343 Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies 1
COMM 345 Newspaper Workshop II 1
COMM 346 Yearbook Workshop 1
COMM 348 Radio Workshop II 1
COMM 398 Research Practicum in Communication 1-3
COMM 450 Internship in Communication 3
COMM 451 Facilitating Communication Education 3
COMM 452 Media Production Practicum 1-3
COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication 3
COMM 498 RS: Research Projects in Communication 3
COMM 499 Independent Study in Communication 1-3

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as writing intensive in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in communication fulfill this requirement by successfully completing COMM 300 Foundations of Public Communication.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree 

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
 
 
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH  
CRIM  
ECON  
GOVT  
HIST 2  
LING  
PSYC  
SOCI  
Or choose from the following GGS courses:  
Major World Regions (Mason Core)  
Human Geography (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies  
Political Geography  
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)  
Population Geography (Mason Core)  
Economic Geography  
Urban Geography  
Geography of the United States  
Geography of Latin America  
Geography of Europe  
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East  
Geography of the Soviet Succession States  
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning  
Geography of Virginia  
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1  
 
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
 
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
 
American Sign Language (ASL) I  
American Sign Language (ASL) II  
American Sign Language (ASL) III  
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1  
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 301 Native North Americans 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 303 Peoples and Cultures of the Andes 3
ANTH 306 Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 316 Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 323 Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 383 Cities of the Global South 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
DANC 118 World Dance (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 451 Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Non-Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 432 Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 426 The Russian Revolution 3
HIST 460 Modern Iran (Mason Core) 3
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Religions of the West (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 240 Death and the Afterlife in World Religions 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West 3
RELI 365 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 374 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 375 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 379 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 387 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication 6
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology 3-7
Core Requirements  
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1  
Synthesis/Capstone 3
Total Credits 40
1

minimum 3 credits

Additional Elective Courses

Select any remaining credits of elective courses to bring the degree total to 120  
Print Friendly and PDF