The mission of the Department of Mass Communications is to teach students to think critically and creatively about the global, practical and theoretical dimensions of mass communications.
The Mass Communications curriculum is designed to accomplish the following:
- To educate students for mass communications and related professions.
- To provide hands-on experiences in print journalism, broadcast and electronic productions and “new media” technologies.
- To prepare students to design and produce content appropriate for any media format.
- To encourage student participation in community service by producing content for WSNC 90.5 FM, WRAM Radio, RAM-TV, The News Argus, and community-based media agencies.
- To develop professional relationships with media organizations for student internship placement and program development.
In compliance with university policy, a student can be admitted to the Department of Mass Communications following successful completion of the general education requirements. Departmental admission requirements include the following:
- Complete general studies requirements.
- Formally declare a major in the Office of the Registrar.
- Submit an acceptable/passing 300-word admissions essay.
- Attain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
- Achieve grades of C or better in ENG 1301 and ENG 1302 (Freshman Composition I and II), SPH 2341 (Fundamentals of Speech) and all MCM courses taken at the sophomore level.
Students may transfer up to 12 semester hours of credit for mass communications courses – the equivalents of MCM 2325 (Introduction to Mass Communications), MCM 3301 (Law and Ethics of Mass Communications) and six hours of mass communications/media electives – earned at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution.
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires successful completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours with an overall grade point average of 2.0 and at least a 2.5 average in mass communications courses. Degree candidates must have six credit hours in a foreign language at the intermediate level.
Students must achieve a grade of C or better in all Mass Communications courses. Core courses include: MCM 2325 (Introduction to Mass Communications), MCM 3301 (Law & Ethics of Mass Communications), MCM 3305 (Mass Media Management), and MCM 4321 (International Communications). While a minor is not required, students are encouraged to select another course of study for a minor program.
The department requires majors to complete 36 semester credit hours within the major, 80 semester credit hours outside the major and a minimum of 65 semester credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences. Liberal arts and sciences courses are any courses offered by the academic departments in the College of Arts and Sciences: Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, Chemistry, English and Foreign Languages, Fine Arts, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences and any economics (but not business) courses.
Student Learning Outcomes
All Mass Communications graduates should be able to demonstrate the following:
- Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications.
- Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
- Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of accuracy, fairness, diversity and truth.
- Think critically, creatively and independently.
- Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions.
- Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences, and purposes they serve.
- Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
- Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
- Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.
- Comprehend and adapt to the changing environment of media convergence.
The Journalism track prepares students to work as writers and editors. Thirty-six (36) semester hours are required for the journalism track. Advisers guide students toward completion of their degree plans according to departmental requirements.