Major Overview

The Communication and Civil Society major aims to educate you about the role of communication and media in civil society and train you to intervene in that domain – a public space between individuals and the state, where individuals collectively associate and act for civic purposes. It teaches theories of social organization, power, and political and social change, with the benefit of historical knowledge, as well as techniques and examples of practical intervention in these relations. With the help of faculty mentors, the program allows you to build on general theories and empirical knowledge of contemporary global public problems (such as climate change; gender, race, regional and other inequalities and conflicts; and poverty) and gives you a range of methods for intervention and contributing to change.


The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • Become conversant in a set of contemporary empirical public problems and questions that are tightly bound with digital communication technologies, traditional media, cultural differences and democracy.
  • Develop working knowledge of theories and analyses of contemporary transnational, local and global public problems, from the body of legal, political, media, cultural and social theory.
  • Develop critically informed practical tools, strategies and methods applicable to public life: in journalism, anthropology, law, computer science, art, advocacy and activism (making/doing/acting/applying).

Learning Environment

The major’s unique nature is to structure your education with knowledge and theory to comprehend and critique the enormous global problems facing our world and with practical tools that empower you to change it for the better. You have the freedom to link foundational courses in communication, media and politics to a strong specialization in a practical area – whether data science or programming, journalism or film production, accounting or management, art or creative writing, law or marketing. This curricular mixture leads to politically and socially transformative work after graduation in a number of areas: for government, a political party or a business; for an NGO or intergovernmental organization like the World Health Organization or UNESCO; or as a lawyer, journalist, engaged university researcher, teacher or filmmaker working at the intersection of activism, social movements, policy making, campaigns and business – locally, globally or glocally. Your courses will feature cooperative research projects with professors and fellow students (aimed at change); visits to the classroom from professionals working for change right now, who will share their experience and knowledge with you; and visits to sites where you can see these civil society actors working on the job.

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision.

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Choose from a variety of areas within the Communication and Civil Society course electives to meet this requirement and cultivate a solid grounding in the evolution of Communications, in all of its forms, throughout the world.

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Core Courses

Your core courses give you strong knowledge, based in the strongest contemporary research in communication, media and civil society, which will ground your more specialist knowledge and the practical tools you select to make your contribution to change.

HI1003 The Contemporary World

Beginning with the bipolar world of the Cold War, focuses on ideological struggles of the West, East, and Third World and the reactions of nations to the politics of the superpowers. Topics range from decolonization to the rise of the new Asia, African independence, the reemergence of the Muslim world, the collapse of communism, globalization and clash of world cultures.


PO1011 Foundations Of Modern Politics

What is politics - the quest for the common good or who gets what, when, and how? We study what defines politics in the modern age: states and nations in the international system, collective action and representation in mass societies, trajectories of democracy and dictatorship, politics and development in the context of capitalism. The course will introduce the student to the concerns, the language and the methods of Political Science.


CM3011 Comparative Political Communication

This course provides an overview of political communication theories, modes, means and institutions and serves as an introduction to how communication scholars study politics and the media. We will cover prevalent political communication theories and trends, the relationship between political institutions and the press both in the US and in other countries, elections, debates, political campaigning and advertising, new media and politics, political socialization, education, politics and popular culture.