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Major Overview

Technology has rendered distance nearly irrelevant, and the Internet has revolutionized our world so that rapid transformations sweep societies, different modes of media converge, new cultural spaces and practices emerge, and belief structures shift. Our curriculum will help you find the tools to understand and play an active role in the massive trends and rifts that are appearing in societies across the globe. Its interdisciplinary approach draws on the strength of diverse fields of study, so that you will be exposed to both theory and practice, with a strong grounding in the historical roots of communications in all its forms. You will be provided with the practical skills and analytical abilities to understand and participate in the complex dynamics of communication at the global, local, and individual levels.


The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • You will demonstrate knowledge of the history of communication practices and technologies and of the development of Communication, Cultural, or Media Studies as academic disciplines.
  • You will demonstrate knowledge of communication media, or cultural studies’ theoretical foundations and its recent developments.
  • You will demonstrate understanding of and a capacity to compare communication, media, and cultural practices across different national, social, and cultural contexts.
  • You will demonstrate understanding of and the capacity to apply research methods, including historical, textual, qualitative and/or quantitative, to conduct and present research.
  • You will learn and demonstrate skills important to careers in communication, media, and cultural professions.

Learning Environment

We want to ensure that Global Communications serves as your gateway to the world, and that you come away with an understanding of the many subjects it’s linked to, including sociology, anthropology, politics and literature.  You will be trained to think critically and creatively about the contemporary communications environment, and develop substantive knowledge based on current research in the field.  Through the visits of practitioners to your classroom and visits to professional environments, you will be exposed to experts in the various professions of global communications, to which you will also later contribute. 

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 the Media and Culture electives to meet this requirement and cultivate a solid grounding in the evolution of Communications, in all of its forms, throughout the world.

See all Major Electives



The Global Communications major offers courses in the following three specializations: 

  • Production
  • Media Convergence  
  • Integrated Marketing Communications

See all Global Communications Specializations Requirements

Core Courses

The Global Communications core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Global Communications will help pave the way for your successful completion of other Global Communications courses.

CM1023 Intro To Media & Communication Studies

This course provides a survey of the media and its function in today’s society. It introduces students to the basic concepts and tools necessary to think critically about media institutions and practices. In addition to the analysis of diverse media texts, the course considers wider strategies and trends in marketing, distribution, audience formation and the consequences of globalization. By semester’s end, students will understand the basic structures of today’s media and be able to provide advanced analysis that weighs the social and political implications of its products.

CM1500 Digital Toolkit: Communication Design Practicum

In this digital tools training course, students will learn skills and gain hands-on experience with a range of digital publishing tools to build and curate a web platform with compelling, sharable content. They will become familiar with key storytelling platforms and technologies including Wordpress, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They will acquire hands---on experience with essential software including Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator, Encoder, and Final Cut Pro; and they will learn to manipulate HTML and CSS with a basic Integrated Design Environment. In this highly hands---on course, students will learn basic web design and work collaboratively to create and launch a dynamic new digital brand online.

CM2004 Comparative Communications History

This course provides historical background to understand how contemporary communication practices and technologies have developed and are in the process of developing and reflects on what communication has been in different human societies across time and place. It considers oral and literate cultures, the development of writing systems, of printing, and different cultural values assigned to the image. The parallel rise of mass media and modern western cultural and political forms and the manipulation and interplay of the properties and qualities conveyed by speech, sight, and sound are studied with reference to the printed book, newspapers, photography, radio, cinema, television, new media.

CM2006 Media Globalization

What is globalization? Why study the media? What is the relationship between the media and globalization? What are the consequences of media globalization on our lives and identities? This course critically explores these questions and challenging issues that confront us today. Globalization can be understood as a multi-dimensional, complex process of profound transformations in all spheres – technological, economic, political, social, cultural, intimate and personal. Yet much of the current debates of globalization tend to be concerned with “out there” macro-processes, rather than what is happening “in here,” in the micro-processes of our lives. This course explores both the macro and the micro. It encourages students to develop an enlarged way of thinking – challenging existing paradigms and providing comparative perspectives.

CM2051 Communication Theory & Research Meth.

The skills learned in this course will prepare students for upper-division communication courses, and provide students with basic research methods in the field of communication. Students will become familiar with a range of research methods (survey, interview, ethnography, discourse, and political economy.

CM3052 Rhetoric & Persuasion

Studies rhetoric as a historical phenomenon and as a practical reality. Considers how words and images are used to convince and persuade individuals of positions, arguments or actions to undertake, with particular attention to advertising, politics and culture. Studies the use of reason, emotion, and commonplaces, and compares visual and verbal techniques of persuasion.

CM4090 Senior Thesis Seminar

The senior thesis research seminar allows students to work in a small group setting with a professor,where they draw from and hone research methods and theories they have learned in the Global Communications major and across their entire BA education. It culminates in a major piece of primary research that the student presents to an audience of peers and faculty.he seminar is designed to demonstrate cumulative knowledge, while teaching advanced research skills valued in the workforce and necessary for graduate school. The thesis is required for students seeking honors in the major.

CM4095 Senior Project

In consultation with a faculty member, the student undertakes a senior project related to the field or pratice of journalism and media production. Written projects are normally 25-30 pages. The project can take the form of a feature-length magazine article, a long-form piece of video or audio journalism, a multi-media production including iconography and illustrative material, or a strategic business plan for a journalism or media product such as a magazine or online platform. (https://aupforms.formstack.com/workflows/senior_project)