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Majoring in communication means studying the creation, dissemination, and reception of messages that matter. The field of communication is constantly transforming, and our concentrations allow you to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and connections to land you an immediate job or a spot in a top graduate program.

Your online bachelor's degree in communication involves taking at least 124 credit hours total, including 42 in the Communication department and 19 elective hours.

Communication & Media Studies Concentration:

The Communication & Media Studies concentration investigates how humans use symbols to make meaning in interpersonal, mediated, professional, public, and political contexts. We specialize in the theory, critique, and practice of communication. The courses in this concentration equip you to communicate effectively and ethically in diverse contexts.

Selecting Communication & Media Studies means you will learn how to navigate and resolve conflict, improve relationships, and coordinate groups from the smallest teams to the largest organizations. You’ll master the methods of crafting creative appeals and analyzing the messages you encounter. The curriculum introduces you to the variety of ways that scholars theorize how communication shapes our society and culture, our shared and individual identities, and the mediated environment in which we live.

A significant advantage of the concentration in Communication & Media Studies is its flexibility: The degree requirements offer multiple options to tailor your coursework to your specific interests, and the degree positions you to be competitive in a variety of careers.

Your online bachelor's degree in communication involves taking at least 124 credit hours total, including 42 in the Communication department and 19 elective hours.

Program Structure

  • To graduate with the Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Communication & Media Studies::
    • Complete a minimum of 124 hours
      • 63 hours of university and college core courses
      • +6 hours required Communication core courses
      • +36 hours of required Public Relations or Communication & Media Studies courses (courses taken in prerequisite order)
      • +19 hours General Electives
    • Up to 62 hours may be transferred from an accredited community college
  • Students must have a GPA of 2.00 on all college work prior to entering the major
  • A grade of C or better is required for all Communication courses to count toward the degree

Core Curriculum

All students who enter MSU must meet the common core curriculum requirements as set by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi to qualify for any bachelor's degree.

  • English Composition (6 hours)
  • Mathematics (6 hours)
  • Foreign Language (3 hours) (up to the third semester of a language, unless you test out of this requirement)
  • Fine Arts (3 hours)
  • Oral Communication (3 hours)
  • Natural Sciences (9 hours)
  • Humanities (18 hours)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours): No more than 6 hours from one discipline (CO & EC only 3 hours allowed)
 

Admissions Process

New Admissions

If you have never attended Mississippi State University, please complete the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.

  • You will choose Communication (BA) as your major and Online Education as your campus.
  • Request that official ACT or SAT scores be sent to MSU.
  • Request that your high school send your official transcript. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Submit a separate official final transcript from each college or university attended; faxed transcripts will not be accepted. An applicant may not ignore previous college attendance and must list all colleges attended on the application for admission. You must be in good standing at the last college or university attended. A 2.0 GPA is required for admission to the program.
  • If you are able to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them to admit@msstate.edu.
  • If you are unable to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them via U.S. Postal Service to:
    Office of Admissions & Scholarships
    P.O. Box 6334
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
  • All new admits will pay a non-refundable application fee online.

Courses

All Communication students must take:

  • CO 1003 Fundamentals of Public Speaking OR 1013 Intro to Communication
  • CO 1223 Introduction to Communication Theory
  • CO 1403 Introduction to Mass Media
  • CO 1503 Introduction to Theatre *See your advisor if another Fine Art was taken before becoming a CO major

CO 1013 Intro to Communication: 3 hours.
Three hours lecture. To sharpen the student's awareness and to facilitate growth in the human interaction process across a variety of communication situations. Students may not receive credit for both CO 1003 and CO 1013.


CO 1223 Introduction to Communication Theory: 3 hours.
Three hours lecture. A comprehensive introduction to the bases of contemporary communication theory


CO 1403 Introduction to the Mass Media: 3 hours.
Three hours lecture. How American media are organized to collect and distribute news, editorial, entertainment material, and other forms of public information


Communication & Media Studies Concentration Courses:

CO 2904 Introduction to Film: 4 hours.
CO 2904 Introduction to Film: 4 hours. Three hours lecture. Two hours lab. A basic introduction to the study of film language, history, and theory, emphasizing aesthetic, technological, and socio-cultural developments of film form. (Same as ART 2904 and EN 2904)


CO 3223 Communication & Media Research Methods 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: CO 1223 and CO 1403 and passage of the departmental GSP exam). Three hours lecture. An introduction to methods used to study communication problems and processes


CO 3233 Communication and Media Ethics: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: CO 1223 or CO 1403). Three hours lecture. An introduction to the major concepts, theories, and issues related to human communication ethics in a variety of contexts and situations


CO 4043 Communication and Leadership: 3 hours.
Three hours lecture. A study of communication as related to the functions and styles of leadership


CO 4063 Family Communication: 3 hours.
Three hours lecture. An exploration of contemporary understandings of the communication patterns and dynamics that shape family relationships, and the central role families play in society, particular communities, and individual lives


CO 4124 Topics in Film: 4 hours.
Three hours lecture. Two hours lab. Repeatable under different subtitles with advisor approval. An advanced investigation of specific topics in Film, Film History, Directors, Genre, and/or approaches to its production. Readings and discussions, supplemented by lectures/labs and film screenings. (Same as ART 4124/6124, EN 4124/6124)


CO 4213 Political Communication: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: CO 1223 and CO 1403). Three hours lecture. Analysis and evaluation of the verbal and nonverbal dimensions of the creation dissemination, and reception of political communication in the United States


CO 4233 Gender and Media: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: CO 1403 or GS 1173). Three hours lecture. A critical exploration of discourses of gender and its intersections with sexuality, race, and class as represented in popular forms of media. (Same as GS 4233/6233


CO 4253 Elements of Persuasion: 3 hours.
Prerequisite: CO 1223). Three hours lecture. A study of the motivation of audiences and techniques of persuasive campaigns and communications.


CO 4293 Communication & Media Studies Capstone: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: Senior standing and CO 3223). Three hours lecture. Synthesis of the major theories, research methods, and contexts taught in the Communication and Media Studies curriculum, culminating in an independent written or applied research project


CO 4313 Mass Media Law: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Study and analysis of laws and regulations significantly affecting newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, broadcasting and digital media in America


CO 4323 Mass Media and Society: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. The effects of mass communication on social and cultural institutions


CO 4433 Television Criticism: 3 hours.
(Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher). Three hour lecture. Methods of television criticism


CO 4924 Film Theory: 4 hours.
Three hours lecture. Two hours lab. This course will introduce students to major theoretical positions and modes of analysis used to understand the various frameworks in which to view, criticize, analyze, and (re)contextualize film. (Same as ART 4924 and EN 4924/6924)

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Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Photo of Dr. Pete Smith

Dr. Pete Smith

Department of Communication

  • Interim Coordinator

Program Reminders

  • Students must have a GPA of 2.00 on all college work prior to entering the major
  • You must take the required Communication/Public Relations courses in the required order. Some courses have prerequisites, and these prerequisites must be completed before you can take certain courses.
  • If you take courses, not on your recommended program of study, it is likely the classes will not count toward your BA degree.
  • You must earn a grade of C or better in all Communication classes.
  • In order to graduate from MSU, you must have an MSU and Overall GPA of 2.0.

All programs of study are subject to review by the Registrar's Office for graduation, even from a signed program of study. Courses that do not equal MSU courses exactly may or may not apply to your program as core courses. You can see these course translations through the CAPP report found at my.msstate.edu. To access the report, log into your myState account and click on the "hamburger" icon in the top left corner in order to access the Banner tab; click or hover over the myBanner for Students tab in order to view the Academic Records column where you can click on the CAPP Compliances link.


Contact Information

Haylee Crouch Headshot Photo

Haylee Crouch

Communication

  • Academic Advising Coordinator
Photo of Dr. Pete Smith

Dr. Pete Smith

Department of Communication

  • Interim Coordinator