Bachelor of Arts

Media & Communication Studies (MCS)

  1. MCS
  2. Requirements
  3. Learning Objectives

What is Media & Communication Studies?

The Media and Communication Studies (MCS) major prepares students to be critical media and communication practitioners. Those who graduate with an MCS major think carefully about the place of communication and media in creating our society at the local, national, and global level. The MCS major combines hands-on production with a rich grounding in media and communication theory and history that focuses on power, difference, and injustice. MCS students develop the intellectual capacities and skills needed to use media and communication effectively and ethically.

MCS coursework integrates theory and practice through media production workshops, classroom seminars, and community-based projects. The curriculum enables students to hone their skills as critics and practitioners of media and communication by drawing connections across diverse social, cultural, and scientific areas of inquiry and professional sectors.

MCS prepares students for future careers in electronic media broadcasting, non-broadcast audio and video production, journalism, writing, advertising, community organizing, and strategic communication. The MCS major also prepares students for graduate study in Communication, Media Studies, and Cultural Studies, among many others fields.

MCS Major Requirements


There are no formal prerequisites for Media & Communication Studies beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. Useful preparation for this option includes formal and informal training in new media production.  Students will need strong skills in critical and creative thinking, communications, and collaboration.

Degree Requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
  • MCS Core Course (5 credits)
  • MCS Communication Practice & Media Production Courses (10 credits)
  • MCS Tier One Courses (15 credits)
  • MCS Tier One, Tier Two OR Communication Practice & Media Production Courses (10 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)

TOTAL = 68 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.

Note: Classes in this option are offered primarily during daytime hours.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 68 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an MCS major requirement.

Upper Division Credit Policy

Of the credits applying to MCS major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Matriculated status

Courses taken to satisfy MCS major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?

Students admitted to the MCS major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.

Media and Communication Learning Objectives

The Media and Communication Studies curriculum advances the four core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Media and Communication Studies:

1) Understand the importance of media in contemporary society.

2) Analyze media representations and audience responses.

3) Gain media literacy by exploring diverse forms of communication.

4) Communicate effectively and create meaningful media content.

5) Actively engage with various forms of media and media environments.

6) Use contemporary media and communication technologies ethically and creatively.





















































Please contact the MCS Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the Media and Communication Studies major. To declare the MCS major, please contact the CUSP office.

MCS Resources

The Media and Communications Studies major at the University of Washington Bothell prepares students for the future of business and mass communications. Its focus on new media and online environments provides the skills that will be necessary for a 21st century workforce in a broad range of disciplines. Jonathan Cluts Class of 1994, Director of Strategic Prototyping, Microsoft