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 develop and hone skills as critical readers and practitioners that cross a range of disciplines and professional contexts.

Students who graduate with an MCS major think critically about access, use, and control of communication and media on the local, national, and global level. The 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 research projects.

Career Focus

The major prepares students for careers in the media industries, including digital media production, journalism, writing, and strategic communication, as well as community organizing and social justice work. The MCS major also provides a strong foundation for students pursuing advanced degrees in Communication, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, and Media Production, among many other fields. Here is more information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school.

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 - min. 2.5 grade (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)

The IPR requirement can be completed through elective credits or it can overlap with major coursework.

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 five core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Media and Communication Studies:

  • Develop communication literacies across different genres, mediums, and social contexts
  • Recognize and name how different populations experience power, difference, and injustice in relation to media organizations and representational practices
  • Engage with media and communication scholarship in order to research and analyze diverse communication processes
  • Apply media and communication scholarship to the processes of producing ethical media and communication content in a variety of contexts and for a range of purposes
  • Analyze the role, practices, histories, rules, and regulations of media and communication technologies in contemporary societies























Academic Advisor

Research Librarian

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 First Year & Pre-Major Program.

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