• Communication and Media Studies

Communication and Media Studies

What is CMS?

In a media saturated, diverse, and complex global environment, the Communication and Media Studies (CMS) prepares students to become discerning media consumers and producers, critical thinkers, confident speakers, skilled writers, and creative storytellers.

An interdisciplinary program, CMS builds upon a foundation of communication and media theory and draws from eleven programs and departments on campus to enable students to study a wide range of topics and develop critical academic and professional skills including:

  • persuasive writing;
  • public speaking;
  • successful and strategic interpersonal communication;
  • information vetting;
  • multi-modal problem solving;
  • media literacy and analysis;
  • project management; and
  • research design and execution.

Why CMS?

CMS is an interdisciplinary, versatile, and flexible major that pushes students to expand their understanding of human communication, culture, and social institutions.

The knowledge, understanding, and skills that students acquire in the CMS major transform them into a highly valued asset for a wide variety of industries: from grassroots organizations, to global media companies, to politics, law, and everything in-between.

Importantly, communications and media studies in a liberal arts environment challenges students to wield their knowledge for civic good and ethical change. Communication and media are the relational, collaborative forces that construct our world, and a CMS degree gives students a unique edge to impact that world.

Learning Goals:

CMS students question knowledge, analyze the world around them, and create solutions. At the end of their course of study CMS majors will be able to:

  • engage in critical inquiry of historical and contemporary issues in communication and media studies in a global landscape  
  • communicate key concepts in the field and demonstrate their practical application through clear writing and oral presentation 
  • develop independent research in the field  
  • advocate for ethical communication principles and media literacy in professional settings and in civic life  
[Updated June 5, 2020]

CMS 101 Introduction to Communication and Media Studies

CMS 250 Intermediate Communication and Media Theory

CMS 301 Research Methods in Communication and Media Studies

CMS 450 Senior Seminar

Seven (7) additional courses in the chosen concentration, at least four (4) at the 300-400 level

Senior Capstone Experience

CMS 101 Introduction to Communication and Media Studies

CMS 250 Intermediate Communication and Media Theory

Four (4) Elective Courses


Concentrations allow students mold their cirriculum to their interests, providing in-depth preparation for professional careers and graduate school.

Business and Organizational Communication

The Business and Organizational Communication concentration focuses on applied skills and communicative structures in corporations, nonprofits, or small businesses.



Arts and Production

The Arts and Production concentration combines medium-specific courses, applied skills, creativity, and critical thought.



Identity and Culture

The Identity and Culture concentration considers how we understand the world we live in, the people we share it with, and the ways in which identity and culture inform that understanding.



Film Studies

The Film Studies concentration examines how cinema contributes to our understanding of the world, offers critical analysis of film history and theory, and provides opportunity to develop hands-on skills.




CMS Wiki: A resource website for communication and media studies inquiry curated by the students of Washington College

CMS Wiki

Trish Rana

Trish Rana
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Trish Rana

Class of 2021 • Pasadena, Maryland
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