Media Strategies and Applications, Mass Communication (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Mass Communication
Concentration: Media Strategies and Applications
Program Code: 3256

About This Major . . .

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication is a concentration in Media Strategies and Applications. The overriding goal of the program is to offer students opportunities to develop the knowledge, theory and skills that will assist them in securing careers in the ever-changing fields of mass communication.

Graduates of Colorado Mesa University’s Mass Communication program establish successful careers in media (magazines, newspapers, radio, television, public relations, advertising, and Internet-based media), as well as in other venues such as non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Apply specific paradigms for critical thinking to mass communication. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Evaluate and apply diversity, objectivity, and balance to any form of mass communication. (Critical Thinking)
  3. Justify the decision for resolving moral or ethical mass communication dilemmas. (Specialized Knowledge)
  4. Write compelling content that demonstrates proper grammar, well-organized facts, and story-telling techniques for a variety of media. (Communication Fluency)
  5. Determine validity of sources and research techniques and interpret data. (Quantitative Fluency)
  6. Evaluate mass communication theories and assess their use. (Specialized Knowledge)
  7. Demonstrate proper application of industry tools and techniques common to mass communication. (Applied Learning)
  8. Determine the best methods and strategies for developing a message. (Communication Fluency)
  9. Reflect on and respond to ethical, social, civic, and/or environmental challenges at local, national, and/or global levels (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  10. Find relevant sources of information, evaluate information critically, and apply information appropriately and effectively to specific purposes (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 2
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 (or higher)3
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 3
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “B” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


Must receive a grade of "C" or better and must be complete by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(9 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher.)

MASS 110Mass Media: Impact and History-GTAH23
Select two consecutive classes in the same foreign language6
Total Semester Credit Hours9

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(44 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher and maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher for coursework in this area. To continue in the program and eventually graduate as Mass Communication – Media Strategies and Applications majors, students must earn a minimum grade of "C" in the major requirements within no more than three attempts.)

  • In an effort to meet industry standards, Macintosh computers are used in all computer-based Mass Communication courses. Majors are strongly advised to consider purchasing a Macintosh and related print and web publication software for personal use.
Mass Communication Core
MASS 140Media Theory Introduction3
MASS 144Multimedia Storytelling3
MASS 213Introduction to Media Writing and Reporting3
MASS 310Media Law and Ethics3
MASS 397Practicum1
MASS 494Seminar: Advanced Theory and Research3
MASS 498Senior Project Portfolio1
MASS 499Internship 13
Strategy Courses
Select 12 credit hours from the following:12
Mass Media: Advertising and Promotions
Broadcast Journalism Reporting
Specialized Writing for Media: Science
Specialized Writing for Media: Sports
Specialized Writing for Media: Health
Specialized Writing for Media: Crime
Specialized Writing for Media: Arts Journalism
Writing Opinion for Impact
Public Relations Concepts
Documentary and News Producing
Advanced Media Writing and Reporting
Writing for Public Relations and Advertising
Public Relations Campaigns
Application Courses
Select 12 credit hours from the following:12
Audio Announcing and Production
Video Production
Photojournalism I
Print Design and Production for Editors
Documentary and News Producing
TV Studio Production
Emerging Media
Photojournalism II
Designing for Brand and Message
Advanced Video Production
Total Semester Credit Hours44

Student may take more than 3 hours of Internship. Any hours beyond 3 may be included in the General Elective category.

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 upper division hours. 30 semester hours, including 5-14 semester hours of upper division may be needed.

Select electives30
Total Semester Credit Hours30
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
MASS 110 Mass Media: Impact and History-GTAH2 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
MASS 140 Media Theory Introduction 3
MASS 144 Multimedia Storytelling 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
MASS 213 Introduction to Media Writing and Reporting 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Strategy or Application courses (2 courses) 6
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Third Year
Fall Semester
MASS 310 Media Law and Ethics 3
MASS 397 Practicum 1
Strategy or Application (2 courses) 6
Electives (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Strategy or Application (2 courses) 6
Electives (3 courses) 9
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Strategy or Application (2 courses) 6
Electives (3 courses) 9
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
MASS 494 Seminar: Advanced Theory and Research 3
MASS 498 Senior Project Portfolio 1
MASS 499 Internship 3
Electives (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours13
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for their intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.