Skip to Content

College of Information and Communications

Social Media and Mass Communications Minor

Social Media is an integral channel in the gathering and dissemination of news and public discourse and is a key element of the messaging strategy of most persuasive communications campaigns, and thus it is woven into the fabric of every discipline in the SJMC. Its growing centrality as a source of informational, social and cultural literacy and resulting impact on society at large is a key focal point of studies in the iSchool. It is therefore a topic that merits study as a general theme in the field of mass communications and information science. The new minor will give you the chance to study strategies, impacts and effects of social media in the mass media and society at large.


Any student enrolled at the University of South Carolina may choose this minor except for students with majors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

The Curriculum

  • JOUR 101 - Media and Society
    Principles, history, philosophies, theories of the mass media and allied professions and their societal role and impact.
    ISCI 202 - Introduction to Information Literacy & Technology
    An introduction to the basic information technologies used in all types of information organizations and the essential concepts and skills needed for information literacy.
  • JOUR 285 - Social Media and Society
    Analysis of major social media sites and the role they play in informative and persuasive communications. Review of key platforms, what makes them successful as well as concerns about their impact and misuse.
  • JOUR 385 - Social Media Planning
    An introduction to social media planning and digital media analytic skills, includes survey and analysis of content and strategies based on social media insights.

At least one, no more than two, ISCI courses from among the following:

  • ISCI 315 - Information Policy
    Problems and ethical issues that arise in the development and implementation of information policies in Information Science.
  • ISCI 415 - Social Informatics
    Examines the design, uses, and effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) from the standpoint that society and technology mutually shape one another.
  • ISCI 420 - Communication and Information Transfer
    An overview of the communication models, major concepts, trends, and other related issues of information transfer with a focus on information seeking and use in digital age.
  • ISCI 434 - Introduction to Knowledge Discovery
    The students will review knowledge discovery basics concepts, techniques, tools, and applications. This course is project based and the students will develop new Wikipedia pages by reading papers in a selected domain.
  • ISCI 480 - Emerging Topics in Information Science
    Examination of selected current and emerging topics in the field of information science. May be repeated once for credit as topics vary.
  • ISCI 560 - Information Visualization
    Foster theoretical insights about information visualization. Prepare small and large-scale datasets for visual representations. Project-based and students will map real datasets and understand the methods to interpret the visualizations.

At least one, no more than two, electives from the following:

  • Any one of the following Principles courses :
    • JOUR 201 – Principles of Public Relations
      Methods used by business, government, consumer groups, minorities, environmentalists, and others to influence public attitudes toward their activities.
    • JOUR 202 – Principles of Advertising and Brand Communication
      An introduction to the advertising and strategic communications industries. Discussion of the structure and history of the business, social impacts and regulation, research, planning, creative, media planning, sales promotion, event promotion and the integrated nature of all promotional communication.
    • JOUR 203 – Principles of Visual Communication
      Theory and history of visual communication in the mass media emphasizing informational and persuasive messages created by graphic, photographic, and multimedia processes.
    • JOUR 204 – Principles of Journalism
      Principles and foundations of journalism to reflect both how journalism serves communities and how its techniques are developed to effectively communicate to audiences.
  • JOUR 304 - Internet and Social Media Law
    Examination of the origins and history of First Amendment and related law and ethics, with an emphasis on how they apply to the Internet and social media.
  • JOUR 308 - Media and Youth
    An introduction to media uses and effects research, considering cognitive, affective, and social development as a framework for analyzing media effects on youth.
  • JOUR 343 - Social Media for Sports Media
    Effective social media use in the world of the sports media. Topics relating to advertising, journalism, public relations, visual communications, and mass communications will be discussed. Provides contextual background on various social media and uses exercises to develop best practices.
  • JOUR 491 - Communication and Information Transfer (cross listed as ISCI 420)
    An overview of the communication models, major concepts, trends, and other related issues of information transfer with a focus on information seeking and use in digital age.
  • JOUR 530 - Creative Leadership
    Theories of leadership as applied to creative industries. Students will engage and interact with community-based organizations to assess needs, plan communications strategies, lead student teams in developing those ideas, and present to clients. Junior standing or permission of instructor.
  • JOUR 542 - Public Opinion and Persuasion
    Theory and practice of persuasive communication and the role of persuasion in shaping public opinion.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.