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  • About the mass communications major

Mass Communications

The mass communications major combines the study of mass media theory, principles, policies and practices and combines that with application in global exploration, community service, civic engagement, research and leadership. You’ll be prepared to work in the news business, PR, advertising or head to graduate or law school. You will take classes in multi-media and print journalism, advertising, public relations, visual communications and mass communications. The diverse structure of the major provides students with the ability to explore a wide variety of classes within the school.

Degree Requirements and Course Descriptions

Mass communications majors will take a variety of courses including Carolina Core, SJMC core courses, major specific courses and courses to fulfill minor or cognate requirements. See the current year Undergraduate Studies Bulletin for the complete outline of all the mass communications degree course requirements and regulations. It also contains course descriptions, as well as learning outcomes for the major.  Archived Bulletins are also online.

In order to stay on track towards graduation, the university offers an online program "DegreeWorks." DegreeWorks, which is accessible in Self Service Carolina, is kind of like your personal automated advisor because it displays the coursework you have already taken and shows how and where it applies to your major and/or minor requirements.  It also allows you to hypothetically change majors or minors to see how changes would impact your expected graduation date. 

Please note:
DegreeWorks is only available for students  who enrolled in Fall 2014 or later.

If you started at USC before Fall 2014, please see your assigned academic advisor for specifics regarding your degree plan.

Capstone Experience

As a senior mass communications student you will finish your degree by successfully completing the capstone experience.  In this course, you will develop a portfolio as well as a significant project that will display your critical thinking skills and in-depth knowledge about mass communications.  Additionally, your portfolio will showcase proficiency in your selected leadership pathway.

Your capstone experience includes the following course:

The mass communications major is currently the only major at USC that directly sets you up to graduate with Leadership Distinction. As a mass communications major you must select from one of four leadership pathway options and take the approved courses for that pathway. 

The leadership pathway options, as well as the course options are:

Global Learning 


Civic Engagement

  • Two approved SJMC civic engagement electives (see your assigned academic advisor)

Community Service

  • Two approved SJMC service learning or community engagement elective  (see your assigned academic advisor)

Sequence Head

Dr. Ken Campbell is the head of the mass communications sequence and helps make decisions about course scheduling and content. 

Contact Us

If you have questions about this major or your sequence progression, please contact your assigned academic advisor.

Want to change your major to journalism?

Visit the university advising center for information about changing your major.

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