Communication is the study of basic human social processes: the creation and dissemination of meaning and information. The major prepares students for graduate study or professional positions in such fields as interpersonal and organizational communication, journalism, media production and criticism, political communication, and public relations. Students develop skills and knowledge that put them at the edge of a rapidly changing communication industry. Majors learn to construct and evaluate messages across platforms—web, print, audio and visual.

Policies

Students pursuing this degree must complete 39 credits within the major, with a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course.

Of the 39 credits applied to the major, no more than 10 credits may be from courses listed in the Degree Requirements. In addition to 12 credits of core courses, students take 21 credits of courses in a concentration and 6 credits of additional communication courses. Of these last 27 credits, at least 12 credits must be at the 300-400 level, no more than 6 credits may be in COMM 450 Internship in Communication, and no more than 3 credits may be in COMM 452 Media Production Practicum.
For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

 

Banner Code: LA-BA-COM

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

COMM 200Communication Theory3
COMM 300Foundations of Public Communication 13
COMM 305Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core)3
COMM 400Research Methods in Communication 23
Total Credits12
1

Must first complete COMM 200 Communication Theory with a grade of C or better.

2

Must first complete six credits from COMM 300 Foundations of Public Communication, COMM 301 Foundations of Interpersonal Communication, or COMM 305 Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core) with a grade of C or better.

Concentration

Students must complete coursework in one concentration. Students may also declare a second concentration. They must declare a concentration before they earn more than 75 credits. Transfer students with 60 or more credits are encouraged to declare a concentration by the end of their first semester. COMM 399 Special Topics in Communication or other special topics courses from other concentrations may be applied toward a concentration when the topic is relevant to the concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

Concentration in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (IOC)

Required Courses
COMM 301Foundations of Interpersonal Communication (core course)3
COMM 335Organizational Communication (core course)3
COMM 201Small Group Communication3
or COMM 332 Nonverbal Communication
Electives
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Small Group Communication
Case Studies in Persuasion
Foundations of Health Communication
Issues in Intercultural Communication
Business and Professional Communication
Nonverbal Communication
Family and Health Communication
Children and Media
Special Topics in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
Special Topics in Health Communication
Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace
Persuasion
Environmental Communication
Interviewing
Digital Communication
Ceremonial Speech Writing and Performance
Topics in Communication and Gender
Total Credits21

Concentration in Journalism (JNL)

Required Courses
COMM 203Introduction to Journalism3
COMM 303Writing across the Media3
COMM 454Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)3
Select three credits from the following:3
News Writing and Reporting
News Editing: Print and Beyond
Online Journalism
Multimedia Journalism
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Newspaper Workshop I
Radio Workshop I
Digital Media Workshop
Foundations of Media Theory
Newspaper Workshop II
News Writing and Reporting (if not taken as a required course)
News Editing: Print and Beyond
Broadcast Journalism
Video: Performance and Writing
Online Journalism (if not taken as a required course)
Feature Writing
Sports Writing and Reporting
Business and Economic Journalism
Political Journalism
Special Topics in Journalism
Multimedia Journalism (if not taken as a required course)
History of Journalism
Journalism Law
Total Credits21

Concentration in Media Production and Criticism (MPC)

Required Courses
COMM 208Introduction to Media Production3
COMM 302Foundations of Media Theory3
COMM 380Media Criticism3
Electives
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Radio Workshop I
Digital Media Workshop
Media and Society
Voice and Articulation
Introduction to Media Literacy
Writing across the Media
Performance for Communication Arts
Yearbook Workshop
Cable TV Programming and Marketing
Radio Workshop II
Mass Communication and Public Policy
Broadcast Journalism
Radio Production
Video: Performance and Writing
Multi-Camera Studio Production
Media Management
Digital Postproduction
Media Career Seminar
Videography
Gender, Race, and Class in the Media
Visual Communication
Children and Media
Sports and the Media
Mass Communication Advertising and Promotions
Special Topics in Mass Communication
Special Topics in Production
Digital Communication
Media Production Practicum
Comparative Mass Media (Mason Core)
Total Credits21

Concentration in Political Communication (PCOM)

Required Courses
COMM 302Foundations of Media Theory3
COMM 327Political Communication3
COMM 430Persuasion3
COMM 454Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)3
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts
Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies
Case Studies in Persuasion
Basic Debate Theory and Practice
Theories of Argumentation
Business and Professional Communication
Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)
Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts
Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies
Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)
Political Journalism
Media Criticism
Special Topics in Political Communication
Politics and the Mass Media
New Media and Democracy
Environmental Communication
Topics in Communication and Gender
Total Credits21

Concentration in Public Relations (PR)

Required Courses
COMM 204Introduction to Public Relations3
COMM 303Writing across the Media3
COMM 331Advanced Principles in Public Relations3
COMM 430Persuasion3
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Media and Society
Case Studies in Persuasion
Basic Debate Theory and Practice
Theories of Argumentation
Foundations of Media Theory
Business and Professional Communication
Organizational Communication
News Writing and Reporting
Media Management
Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)
Mass Communication Advertising and Promotions
Public Relations and Social Media
Special Topics in Public Relations
Public Relations for Associations and Nonprofits
Issues in Public Relations
Writing for Public Relations
Public Relations Study Abroad
Public Relations Practicum
Environmental Communication
Ceremonial Speech Writing and Performance
Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)
Total Credits21

Electives

Select six credits of COMM courses in consultation with an advisor 16
Total Credits6
1

COMM 100 Public Speaking (Mason Core) and COMM 101 Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

Courses Limited to 10 Credits

Of the 39 credits applied to the major, no more than 10 credits may be in these courses. In addition, no more than 6 credits of COMM 450 Internship in Communication or 3 credits of COMM 452 Media Production Practicum may be applied to the major.

COMM 140Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts1
COMM 141Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts1
COMM 142Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies1
COMM 143Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies1
COMM 145Newspaper Workshop I1
COMM 148Radio Workshop I1
COMM 157Digital Media Workshop1
COMM 340Forensics Seminar in Creative Arts1
COMM 341Forensics Seminar in Recreative Arts1
COMM 342Forensics Seminar in Debate: Affirmative Strategies1
COMM 343Forensics Seminar in Debate: Negative Strategies1
COMM 345Newspaper Workshop II1
COMM 346Yearbook Workshop1
COMM 348Radio Workshop II1
COMM 398Research Practicum in Communication1-3
COMM 450Internship in Communication3
COMM 451Facilitating Communication Education3
COMM 452Media Production Practicum1-3
COMM 491RS: Honors Research Project in Communication3
COMM 498RS: Research Projects in Communication3
COMM 499Independent Study in Communication1-3

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as writing intensive in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in communication fulfill this requirement by successfully completing COMM 300 Foundations of Public Communication.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following:3
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 13
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning
Geography of Virginia
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
American Sign Language (ASL) I
American Sign Language (ASL) II
American Sign Language (ASL) III
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 300Civilizations3
ANTH 301Native North Americans3
ANTH 302Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ANTH 303Peoples and Cultures of the Andes3
ANTH 306Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)3
ANTH 307Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)3
ANTH 308Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)3
ANTH 309Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)3
ANTH 313Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)3
ANTH 314Zombies3
ANTH 316Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)3
ANTH 323Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology3
ANTH 330Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western3
ANTH 332Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)3
ANTH 381Medical Anthropology3
ANTH 383Cities of the Global South3
ANTH 396Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)3
ARAB 360Topics in Arabic Cultural Production3
ARAB 420Survey of Arabic Literature3
ARAB 440Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)3
ARTH 203Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 204Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 206Survey of African Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 318Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTH 319Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)3
ARTH 320Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 382Arts of India (Mason Core)3
ARTH 383Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)3
ARTH 384Arts of China (Mason Core)3
ARTH 385Arts of Japan (Mason Core)3
ARTH 386The Silk Road (Mason Core)3
ARTH 482RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art3
CHIN 318Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)3
CHIN 320Contemporary Chinese Film3
CHIN 325Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)3
DANC 118World Dance (Mason Core)3
ECON 361Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ECON 362African Economic Development (Mason Core)3
FREN 451Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture3
FREN 454Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture3
GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
GGS 316Geography of Latin America3
GGS 325Geography of North Africa and the Middle East3
GGS 330Geography of the Soviet Succession States3
GGS 399Select Topics in GGS3
GOVT 328Non-Western Political Theory3
GOVT 332Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa3
GOVT 333Government and Politics of Asia3
GOVT 340Central Asian Politics3
GOVT 341Chinese Foreign Policy3
GOVT 345Islam and Politics3
GOVT 432Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa3
GOVT 433Political Economy of East Asia3
HIST 251Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 252Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 261Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 262Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 271Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 272Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 281Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 282Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 326Stalinism3
HIST 327The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II3
HIST 328Rise of Russia (Mason Core)3
HIST 329Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)3
HIST 353History of Traditional China3
HIST 354Modern China3
HIST 356Modern Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 357Postwar Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 358Post-1949 China (Mason Core)3
HIST 360History of South Africa (Mason Core)3
HIST 364Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 365Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 366Comparative Slavery3
HIST 367History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6
HIST 426The Russian Revolution3
HIST 460Modern Iran (Mason Core)3
HIST 461Arab-Israeli Conflict3
HIST 462Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)3
HIST 465The Middle East in the 20th Century3
JAPA 310Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)3
JAPA 340Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)3
KORE 320Korean Popular Culture in a Global World3
MUSI 103Musics of the World (Mason Core)3
RELI 211Religions of the West (Mason Core)3
RELI 212Religions of Asia (Mason Core)3
RELI 240Death and the Afterlife in World Religions3
RELI 272Islam3
RELI 313Hinduism (Mason Core)3
RELI 314Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions3
RELI 315Buddhism (Mason Core)3
RELI 337Mysticism: East and West3
RELI 365Muhammad: Life and Legacy3
RELI 374Islamic Thought (Mason Core)3
RELI 375Qur'an and Hadith3
RELI 379Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics3
RELI 387Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights3
RELI 490Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)3
RUSS 353Russian Civilization (Mason Core)3
RUSS 354Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology3-7
Core Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1
Synthesis/Capstone3
Total Credits40
1

minimum 3 credits

Additional Elective Courses

Select any remaining credits of elective courses to bring the degree total to 120

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may pursue advanced coursework leading to graduation with honors in the major.

Eligibility

Students are eligible to apply for honors coursework if they meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 75 credit hours, including COMM 200 Communication Theory and two of COMM 300 Foundations of Public CommunicationCOMM 301 Foundations of Interpersonal CommunicationCOMM 302 Foundations of Media TheoryCOMM 305 Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core).
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 in all coursework completed at George Mason.
  • GPA of 3.50 in all communication coursework completed at George Mason and applied to the major.

Honors coursework in communication is a fall-spring sequence. Applications may be submitted by eligible students for fall semester enrollment. The deadline is March 15 each spring, for the sequence beginning the following fall. Student eligibility will be dependent on the GPA at the time of application. If accepted to pursue honors coursework, the student must then enroll in COMM 490 Honors Research Methods in Communication. Under the guidance of the COMM 490 Honors Research Methods in Communication instructor, the student will complete a research prospectus for an honors project to be implemented in the following semester in COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication.

Honors Requirements

To remain eligible for honors coursework, the student must

  • receive a grade of 3.00 (no lower than B) in COMM 490 Honors Research Methods in Communication;
  • have the research prospectus approved by the COMM 490 Honors Research Methods in Communication instructor and the honors director; and
  • maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.50 in all COMM coursework completed at George Mason University and applied to the major.

In the following semester, the student enrolls in COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication. The student conducts his/her research and prepares a written project conforming to the standards set by the instructor. Upon completion of the project, the COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication instructor and the honors director will determine if the project is of honors quality, which is then indicated by the grade earned in COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication. For honors designation, the student must achieve an average grade of 3.50 across COMM 490 Honors Research Methods in Communication and COMM 491 RS: Honors Research Project in Communication and must also maintain minimum GPA eligibility requirements outlined above.

The accelerated master's programs in the list below specify the BA in communication as a feeder degree for their programs. It is important to note, however, that many accelerated master's programs are available for any bachelor's degree at Mason, including this one. See the full list of master's degrees with accelerated programs at George Mason.

Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Women and Gender Studies Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in select majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree in their chosen major and a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometime within five years.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Selected Majors

AnthropologySociologyEnglishHistoryPhilosophyConflict Analysis and ResolutionPsychologyGovernment and International Politics, and Communication.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MAIS, see http://mais.gmu.edu/programs/la-mais-isin/application on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate courses as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

Select two from the following:6
Special Topics
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Theories across the Disciplines
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits6

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Special Topics
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Theories across the Disciplines
Women and Global Issues
Total Credits6

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.

Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Interdisciplinary Studies, Accelerated MAIS (Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration)

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in select majors (listed below) may apply to the accelerated master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social justice and human rights. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree in their chosen major and a master's in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social justice and human rights after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Selected Majors

Anthropology, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Sociology, English, History, Philosophy, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Psychology, Government and International Politics, Integrative Studies, and Communication.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MAIS, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete INTS 540 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights and one course chosen from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights as indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all course work. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit (chosen from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights). These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the program. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.

Select up to 6 credits from the list of electives for the MAIS concentration in social justice and human rights6
Total Credits6