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Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (Honours) Requirements

The Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (B.CoMS) degree is a four-year Honours program. Of the 20.0 credits required for the B.CoMS degree, 9.0 credits must be in Communication and Media Studies. Eight of your remaining 11.0 credits must be chosen from disciplines outside Communication and Media Studies. The three remaining credits are free electives. You can find course descriptions and program requirements in the 2016-17 Undergraduate Calendar. If you’re thinking of applying, check out the admissions information below.

Note
If you are a student continuing in the Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies degree, program information can be found at the bottom of this page.

First Year

All students are required to take COMS 1000: Introduction to Communication and Media Studies. This course will orient you to the fundamental questions and issues that are the central concerns of the program. The course focuses on the role of communication and media in contemporary society and introduces the philosophical and theoretical concerns that underpin the field.

All first year students at Carleton University may take COMS 1000: Introduction to Communication and Media Studies. Upper year students from other programs may also use the course to meet their breadth requirements, however, priority will be given to Communication and Media Studies majors.

First-Year Seminar

First-year B.CoMS students are strongly encouraged to include a First-year Seminar (FYSM) in their first-year course load. First-year Seminars will get you away from the lecture hall and give you the chance, in a small class of no more than 30 students, to discuss and debate topics with classmates and your professor. You will also get early and frequent feedback on class assignments and instruction in research, writing and study skills. Although some FYSMs count as courses leading to a major, you do not have to choose a FYSM in your major discipline. See the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar for a complete listing and a description of the First-year Seminars and you can see descriptions for those offered in Communication and Media Studies.

Second Year

In second year, you are required to take 1.0 credit in communication and media theory and communication research methods. COMS 2003: Theoretical Foundations in Communication and Media Studies focuses upon key theoretical traditions and central debates within the field of communication and media studies. COMS 2004: Introduction to Communication Research explores the relationship between theory and evidence, research design, ethics, and data management.

Third Year

In your third year, you will take 1.5 credits across three required courses. Two of the courses focus on strengthening your research skills. COMS 3001: Quantitative Research in Communication and COMS 3002: Qualitative Research in Communication together provide important statistical and qualitative research tools appropriate to the investigation of communication including public opinion, image management, and audience measurement. COMS 3500: Current Issues in Communication and Media Theory examines theoretical debates and issues facing the field of communication and media studies today.

Across your second and third year, in addition to the requirements noted here and in the preceding section, you will take an additional 2.5 credits, with at least 1.0 credit at the 3000-level, chosen from a selection of Communication and Media Studies courses that will be listed in the forthcoming 2016 Undergraduate Calendar.

Fourth Year

B.CoMS Honours students need 3.0 credits in fourth year Communication and Media Studies courses. Students will take 2.5 credits from a selection of fourth year courses across a broad range of topics and a 0.5 credit in a practice-based course that will provide hands-on training in areas such as digital media practice, data mining and analytics, professional writing and speaking, and more. These courses will be listed in the forthcoming 2016 Undergraduate Calendar.

Honours Research Essay (CoMS 4908)

The Honours Research Essay provides students in the fourth year of the Communication and Media Studies Honours program with an opportunity to undertake independent and original research, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students will work with the Undergraduate Supervisor to identify a faculty supervisor. Those enrolled in the HRE should make an appointment to meet with the Undergraduate Supervisor during the first two weeks of the fall term. A short (1 page maximum) statement of research interest should be emailed to the Undergraduate Supervisor in advance of this meeting. 

If you are a student already registered in CoMS 4908, please see the student guidelines and if you are a faculty member supervising a student HRE, please see the supervisor guidelines.

CoMS 4908 Student Guidelines 2016-17

CoMS 4908 Supervisor Guidelines 2016-17

Study Abroad

Undergraduates may register in the International Exchange Program. It sends approximately 5 students per year to complete a term of study at a university in one of several countries (England, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, etc.). The Exchanges are also highly competitive and may not accept everyone. Communication and Media Studies does not administer the IEP. If you are interested in the IEP, please contact Carleton International for application procedures and partner universities.

The Co-op Program

You may elect to participate in the co-op option as part of your studies at Carleton University. The co-operative education program enables you to alternate your periods of study with four, eight, 12 or 16-month work terms with employers in your field. Typically, you will take an additional year of study to complete all academic and co-op program requirements, develop your work skills, and acquire the relevant industry experience. This program is not administered by the Communication and Media Studies Program, but you can explore the co-op option on the Co-operative Education website.

Combined Honours

If you are in the B.CoMS program, you can combine Sociology, Political Science, Economics or most other disciplines with Communication and Media Studies for a Combined Honours degree. Students who are in the Bachelor of Journalism program can also combine their studies in Journalism and Communication and Media Studies for a Bachelor of Journalism Combined Honours.

A Combined Honours degree requires 20.0 credits. You must have 7.0 credits in Communication and Media Studies and you must meet the requirements of the other discipline. The remaining credits are free electives or credits not in the two disciplines pursued. Students in the Combined Honours degree cannot take the fourth-year B.CoMS workshop courses.

Minor in Communication and Media Studies

If you are not majoring in the B.CoMS program, but are pursuing a BA (General) or BA (Honours) in another discipline, you may choose to complete a minor in Communication and Media Studies. For the minor, you will need 4.0 required credits in Communication and Media Studies courses.

Continuation in the Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies

For continuation in the B.CoMS Honours program, students are expected to meet the minimum CGPA requirements for good standing status, which are outlined in the university’s academic regulations.

Bachelor of Global and International Studies – Specialization in Global Media and Communication

Students in the Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS) program may elect to complete the Specialization in Global Media and Communication. In this specialization, you will explore global media and communication in historical and contemporary contexts, drawing on a range of perspectives that will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for working in global and international settings as communicators, researchers, analysts or advocates. Students in this specialization cannot take the fourth-year B.CoMS workshop courses. For more information about the Bachelor of Global and International Studies program, please visit their site.

Apply to the Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies 

Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) Program Information

If you are continuing in the Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies degree and have questions about program requirements and courses, please e-mail the Undergraduate Advisor at: Melanie.Leblanc@carleton.ca

See the archived calendar for Communication Studies program requirements