Comparative Media Studies (co-major)


No specific degree is designated for this co-major. Students select another major at Miami (receiving the degree designation of that major) and choose Comparative Media Studies as a second major.

What is Comparative Media Studies (co-major)?

Comparative Media Studies is the exploration of media in its broadest sense: across cultures, across histories, and across technologies. Multiple media affect the way we engage with the world around us every day: print, television, digital cinema, radio, mp3, video games, websites, smartphone apps, GPS, data visualization, weather radar, and many more. CMS puts all of these increasingly intertwined technologies in conversation. It provides the historical background and critical tools students need to navigate global environments shaped by continually emerging and evolving media technologies. Drawing on critical methods from art history, sociology, history, communications, popular music studies, anthropology, and informatics, CMS helps students control the media in their lives rather than be controlled by them.

What are the features of Miami’s program?


The term "co-major" indicates that students must be concurrently enrolled in and must complete another major at Miami University. This co-major complements the primary major, which provides significant depth and breadth in an academic discipline.

Blending media analysis and media production

CMS co-majors study how media technologies shape their world through hand-on-engagement with those technologies. In the process, students gain a broad knowledge of many different media production skills. More importantly, given the rapid rate of technological change, CMS empowers students to teach themselves how to use unfamiliar technologies (rather than giving narrow instruction in today’s soon-to-be-replaced equipment and programs).

Self-designed curriculum

Only 13 of the curriculum's 32 credited hours come from required classes. Each student works with a CMS advisor to select the remaining 19 credit hours from among the university’s diverse course offerings. This self-designed curriculum allows students to tailor their CMS experience to their personal interests.

Engagement with diverse peers and faculty

As an interdisciplinary program, CMS brings together faculty and students from across the university, giving students the opportunity to work closely with people who have different perspectives and expertise.

Co-major flexibility

CMS serves as an efficient second major option to students across the university. As a co-major, the CMS degree becomes an addition to a student’s primary major. Although the CMS program is located in the College of Arts and Science, students whose primary major is located in a different division (e.g., in the Farmer School of Business; College of Create Arts; College of Education, Health and Society; College of Engineering and Computing; College of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences) do not have to complete the Arts and Science divisional requirements. Picking up a co-major in CMS will add at most 32 additional credit hours to a student’s graduation requirements.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

Because this degree is a co-major, CMS requires students to have a primary major. That major can be any major in the University (except another co-major).

What courses would I take?

During your first two years, you will take MAC 143: Introduction to Media and CMS 101: Smartphone & Society. After those foundation courses, you will take CMS 301: Comparative Approaches to Media Studies and at the end of your coursework you will take CMS 401, the senior seminar in CMS.

The rest of the curriculum is a self-designed set of courses that co-majors select in consultation with a CMS advisor. Students will take 9 credits of critical/analytical courses from across the university and 9 credits of coursework focused on one form of production (of the student's choice). When possible, students may fulfill the production requirement with production-focused coursework from their primary major.

What can I do with this major?

The CMS degree was designed as a co-major to give students from across the university a valuable media skill set that would serve them well in any career. Employers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors all need people who are not only experts in their respective fields, but also effective communicators and analysts of media communication. Moreover, studies show that graduates with more than one major are better critical thinkers. No matter what your current major, adding a CMS co-major will add to your professional depth and give you an edge in the job market.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Media, Journalism, and Film
Dr. Mack Hagood, Area Coordinator
120 Williams Hall
Oxford, OH 45056