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Online BA in Communication and Media Studies curriculum

Curriculum Details

120 total credits required

Earn your online Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Brenau University. You’ll complete 120 total credit hours in this bachelor’s degree program, including the general education core and 20 major-specific courses. Gain essential knowledge and skills through courses in mass communication, media writing, international media systems and other intriguing topics.

In small classes, you’ll receive guidance from expert faculty members who are dedicated to your success. Transfer up to 90 credit hours and take courses online, on your schedule to earn your degree in four years. Graduate ready to pursue a successful career in communication and media. From here, you can.

View the course catalog.

Foundation Courses


An introduction to the cinematic art through literary and visual analysis of key films, their genres, and social context.

A basic course designed to improve the student’s ability to communicate orally. Special attention is given to the selection and organization of material, presentation of speeches, and the development of an acceptable speaking voice.

The course facilitates understanding of the theory and practice of persuasion as a means of influencing attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and actions. Emphasis is placed on the critical evaluation of persuasive messages and the design of persuasive campaigns. An equally important element of the course is to foster student’s insight into the techniques of persuasion so that students are able to apply course-related concepts to the development of rhetorical appeals.

Major Requirements: (60 hours)


A survey of the historical development and operation of the various mass media and their cultural effects, including an overview of criticisms and problems of the media.

This course is designed to illuminate the process of interpersonal communication and its effect on social and personal identities. Course topics include effective listening, verbal and non-verbal communicating, the spirit of interpersonal exchange and negotiation relationships that honor diversity in personal and business environments. Managing conflict, understanding gender roles and self-awareness will also be addressed.

This course critically examines how U.S. media – viewed as one of the major social institutions – create, support and challenge social constructions of race, gender, class, sexuality and other ways in which people are identified, labeled or stereotyped. Students will analyze various print and electronic media content, including advertising.

This course will expose students to the many career paths that are available in music, sports, and entertainment. For every “star” there are hundreds of “helpers” including marketers, managers, attorneys, agents, and many other positions in the industry. Guest speakers from various segments of the industry will be featured. Descriptions of the varying facets of the music, sports, and entertainment business will be discussed.

Theory and practice of written and spoken communication in business both in person and via electronic formats. The applications of psychological principles to improve the effectiveness of business correspondence and related types of business writing for implementation of business policy. The preparation of business reports, memoranda, and letters are required.

Prerequisite(s): EH 101

A basic course to introduce the student to communication theory. Major theories in the process of communication from both the social sciences and humanities will be presented, from Aristotle (rhetoric) to Shannon and Weaver (information transmission) to McLuhan (mass communication).

This introductory writing course addresses the basics of writing for print, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising copywriting. The course involves lectures, discussions, and laboratory practice in data gathering, organizing and writing for various media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Web.

Prerequisite(s): EH 101

A survey of the historical, technological, and industrial development of media in its multiple forms. This course explores how the changing media landscape parallels it’s social and cultural function, domestically and globally, and how new innovations emerge from previous media forms and practices. Students will learn how the evolution of media and cultural traditions, spanning from their folk tradition roots to the digital age.

This course explores the cultural, historical, and (trans)national origins of Japanese and anime, and their continued impact on its later development. A product of both Japanese cultural traditions and outside global influences, anime has grown from a niche market to one of wider global appeal Anime is a complex reflection of cultural flow that reflects aspects of post-war Japanese identity while also serving as a prime example of how culture flows between nations. By exploring the various facets of anime and its relationship to other media, students will learn more about both Japanese cultural history, racial identity, and about the flow of culture around the word – including right here at home.
This course examines the development of cinema as a mode of expression from its initial inception in the late 19th century through World War II. Film History I begins by reviewing the proto-cinematic arts and then surveys early days of film, the birth of the industry in Europe and the U.S., the silent era, and the Golden days of Hollywood. The class also explores the propaganda films produced during WWII, both by the Allies and Axis powers. Students will view and research select films from each period, studying them both as reflective of their historical content and as one of the social forces that has shaped history.
This course examines the development of cinema as a mode of expression from the end of World War II until present. Film History II begins by reviewing the Classical Hollywood Era and then surveys major cinematic movements that have followed, including Italian Neorealism, the Japanese cinema, Bollywood, and African cinema. All the while, we will track global trends such as the movement from distinct national cinema industries to internationalism, from conventional narrative form to more diverse and stylized storytelling, from studio-controlled production to independent filmmaking. Students will view and research select films from each period, studying them both as reflective of their historical content and as one of the social forces that has shaped history.

A study of the structure and function of modern broadcast media, the social and legal aspects of broadcasting, comparison with world media, and criticisms and problems confronting broadcast media.

Prerequisite(s): MM 101

A study of the basic influences affecting one’s perception and values, of the concepts of right and wrong and of the application of ethical principles to one’s professional responsibilities in mass media.

Prerequisite(s): MM 101

A comparison of mass media in this country with the media in other countries including the influence of political philosophy, history and geography on the development of a nation’s media system.
To introduce students to the dynamics of nonverbal behavior through exploration of scholarly research, application of practical theory, and analysis of sociocultural variables to foster a deeper appreciation and greater understanding of nonverbal messages across social contexts.
This course will give the student a grasp of the more complex marketing, management, legal, and technological changes that are taking place in the industry. Focus will be not only on existing business models but entrepreneurship and “cutting edge, out of the box” innovation in the industry.
Effective small group communication is an important component of decision-making. Understanding small group principles, including both attitudes and skills, is necessary in becoming productive member and leaders of problem-solving and task groups. This class will focus on the communication components of small groups including creating workable goals, the stages of group development, task and social maintenance roles, membership diversity, leadership, motivation, listening, conflict resolution, problem solving, critical thinking and argumentation, planning and conducting meetings, and issues of ethical behavior in groups.
Intercultural Communication focuses on the importance of culture in our everyday lives, and the ways in which culture interrelates with and effects communication processes. This course will provide theoretical, methodological, and practical insights into Intercultural Communication.
Crises are a fact of life for organizations. Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with major unpredictable events that threaten harm to the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public. This course follows the crisis communication management process through the stages of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. This course will examine the variables involved in crisis planning, communication, and management considering the organization’s vulnerabilities, the environment in which it thrives, the stakeholders who can influence its operation, and the strategies best suited to maintaining or enhancing its reputation. As technology and the proliferation of news outlets instantly inform the public about organizational missteps, organizations need to be aware of and manage their reputations before, during and after a crisis. We will consider how the media acts as a catalyst as well as intermediary in this process.

This variable hour (1 to 3) course is designed for the individual student in several forms. As a course in individual readings, it may allow a student to explore a topic of special interest with the help of an individual professor/tutor. As a 3-hour course , MM 495 can serve the needs of several students who share an interest in an area not specifically covered in the curriculum.

Additional Courses


  • Historical Perspective – 3 hours
  • Civic Engagement – 3 hours
  • Global Awareness – 3 hours
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Science – 7-8 hours (1 course must be a 4 hour lab science)
  • Reasoning – 3-4 hours
  • Fine Arts – 3 hours
  • Literature – 3 hours
  • Lifetime Fitness – 3 hours
  • Writing – 6 hours
  • Speaking – 3 hours
  • Modern Language – 0-3 hours
  • Communication – 3 hours

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