Dive beneath the surface of the stories we hear and tell ourselves in our culture to discover the way meaning is made. Students will examine cultural messages with a critical eye that doesn't miss the nuances of a profoundly complex society. You'll learn to "read" and analyze the meaning manufactured by everything from what Justin Bieber's wearing to how the newscast is put together. Developing a cultural vocabulary will allow you to engage with the modern media environment critically, and interpret the political and ideological orientations of the messages we consume.
The Major in Communication and Cultural Studies is excellent preparation for graduate studies in either subject. Our students go on to careers in the media, advertising, and public relations or any field where superior analytic and rhetorical skills are valued.
Minimum cut-off averages should be used as indicators. The cut-off data may change depending on the applicant pool. Applicants who meet the stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission to these programs.
We consider complete applications year round and we give priority to applicants who apply by official deadlines. Late applications will be considered if places are still availablefor the fall term only.
18 credits chosen from the list of Studies Courses, with at least nine credits at the 400 level
42 total credits
NOTE: Students may not take more than one Practicum course in any one term at the 300 or 400 level.
Elective credits are understood as courses taken in other departments or Faculties of the University. Credits in Communication Studies or Journalism, or in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema may not be used in lieu of electives.
200-level courses are normally taken in first year, 300-level courses in second year, 400-level courses in third year. Students are responsible for satisfying their particular degree requirements.
Students are required to complete the appropriate entrance profile for entry into the program. For more information, see the Programs and Admission Requirements section on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website.
Approximately 160 students are admitted to our undergraduate programs each year — 130 to the degrees in Communication Studies and 30 to the major in Communication and Cultural Studies. The number of students that can be accommodated every year in our Department is physically limited by the room available in labs, the amount of equipment, and the number of professors. Applications consistently outnumber the Department’s capacity. For this reason, the Department of Communication Studies has a distinct admission procedure, in addition to the normal admission process of Concordia University.
BA Communication Studies (Major and Specialization) and
BA Communication & Cultural Studies
For Fall 2017 admissions to both BA programs in the Department of Communication Studies, supporting material for applications must be submitted online by uploading one PDF file using the Upload Document feature within the application or in the Student Centre in the MyConcordia portal. Please upload your documents using the appropriate names in the drop-down menu: Communication Studies Dossier or Communication and Cultural Studies Dossier.
Complete applications must be received by March 1 at 11:59 p.m. including receipt of all supporting documents (dossier, assessment forms, etc.). Applicants should be prepared to upload one PDF file (‘dossier’). This dossier should include the following three sections:
Letter of Intent: A letter, approximately 2 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, in which the applicant writes about the following:
Their knowledge and experience that would be pertinent to the study of communication, media, and culture;
Their interests in the field of communication and the reasons for applying to our program in particular.
Essay: An original essay, approximately 2 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, in which the applicant writes about their position on some significant issue connected to communication, media, culture or society. Applicants are encouraged to draw on and cite appropriate, authoritative sources using footnotes and a references section. Significant issues include, but are not limited to:
Significant topics in media, culture, and communication;
Documenting war/violence or communicating peace;
The role of alternative media;
The role of political debate;
Media and identity;
Representations of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality;
Popular media (film, radio, television, web, performance, music, social media).
Student copy of your last school record.
NOTES Applicants who intend to apply for both Communication Studies (Major or Specialization) and Communication and Cultural Studies (Major) must upload two separate dossiers. Each letter of intent and essay should focus on objectives and interests with regard to each program.
The difference between the specialization and major in Communication Studies is primarily the number of credits completed in the concentration. The major and specialization in Communication Studies are considered as one program, and only require one letter of intent.
Academic Assessment Forms (reference forms)
Two completed Academic Assessment Forms are required. Referees (e.g. teachers or employers if academic assessments are not possible) should complete this form and email it as an attachment from their work email account directly to email@example.com. The subject line must be just the last name and first name of the applicant. These forms will be available from December 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017.
After the March 1 deadline, the Department will examine only completed dossiers. Selected applicants will be contacted by phone by the department to arrange interview appointments. Applicants who have not been selected for an interview will NOT be contacted by the Department and will be considered for their alternate choice of programs for possible admission to the University.
Current students already registered in another degree program at Concordia University should complete the internal degree transfer application and should upload the requirements as listed above within the same deadlines. Students already enrolled in a BA program should complete a change of concentration request and submit the required documents with this request.
BA Communication Studies
Interview: Interviews with selected candidates for the BA Communication Studies program will take place in April 2017. These will be conducted in English to establish that candidates are prepared for university level lectures, class participation, seminars and readings in English. Interviews are conducted by one faculty member and one student and will last approximately 20 minutes. Approximately half of the interview time will be spent in general conversation with the candidate.
Portfolio: Candidates for the BA Communication Studies program will be expected to bring a portfolio to their interview. A portfolio consists of a sample or samples of creative work that the candidate has prepared (e.g. video, audio, animation, a series of 5-10 photographs, artwork, creative writing). We do not expect professional-level creative work; instead, we’re generally looking for evidence of creative potential.
Approximately 5 minutes of the interview time will be devoted to the portfolio. If candidates would like to show digital work, they are encouraged to bring their own laptop or mobile device, with media cued up and ready to be played/shown. A Mac computer with internet access will also be available.
Commentary: Candidates will be asked at the interview to read a brief scholarly quotation and share their thoughts about it. This will take approximately 5 minutes of the interview time.
Out-of-town candidates: Those who are unable to attend an interview due to distance from Montreal will be notified to send, by a specific date, a creative portfolio and a written explanation of an assigned scholarly quotation. The Department does not guarantee the return of a portfolio if it is submitted by mail.
The Department will recommend successful applicants for admission and the admissions team will provide official notification to applicants.
BA Communication and Cultural Studies
There are no portfolios or interviews for applications to the BA Communication & Cultural Studies program. After review of the dossiers the Department will recommend successful applicants for admission and the admissions team will provide official notification to applicants.
What’s changed this year? We have now merged our departmental application process with the university’s online application system. Please read all the information available on the Department’s BA programs webpages, and then click on the orange button on the right, labeled
Begin Your Application.
Will you still be asking for portfolios and doing interviews? Yes! Although the application procedure has changed, everything else remains the same. We will still be interviewing the best applicants to the BA Communication Studies degree program and asking them to bring samples of their creative work. Please note that we do not hold interviews for the BA Communication & Cultural Studies program.
Who do I address my application package to? All applications must now be submitted via the University’s online application system. Please look for the orange button on the right, labeled
Begin Your Application. We will not be accepting applications submitted by any other means.
What is the application deadline? Applications will be accepted from December 1st, 2016 to March 1st, 2017 at 11.59pm.
Where can I find the Academic Assessment Form? This form is available in English and French, as downloadable PDFs, on the right side of this page.
Who do I address the letter of intent to? The letter of intent may be addressed to: “Dear Admissions Committee” or “To whom it may concern”.
If I am a CEGEP student, what transcripts are required for my application? An unofficial copy of your CEGEP grades must be included as part of your dossier. CEGEP applicants must also provide their permanent code on the online application so that the University can obtain their official transcripts (in-progress and final) from the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CRÉPUQ) as soon as they are available.
If I am an out-of-province student, what transcripts are required for my application? Out of province students are required to submit a copy of their Grade 11 and 12 marks as part of their dossier.
If I am a mature student, what transcripts are required for my application? Mature students are required to submit a copy of their most recent academic records.
What do I do if I am have been invited to an interview, but cannot make it in person? Those candidates who cannot make it in person to an interview will be notified to send (by a specific date) a creative portfolio and a written explanation of an assigned quotation.
When will I hear if I’ve been selected for an interview? Completed applications that have been submitted to the Department will be reviewed in March. Applicants who are selected for an interview will receive a phone call or e-mail by mid-April.
What happens to my application if I’m not selected for an interview? Those who are not selected for an interview and are new applicants to Concordia will be coded as “refusal for Coms” and the admission counsellor will then review the University application for alternate choice programs.
Can I defer my admission if I am accepted to Communication Studies? No, the Department will not accept deferrals. Applicants will be expected to re-apply if they want to be considered again.
Can I complete this degree if I am working full-time? All of the core courses in Communication Studies are offered during the day. Applicants who have flexible work schedules may be able to complete this degree, but it will not be possible to attend courses in the evening and complete this program.
What is involved in making the portfolio, and what kind of work should I include? The portfolio can include any kind of creative work which shows your potential to do media practice work in the program. This could ideally include film or video or animation projects, music or sound recordings, but could also include creative writing, photography, painting or drawing, journalistic writing – whatever you feel best represents your creative potential. You should include a few of your strongest works that you feel you can talk about and explain succinctly in an interview.
Is there a minor in Communication Studies? No, there is no minor in the Communication Studies program. It is possible that if you are taking the Major in Communication Studies that you could take a minor in another program, such as Fine Arts, Languages, etc., while pursuing your BA in our department.
The faculty in the Department of Communication Studies have developed a basic set of guidelines for Attendance, Participation, and Grading for all our courses. These are intended to enhance everyone’s learning experiences and to ensure consistency throughout our curriculum. For further information, please refer to the currently available syllabus for each specific course.
Attendance: Regular attendance is a requirement. Students are expected to actively participate in all classes, workshops, critiques, discussions and labs associated with courses, and to complete all required course work according to deadlines and guidelines as assigned. Failure to comply can result in loss of marks.
Participation: This grade is based on overall punctuality and attendance in the classes, labs and workshops. Student preparedness, initiative and level of class engagement is evaluated (this means participating in discussions and demonstration of familiarity with required readings). Participation also includes completing all required readings and all assignments on time. Students are expected to be collegial, respectful and tolerant of peers, teaching assistants, technical instructors and professors. The best classroom experience will occur with courteous and engaged participation and interaction with each other, the work, the discussions and debates.
Electronic Devices: No electronic devices may be used once the class starts. All mobile phones, iPods, PDAs, cell phones, laptops etc. must be turned off and put away. The only exceptions are if the Office of Disabilities has authorized such use or the instructor specifically grants permission for use.
Numerical grade, letter grade and official grade point equivalents
In an effort to facilitate normalization and standardization of grading across the department, the following grading norms will apply. (Revised July 2013)
Official Grade Point
94 – 100
90 – 93
86 – 89
82 – 85
78 – 81
74 – 77
70 – 73
66 – 69
62 – 65
58 – 61
54 – 57
50 – 53
0 – 49
A Superior work in both content and presentation. This is a student who appears, even at an early stage, to be a potential honours student. The work answers all components of a question. It demonstrates clear and persuasive argument, a well-structured text that features solid introductory and concluding arguments, and examples to illustrate the argument. Few, if any presentation errors appear.
B Better than average in both content and presentation. This student has the potential for honours, though it is less evident than for the A student. Student’s work is clear and well structured. Minor components of an answer might be missing, and there may be fewer illustrations for the argument. Some minor but noticeable errors in presentation may have interfered with the general quality of the work.
C Student demonstrates a satisfactory understanding of the material. Ideas are presented in a style that is at least somewhat coherent and orderly. Occasional examples are provided to support arguments. Presentation errors that affect the quality of the work are more apparent than in B work. Some components of a question may have been omitted in the response.
D Student has only a basic grasp of the material. Sense of organization and development is often not demonstrated in the response. Few, if any, examples are provided to illustrate argument. Major components of a question might have been neglected; and major presentation errors hamper the work.
F Shows an inadequate grasp of the material. Work has major errors of style; and provides no supporting illustration for argument. Ideas are not clear to the reader. Work lacks a sense of structure.
Practicum courses in the Department focus on the development of creative media practices within the context of Communication Studies research based in the humanities and social sciences. These courses include weekly lectures, readings, critical analysis, workshops, seminars, screenings and presentations. First-year courses include an average of three hours of creative laboratories per week. Second- and third-year courses include an average of eight hours of creative labs and/or field work per week.
COMS 274 Communication Media: Intermedia I (3 credits) COMS 276 Communication Media: Sound I (3 credits) COMS 284 Communication Media: Film and Video I (3 credits) COMS 374 Communication Media: Intermedia II (6 credits) COMS 376 Communication Media: Sound II (6 credits) COMS 383 Communication Media: Film II (6 credits) COMS 385 Communication Media: Video II (6 credits) COMS 393 Communication Media: Special Topics (3 credits) COMS 474 Communication Media: Intermedia III (6 credits) COMS 476 Communication Media: Sound III (6 credits) COMS 483 Communication Media: Film III (6 credits) COMS 485 Communication Media: Video III (6 credits) COMS 493 Communication Media: Advanced Topics (3 credits)
Studies courses in the Department offer theoretical and critical understandings of social, cultural, formal, and other aspects of human communication and media. These courses may include weekly lectures, readings, critical analyses, seminars, screenings, and presentations.
COMS 210 Media Criticism (3 credits) COMS 220 History of Communication and Media (3 credits) COMS 225 Media Institutions and Policies (3 credits) COMS 240 Communication Theory (3 credits) COMS 301 Selected Topics in National Cinemas (3 credits) COMS 304 Selected Topics in Film Studies (3 credits) COMS 307 Scriptwriting for Media (3 credits) COMS 308 Selected Topics in Video (3 credits) COMS 309 Studies in Documentary (3 credits) COMS 310 Media Genres (3 credits) COMS 324 Communication Analysis of Environment (3 credits) COMS 325 Approaches to Communication Research (3 credits) COMS 352 Media Policy in Canada (3 credits) COMS 354 Youth and Media (3 credits) COMS 355 Media and New Technology (3 credits) COMS 357 Media and Critical Theory (3 credits) COMS 360 Mass Communication (3 credits) COMS 361 Propaganda (3 credits) COMS 362 Psychology of Communication (3 credits) COMS 365 History of Sound Recording (3 credits) COMS 367 Media and Cultural Context (3 credits) COMS 368 Media and Gender (3 credits) COMS 369 Visual Communication and Culture (3 credits) COMS 370 Advertising and the Consumer Culture (3 credits) COMS 371 Public Relations: Principles and Problems (3 credits) COMS 372 Theories of Public Discourse (3 credits) COMS 373 Topics in Media and Cultural History (3 credits) COMS 394 Communication Studies Apprenticeship I (3 credits) COMS 395 Communication Studies Apprenticeship II (3 credits) COMS 398 Selected Topics in Communication Studies (3 credits) COMS 399 Selected Topics in Communication Studies (6 credits) COMS 407 Advanced Scriptwriting for Media (3 credits) COMS 410 Acoustic Communication and Design (3 credits) COMS 411 Sexuality and Public Discourse (3 credits) COMS 412 Discourses of Dissent (3 credits) COMS 413 Cultures of Production (3 credits) COMS 414 Production Administration (3 credits) COMS 415 Advanced Topics in the Photographic Image (3 credits) COMS 416 Film Criticism (3 credits) COMS 418 Cultures of Globalization (3 credits) COMS 419 Communications and Indigenous Peoples (3 credits) COMS 420 Reception Studies (3 credits) COMS 421 Communicative Performances and Interventions (3 credits) COMS 422 Perspectives on the Information Society (3 credits) COMS 423 Media Art and Aesthetics (3 credits) COMS 424 Alternative Media (3 credits) COMS 425 Advanced Seminar in Cultural Studies (3 credits) COMS 426 Television Studies (3 credits) COMS 434 Advanced Topics in Film Studies (3 credits) COMS 435 Advanced Topics in Documentary Film and Video (3 credits) COMS 437 Media Forecast (3 credits) COMS 453 Communication Ethics (3 credits) COMS 460 Political Communication (3 credits) COMS 461 Organizational Communication (3 credits) COMS 462 Communication, Culture and Popular Art (3 credits) COMS 463 Semiotics (3 credits) COMS 464 Race, Ethnicity and Media (3 credits) COMS 465 Rhetoric and Communication (3 credits) COMS 468 Communications, Development and Colonialism (3 credits) COMS 472 Communication Technologies and Gender (3 credits) COMS 473 International Communication (3 credits) COMS 496 Directed Study I (3 credits) COMS 497 Directed Study II (3 credits) COMS 498 Advanced Topics in Communication Studies (3 credits) COMS 499 Advanced Topics in Communication Studies (6 credits)