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Communication Studies (BA)

Why choose Communication Studies?

We are one of the most established and respected Communication Studies programs in North America, and are well known for combining creative media production with the study of media theory, criticism and history. We draw from the humanities, social sciences and fine arts in a unique program that has trained many influential media makers.

You will work with a variety of media art forms and you will examine how meaning and ideas are communicated through media in various ways. In the first year you will create projects with sound, video and intermedia, as well as study theory, criticism and history of communications and media. You will be part of an exciting and dynamic team of students. You'll work together for three years, taught by an engaged and dedicated faculty of renowned scholars and artists.

The difference between Communication Studies and Communications & Cultural Studies

Venn diagram detailing the differences between the Communication Studies and the Communication & Cultural Studies programs. The left circle shows production courses in Intermedia, sound and moving images as part of Communication Studies. The right circle lists core courses COMS 225, COMS325 and COMS 425 as part of Communication & Cultural Studies. All other COMS courses are listed in the overlapping area of the two circles. The BA in Communication Studies features media production courses in Intermedia, sound and moving images. Core coures for the BA in Communication & Cultural Studies include COMS 225, COMS 325 and COMS 425.

Program Details

A Bachelor of Arts degree takes a minimum of three or four years (90–120 credits) of full-time study, depending on your academic background.


  • Major in Communication Studies (42 credits)
  • Specialization in Communication Studies (60 credits)

This program is only available for Fall admission.

Minimum cut-off averages
Course requirements for admission

None. You must meet Concordia’s minimum admission requirements.

Additional requirements for admission

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.

You've sent your application from: Fall term deadline Winter term deadline
Inside Canada

March 1

Certain programs have extended their deadlines. Please check program availability.


Admission to this program is only available for the Fall Term.

Outside Canada
February 1    N/A

We reserve the right to close admission to a program at any time after the official deadline without prior notice.

Learn to analyze and critique media and popular culture by integrating an interdisciplinary knowledge from the humanities, fine arts and the social sciences.

  • Media Production (video, sound, intermedia)
  • Scriptwriting for Media
  • Alternative Media
  • Communication Analysis of Environment
  • Media and Gender
  • Youth and Media
  • Advanced Topics in the Photographic Image

Consult the undergraduate calendar for a complete list of current courses.

You’ll spend much of your time using the facilities in CJ for your research, projects and course work, including:

  • Equipment Depot
  • Video Editing Suites
  • Intermedia Computer Labs
  • Shooting Studio
  • Green Screen Studio
  • Blue Screen Studio
  • Sound Recording Studios
  • Sound Editing Suites
  • Study Areas
  • Student Lounge
  • Concession (coffee, tea, snacks and sandwiches)
  • Bookstore
  • Digital Print Shop

Our programs open up many career paths in the media arts and cultural industries, such as entry-level positions in:

  • Film, television, radio, animation, social media
  • Publishing and professional writing
  • Independent arts organizations (galleries, film co-ops, festivals, arts spaces, etc)
  • Media and communications policy consulting/analysis
  • Advertising, marketing, design and public relations
  • NGOs, eg humanitarian and environmental organizations
  • And - advanced studies at the graduate level

Specialization in Communication Studies

  • 18 credits from COMS 210, 220, 240, 274, 276, 284
  • 6 credits chosen from COMS 310, 352, 357, 367, 368, 369, 372, 373
  • 6-18 credits chosen from the list of Practicum Courses
  • 18-30 credits chosen from the list of Studies Courses, with at least 12 credits at the 400 level

60 total credits

NOTE: Students may not take more than one Practicum course in any one term at the 300 or 400 level.

Major in Communication Studies

  • 18 credits from COMS 210, 220, 240, 274, 276, 284
  • 6 credits chosen from COMS 310, 352, 357, 367, 368, 369, 372, 373
  • 6-12 credits chosen from the list of Practicum Courses
  • 6-12 credits chosen from the list of Studies Courses, with at least six 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 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.

See available Practicum and Studies courses.

BA Communication Studies (Major, Specialization)
BA Communication & Cultural Studies (Major)

Choose one of the following:

  1. If you are a new student applying to Concordia University, you must create an application online. You will also need to submit the Application Letter required by the Department of Communication Studies via the online application. Applicants must upload their Application Letter as one PDF File to the Student Centre. Further instructions below.
  2. If you are already a student in a BA program at Concordia University, you will need to submit the online Concentration Change Form. You will also need to submit the Application Letter  required by the Department of Communication Studies. Applicants must upload their Application letter as one PDF file to the Student Centre. Further instructions below. 
  3. If you are already a student at Concordia University but you are not in a BA program, you will need to apply for a Degree Transfer on the MyCU Account. Applicants must also upload their Application Letter as one PDF file to the Student Centre Further instructions below.


All applicants to the BA in Communication Studies and the BA in Communication and Cultural Studies must complete the Application Letter as a supporting document (see the Application Letter Instructions, below). The Application Letter contains 2 parts and must be saved as one PDF file. Please make sure you have followed all the technical guidelines, below, before submitting this supporting document.

When uploading your Application Letter, be sure to use the correct BA program name in the drop-down menu: Communication Studies Dossier or Communication & Cultural Studies Dossier. You can also upload your Application Letter (or any other requested documents for your application) by logging in to the Student Hub and going to My CU Account.

About PDFs: ‘PDF’ stands for Portable Document Format. These kinds of files are very widely used across all sectors of education, business and the arts, including at Concordia University. Adobe developed this file format to be used with their Acrobat software, but there are lots of free PDF editors for both Mac and PC. Many word-processing applications include a PDF option in their print dialogue box. See a list of recommended free readers. (N.B. We do not offer any warranties for third-party software.)


Your Application Letter provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your readiness and your motivation to join one of our BA programs (either the BA in Communication Studies program or the BA in Communication & Cultural Studies program). Please ensure that you have followed all of the technical guidelines, below, when preparing your letter. As detailed below, your letter consists of two parts.

Part One
Please take some time to review the descriptions of the two BA programs offered in our department. Please also read through the descriptions of undergraduate courses we regularly offer. Then review the research interests, published work, and media projects of the faculty who teach in our department. Having conducted this survey, write a statement (maximum 4000 characters, spaces included) telling us why you want to study in your selected BA program (BA in Communication Studies or BA in Communication & Cultural Studies) and how you believe this program will help you achieve your learning goals.

  • What aspects of our program are attractive to you?
  • Are there any specific courses or areas of study that you find especially interesting?
  • Are there any professors whose research or areas of expertise overlap with your own interests and learning goals?

Part Two
Write a statement (maximum 3000 characters, spaces included) in which you tell us anything else that you would like us to know about you (background, experience, aspirations, special circumstances, etc.) when evaluating your candidacy for admission to our BA program.

Please be sure to indicate clearly in your letter which of our two BA programs you are applying to. If you wish to apply to both BA programs, you must submit a separate Application Letter for each application, and it should be made clear, in each letter, how that program relates to your learning goals.

Technical guidelines:

  • Both Part One and Part Two should be submitted together as a single PDF file. 
  • Your Application Letter should be formatted in 12pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1” margins.
  • Your letter must be written in your own words, without the assistance of Generative AI software, such as ChatGPT.
  • You are not required to cite any additional sources, but you are free to do so if you wish. In such cases, however, you are expected to use a standard academic citation method (e,g. MLA, APA, or Chicago), which includes providing a list of the references you cite at the end of your letter, with the full bibliographic details formatted according to your chosen citation method. This list of cited references will not be counted as part of your 4000 character limit.
  • Use a running header for the entire document using the same name as on your application (last name, first name), the submission date (MM/DD/YY), and consecutive page numbering (bottom right, including page 1).
  • Your PDF should be named: Lastname_Firstname_comsapp.pdf (for the BA in Communication Studies program) or Lastname_Firstname_comscultapp.pdf (for the BA in Communication & Cultural Studies program), using your own last and first name in the file name.

Applications must be completed and submitted online by March 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., including the Application Letter, uploaded as one PDF. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

  1. What’s changed this year?
    We have made significant changes to our application process from previous years. Please read all the information available under the Additional Admission Requirements Details tab.
  2. Do you conduct interviews and/or examine student portfolios as part of the admissions process?
    No, we no longer examine portfolios and we no longer conduct interviews for admission to our BA programs. The only documents we will read to determine your admission are your transcripts and your Application Letter. Please read the application instructions under the Additional Admission Requirements Details tab.
  3. Do you require academic assessment forms or letters of reference?
    No, we no longer use assessment forms and we do not evaluate letters of reference as part of our admissions process. Please do not arrange to send unsolicited letters in support of your application; we will not be able to consider them when evaluating your candidacy. The only documents we will read to determine your admission are your transcripts and your Application Letter. Please read the application instructions under the Additional Admission Requirements Details tab.
  4. Where do I send my application package?
    All applications must be submitted via the University’s online application system. We cannot accept applications by any other means. Please look for the "Apply Now" button on the top right side of the website.
  5. What is the application deadline?
    March 1, 2024, at 11.59 p.m. Late applications cannot be considered under any circumstances. The department will not evaluate incomplete applications, so you must make sure your application is complete before the deadline.
  6. How (and when) will I learn whether my application was successful?
    In March, immediately after the deadline, the Department will begin reviewing all completed applications. Successful applicants will be recommended for admission to Concordia’s Admissions Team. That unit will further review your file to confirm your eligibility to study at Concordia, and then will send you an official notification of the university’s decision. Please know that our admissions decisions are taken very carefully, in consultation with multiple parties; several factors shape how quickly we will be able to communicate a final decision about your application. We thank you for your patience during this process.
  7. If I am a CEGEP student, what transcripts are required for my application?
    CEGEP applicants must 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.
  8. 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 a part of their online application.
  9. 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.
  10. Can I defer my admission if I am accepted to study in the Department of Communication Studies?
    No, the Department of Communication Studies cannot defer your offer of admission. If you are unable to commence your studies in September, you will need to re-apply in order to be considered for admission in the following September. We do not offer January admission to our BA programs.
  11. Can I complete this degree if I am working full-time?
    All of the core courses (and most of the elective courses) in Communication Studies are offered only during the day. Applicants who have flexible work schedules may be able to complete this degree, but it will not be possible to only attend courses in the evening and complete this program.
  12. Is there a minor in BA Communication & Cultural Studies?
    No, we do not offer a minor in the BA Communication & Cultural Studies program. If you are taking the Major in Communication & Cultural Studies, it is possible to take a major or minor in another program (e.g., in Human Relations, 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)

Numerical Grade Letter Grade
94 – 100 A+
90 – 93 A
86 – 89 A-
82 – 85 B+
78 – 81 B
74 – 77 B-
70 – 73 C+
66 – 69 C
62 – 65 C-
58 – 61 D+
54 – 57 D
50 – 53 D-
0 – 49 F
Grade Definitions

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.

This is not a full list of COMS courses.
Full course descriptions are available in the Academic Calendar. 

Practicum courses

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

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 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)

Full course descriptions available in the Academic Calendar.

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