About the Major

The Media Studies major at the University of California at Berkeley is an undergraduate interdisciplinary group major in the Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. Our faculty come from a variety of disciplines, bringing the perspectives and methods of their fields to bear on the analysis of the mass media. Our emphasis in this major is analytical and historical; we are largely concerned with developing in students the ability to assess the roles and impact of the major mass media on American life, rather than with developing specific media production skills.

Ours is not a pre-professional course of study, but a liberal arts discipline that weds traditions from communications, anthropology, sociology, political science, and journalism with contemporary critical and cultural studies theory to analyze and assess the role and impact of media in contemporary society.

In our four core courses, students learn the history, values and structure of media in the United States and abroad. Students learn to analyze the effects of electronic and print media, to consider the impact of the media on public policy, as well as the impact of public policy on the media.

In addition to our core courses, students must take an approved methods course in the social sciences and approved major electives offered in other disciplines on campus–anthropology, sociology, political science, linguistics and journalism–to name a few. The major itself also offers several elective courses and an honors thesis course (MS H195).