Prerequisite Completion

You may apply to Media Studies only after you have completed Media Studies 10 for a letter grade. In addition, you must have completed at least two of the remaining three prerequisites. The fourth prerequisite may be in progress at the time of your application; it must be successfully completed by the end of that term. Please see the Applying Overview page for more details.

Students intending to major in Media Studies must take one course (or its approved equivalent) from each of the following four groups:

I. American History (Post-Civil War period):
Complete one from the below list:
History 7B: Introduction to History of the U.S.–Civil War to Present
History 124A: U.S. from late 19th Century to the Eve of World War II
History 124B: U.S. from World War II
History 131B: Social History of the U.S.–End of Civil War to Global Age

II. American Institutions:
Political Science 1: Introduction to American Politics

III. Introductory Social Sciences and Humanities*
Complete one from the below list:
Anthropology 3AC: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
Economics 1: Introduction to Economics
Economics 1: Introduction to Economics–Lecture Format
Psychology 1: General Psychology
Psychology 2: Principles of Psychology
Sociology 1: Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 3AC: Principles of Sociology
Comparative Literature 20: Episodes in Literary Cultures*
Comparative Literature 20A: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and Philosophy*
Comparative Literature 20B: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and Society*
Comparative Literature 20C: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and History*
Rhetoric 10: Introduction to Practical Reasoning and Critical Analysis of Argument*
Rhetoric 20: Rhetorical Interpretation*
Theater 26: Introduction to Performance Studies*

*Starting Fall 2021, the major will now include select humanities courses as part of this prerequisite. 

IV. Introductory Media Studies:
Complete one from the below list:
Media Studies 10: Introduction to Media Studies. 
Media Studies N10: Introduction to Media Studies (Summer)
Media Studies W10: Introduction to Media Studies (Online)

Please Note: Beginning Fall 2020, Media Studies 10 must be taken at UC Berkeley.  Community College Media Studies 10 equivalent transfer courses will no longer be accepted.

Please also note: Media Studies 10 is a prerequisite to the core courses–Media Studies 111, 112, and 113. You may not be enrolled in Media Studies 10 and any other core course at the same time. If you “crash” your way into 111, 112, or 113, you may not be permitted to subsequently enroll in Media Studies 10.

All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. Note that not every course is offered every semester, and some courses are not open to students at every level (for example, Media Studies 10 is intended for sophomores and first-semester transfer students; only freshmen and sophomores can enroll in Political Science 1, etc.). You are responsible for consulting with the appropriate departments for course scheduling and enrollment regulations. These are the only Berkeley courses that are acceptable as prerequisites.

Plan your schedule carefully so that you can complete the prerequisites and apply to the major before you reach 70 units. If you are over 70 units and need to submit an appeal application, you will need to plan to have three semesters to complete the major since our core courses are only offered in the fall and spring.Below are additional helpful tips for enrolling in prerequisites:

  • Media Studies does not control the scheduling of prerequisites offered by other departments. It only controls the scheduling of Media Studies 10 and N10, so prerequisites can occasionally be offered at conflicting times.
  • Media Studies does not control the enrollment management of courses offered by other departments; they determine who may enroll in their courses as well as when and how they process their wait lists.
  • Media Studies 10 should be taken in the fall term of your second year if you began Cal as a freshman. It can be difficult for juniors to enroll in this course. Seniors are never admitted. This course is not offered in the spring. 
  • If you are a junior and you still need Media Studies 10, you should consider enrolling in Media Studies N10 during UC Berkeley’s Summer Session. UCLA and UCSD also offer acceptable equivalents to Media Studies 10. Very few community colleges offer an acceptable substitute.
  • Political Science 1 and History 7B are set up to admit freshmen and sophomores.
  • Political Science 1, Sociology 1 or 3AC, Anthropology 3AC, and Economics 1 are usually offered every semester; most are often offered in Summer Session. Check with those departments.
  • Each of the history prerequisites is offered only once per year. History 7B is usually offered in the spring semester. Some may be offered in Summer Session.
  • We do not advise attempting to complete all prerequisites in a single semester.

Transferring Prerequisite Courses
Most Media Studies prerequisites can be satisfactorily completed at two-year or other four-year institutions.  Please note: Beginning Fall 2020, Media Studies 10 must be taken at UC Berkeley.  Community College Media Studies 10 equivalent transfer courses will no longer be accepted.

Students who begin Berkeley as freshmen should complete as many prerequisites as possible at Berkeley. Although it may occasionally be necessary or convenient to take courses in community college over the summer, we urge intended majors to make it a priority to complete these courses at the UC level.

Transfer students should make sure that the courses they took at a California community college are acceptable prerequisites for the major. A course that is approved for the University may not be approved for the major. Visit to see the articulation agreement for your community college to find out what courses have been approved as prerequisites for the Media Studies major. is a reliable source of information for transfer students.

In our experience, we have found that most introductory media studies courses at community colleges do not meet our requirements. Those that currently satisfy our requirements are listed below. If you have completed an introduction to media studies course that you believe fulfills our requirements, please submit a copy of the course syllabus to Josh Jackson ( for review.

If you took a course other than at a California community college or a California community college course that does not appear on, you will need to have its equivalency determined by Dr. Josh Jackson ( In order for a course to be reviewed, you must provide a copy of the course syllabus.

If you are a transfer student and have not completed an approved introduction to Media Studies course, you must enroll in Media Studies 10 during your first fall semester at UC Berkeley.

Media Studies 10 Equivalents

Please Note: Beginning Fall 2020, Media Studies 10 must be taken at UC Berkeley.  Community College Media Studies 10 equivalent transfer courses will no longer be accepted.

Community Colleges

  • Cabrillo College   Journ 21: Mass Communications
  • City College of San Francisco   BCST 103: Mass Media and Society
  • College of Marin   Comm 110: Intro to Mass Communication and Media Literacy
  • College of the Sequoias  Journ 7: Mass Communications
  • Contra Costa College  JRNAL 130: Mass Communication
  • Cypress College  Journ 110C: Global Media
  • Diablo Valley College  Journ 110: Mass Media of Communications
  • East Los Angeles College  Journ 105: Mass Communications
  • El Camino College  Journ 12: Mass Media and Society
  • Los Angeles Valley College  Journ 105: Mass Communications
  • Los Medanos College  Journ 100: Mass Communication
  • Mount San Antonio  Journ 100: Introduction to Mass Media
  • Ohlone College  Journ 155: Mass Media and Society (Same as: BRDC 155)
  • Saddleback College  Journ 1: Mass Media and Society (Same as: CTVR 1)
  • Santa Barbara City College  Comm 171: Mass Media and Society
  • Santa Monica Community College  Media 1: Survey of Mass Media Communications

Four Year Institutions

  • CSU East Bay  Mass Comm 3000: History of Mass Communications
  • CSU Northridge  CTVA 100: Intro to MC Arts
  • CSU San Jose  MCOM 72: Mass Communication and Society
  • CSU San Francisco  Journalism 200: Journalism and the Mass Media
  • UCLA  Communication Studies 10
  • UC Santa Cruz  Sociology 116: Communication and Mass MediaOneOne