Welcome and First Steps
Welcome to UC Berkeley! Congratulations on your admission – we’re excited that you’re interested in majoring in Media Studies and looking forward to working with you. This page is intended to help incoming transfer students prepare for applying to the Media Studies major, as well as answer any questions you might have. Below are the first steps incoming transfer students should take:
- Get to know us. Read through the Media Studies website, paying particular attention to the Requirements page, Advising page, as well as the Overview page for applying to the major.
- Complete Golden Bear Advising (GBA) and watch for bCourses notifications and emails from the Media Studies Program*.
- Identify the Media Studies courses you’ve already completed and your trajectory for applying to the Media Studies major. See below, Section A.
- Decide which concentration you want to pursue. See below, Section B.
- Plan your first semester courses and enroll. See below, Section C.
- Check out FAQs. See below, Section D.
*If you applied intending another major and are now interested in Media Studies, email firstname.lastname@example.org from your @berkeley.edu email address and ask to be added to our bCourses Group for GBA.
Section A: Identifying the Media Studies courses you’ve already completed and assessing your trajectory for applying to the Media Studies major
As a transfer student interested in the Media Studies major, what you plan to take your first semester at Cal will depend on what prerequisite coursework you completed prior to transferring. Transfer students should start off by reviewing the application Overview page, as well as the Prerequisites page.
Identifying your Media Studies transfer coursework
- If you attended a California community college, look up your community college, UC Berkeley and Media Studies on assist.org. If a course is on Assist, it has been approved as a Media Studies prerequisite. For courses not on assist.org, you will need to submit the course description and syllabus for approval using the Intended Majors Media Studies Course Substitution Form for review.
- If you attended another school that is not on assist.org, compare the list of Media Studies prerequisites to your other school’s transcript. If you think you have a course that may satisfy any of these prerequisite requirements, you will need to submit a course description and syllabus for approval using the Intended Majors Media Studies Course Substitution Form for review.
Assessing your Trajectory for Applying to the Media Studies major
After you have reviewed the major prerequisites and have identified the requirements you’ve already satisfied via your transfer coursework, you’ve got the information you need to determine your trajectory for applying to the Media Studies major.
- If you still need to take Media Studies 10/W10 OR you have two or more prerequisites to complete for the Media Studies major, you are not eligible to apply to the major your first semester. You must take the remaining courses you need to apply to the Media Studies major and an alternate major during your first semester to prepare to apply to either major your second semester.
- If you have satisfied all four of the Media Studies prerequisites OR you have satisfied three of the prerequisites, including Media Studies 10/W10, and can enroll in the fourth prerequisite during your first semester*, you are eligible to apply to the major during your first semester at Cal. We encourage you to apply as soon as you are eligible.
*Beginning Fall 2020, all students planning to declare the Media Studies major must complete Media Studies 10/W10 at UC Berkeley; because of this, many incoming transfer students will not be eligible to declare the Media Studies major their first semester and will need to take Media Studies 10/W10 their first semester. Incoming Fall transfer students may consider taking Media Studies 10/W10 through UC Berkeley the summer before their first semester.
The Media Studies application is on the Media Studies website homepage under Announcements.
Students applying via a standard application will be admitted to the major, but students applying via an appeal application are not guaranteed admission (please see the Application Overview page for information on appeal versus standard applications.)
Media Studies is a high demand/impacted major; because of this, the College of Letters and Science recommends identifying an alternate major while completing prerequisites for high demand/impacted majors. See Explore Majors & Minors and the “High Demand/Impacted Majors” section on Declare or Change Major on the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising website.
Section B: Deciding which concentration you want to pursue
The Media Studies major offers three areas of concentration in its curriculum beginning fall 2021 for students to choose:
You should take some time to familiarize yourself with the concentrations and decide which one would be best for your academic interests. Students elect their area of concentration when they apply to the major, and may begin taking concentration area electives before declaring, so it’s good to determine which concentration you’d like to pursue early on. These electives will be part of your major application GPA, along with your prerequisites, if you take them before you apply to the major.
Section C: Planning your first semester courses and enrolling
- Review the Enrollment Tips for New Transfers page on the website.
- Check out the Media Studies Courses list on the website – this page collects all of the Media Studies requirement courses offered each semester in one place.
- Look up course descriptions and class meeting information on classes.berkeley.edu.
- Plan to take between 13 to 16 units. Consider being kind to yourself and taking closer to 13 units your first semester. Give yourself time to adjust to your new academic setting and successfully complete all courses.
- All courses taken for the Media Studies major must be taken for a letter grade*.
- Make a list of the courses you need and would like to take your first semester. Keep in mind that it is important to have an alternate course plan in case you end up on any wait lists; if you add yourself to the waitlist for a course, have an alternate course plan and attend both classes until you are enrolled in one.
What courses do we recommend you take if you are not eligible to apply to the major your first semester at Cal?
We encourage you to take the courses you need to be eligible to apply to Media Studies and an alternate major at the beginning of your second semester. One of three requirements of a standard application is that transfer students must apply within their first two semesters, so you will need to prioritize remaining prerequisite coursework your first semester. Below are some possible courses to consider:
- Media Studies 10/W10: Introduction to Media Studies – This course is a must if you have not taken an approved equivalent at your other school before fall 2020.
- Remaining prerequisite(s) for Media Studies – This is important too if you need the prerequisite to be eligible to apply during your second semester.
- Remaining prerequisite(s) for an alternate major or an elective that can work for both Media Studies and an alternate major.
- A major elective (either Concentration Area elective or any upper division elective offered by a department other than Media Studies.)
- Do not plan on enrolling in or wait-listing for upper-division courses (research methods, core or electives) offered by Media Studies. You will need to wait until the semester you are eligible to apply to the major to enroll in upper-division courses offered by Media Studies.
- Please note: The Media Studies application GPA will include the prerequisites and any course that applies to the major completed before the application is submitted.
What courses do we recommend you take if you are eligible to apply to the major your first semester at Cal?
We encourage you to take two courses for the major and 1-2 other courses to satisfy non-major degree requirements. Below are some possible courses to consider when selecting the two courses to take related to the major:
- Your last remaining prerequisite, if relevant.
- A core course (Media Studies 111, Media Studies 112, Media Studies 113, or Media Studies 114.) You may get on the waitlist for these courses, which are intended for juniors. A survey form will be sent to students on the waitlist. Not all courses are offered each semester; see our current courses page for current semester offerings.
- A major elective (either Concentration Area elective or any Upper Division elective.)
- A prerequisite for an alternate major if you will be submitting an appeal application to Media Studies.
What other courses do we recommend beyond the ones listed above to help you reach between 13 – 16 units?
- LS 198: Transitioning to Cal: An Introduction to the Research University for Transfers
- LS 10: On the Same Page
- A course that could satisfy your American Cultures (AC) requirement if you need one (Note: you may decide to satisfy this requirement later with a Media Studies elective that is also an AC course.)
- A Big Ideas or L&S Discovery course – special program courses supported by the L&S Deans
- A DeCal class – student created and facilitated courses
- Berkeley Connect – an academic mentoring course
Section D: FAQs
- Q: Where do you go for advice about non-major degree requirements in the College of Letters and Science?
- A: Visit the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising website and get to know this website well. See Degree Requirements. If you cannot find your answer, ask an L&S College Adviser.
- Q: Where do you go if you have questions not answered on the Media Studies website?
- A: If you have a specific question or two, email your assigned Media Studies Adviser (Laura Demir advises students last name A-K; Katie Morrison-White advises students last name L-Z.) If you have multiple or complex questions or complex questions, it is best for you to schedule an appointment with your adviser. Include your student ID# in advising emails and have it available when you meet with an advisor.
- Q: Is there any other information I should review?
- A: Yes! We recommend reading through the Golden Bear Orientation page, reviewing the Academic Progress and Planning pages on the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising website, as well as taking some time to familiarize yourself with CalCentral.
We look forward to meeting you.