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Communication Studies Degree

Associate of Arts


graduates at commencement

The communication studies associate's degree will provide you with a strong liberal arts foundation that facilitates a seamless transfer to communication programs at four-year institutions.

The degree provides analytical and critical thinking skills that render recipients to be effective members of their communities, both professionally and personally.

A strength of the communication degree is that it allows students to target their studies toward areas of interest within the field.

Areas such as public relations, rhetoric, political communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, mass media, and others are popular at four-year colleges and universities. 


This degree is available as a Z-Degree—no textbook purchases required. (Learn more about Z-degrees).

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Research, analyze, organize, and deliver oral and written presentations appropriate for diverse audiences, purposes and occasions.
  • Solve problems and work effectively in groups and teams.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of communication theory, research and application.
  • Use communication skills to be an effective group member or leader.
  • Analyze cultural similarities and differences as they affect, and are in turn affected by the process of communication.
  • Identify and articulate an ethical perspective within and across various contexts and cultures.


Program Advising

Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer. The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process. 

Transfer Opportunities

MC has a long history of successfully preparing students for transfer to four-year institutions. See all communication studies transfer agreements.


For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required. Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. See links below chart for further guidance and/or connect with a Program Advisor to discuss career goals.

There are several career pathways one may explore. The following pathways have been adapted from Great Jobs for Communications Majors, Second Edition, by Blythe Camenson. 

Path 1, Corporate Communication, Possible Job Titles: community relations specialist, event coordinator, patient advocate, press secretary, public information officer, public relations manager, spokesperson

Path 2, Consumer Communication, Possible Job Titles: account specialist, advertising director, art director, broadcast production manager, creative director, media director, producer, publicist

Path 3, Media, Possible Job Titles: art director, editor, bureau chief, bureau reporter, publisher, writer, announcer, associate news director, correspondent, director, disc jockey, filmmaker, music director, news announcer, production manager, social media director

Path 4, Communication Disorders, Possible Job Titles: speech-language pathologist, hearing therapist

  • MC Student Employment Services: Speak with the Student Employment Specialist for help with resume writing, interviewing, setting up a College Central Network (CCN)new window account and other job search topics.
  • Career Coach: Explore Career Coach to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests! Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area.


Suggested Course Sequence: Communication Studies

A suggested course sequence for students follows.

  • All students should review the advising guide and consult an advisor.
  • Find out about related programs and course in the Fields of Study section.
  • Most courses have either assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites (courses that must be taken first). Part-time students and those who need to meet assessment levels or take prerequisite courses will take longer to complete a degree. An advisor will help make sure you are taking your courses in the right order.
  • All degree-seeking students must take a central group of General Education courses in English, mathematics, arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and science. These courses are included in the suggested course sequence below.

Suggested Course Sequence

Students should complete the required English and Math foundation courses within the first 24 credit hours. A suggested course sequence for full-time students follows. All students should review the Program Advising Guide and consult an advisor.

First Semester

Second Semester

  • English Foundation3 semester hours (ENGF)
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences Distribution3 semester hours(BSSD) **
  • Natural Sciences Distribution with Lab 4 semester hours (NSLD)
  • Program Elective 3 semester hours ‡
  • World Language or General Education Institutional Requirement (ARTD, HUMD, or HLTH) 3 semester hours (GEIR) †

Third Semester

Fourth Semester

  • Natural Sciences Distribution 3 semester hours (NSND)
  • World Language or Elective 3 semester hours †
  • Elective 5 semester hours
  • Program Elective 3 semester hours

* ENGL 101/ENGL 101A, if needed for ENGL 102/ENGL 103, or elective.

** Behavioral and Social Science Distribution (BSSD) courses must come from different disciplines.

‡ Choice of four from the following program electives: COMM 121, COMM 204, COMM 220, COMM 225COMM 230COMM 251, COMM 252, LING 200. Two courses must be at the 200 level.

† World Language or Elective: Some transfer schools, including UMCP, have a Global Engagement/World Language requirement that may be fulfilled in ways other than taking language courses at MC.  Review the policy and discuss with UMCP Communication advisor:

AA and AS programs require one global and cultural perspectives (GCP) General Education course.

This program can be completed either on campus or online.

How To Apply and Register

Communication Studies Z-Degree

Communication Studies offers a z-degree, which is a commitment by MC to offer sections of courses needed to complete your degree without required textbook purchases. Students have found z-courses useful because the materials can be accessed conveniently, they are available immediately, and they fit seamlessly into the course. To identify specific sections that qualify as z-courses, search the Class Schedule using the attribute type “Z Courses.”

Related Programs and Courses

General Studies Degree

If you choose to pursue a general studies degree in the Humanities, Arts, Communication and Languages Core (HACL), you can explore the Humanities and Arts disciplines, complete your Associate’s degree, or pursue a degree path to continue your academic career at a four-year college or university.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

MC offers a wide variety of noncredit courses designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.