Digital multimedia project

Undergraduate Minor inMedia Studies

Program summary

Supplement your degree with a focus on an online media studies minor that concentrates on mass media insights and messaging tactics that can be used in a variety of roles requiring a skill set in communications.

Credits and costs

18 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Enhance Your Penn State Degree

Add a minor to get even more value out of your education.

Gain Specialized Knowledge

Earning a minor enables you to complement your major, pursue a personal interest, or explore a different field of study.

The 18-credit media studies minor from the Penn State Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is designed for students who want to develop their knowledge of the mass media from a variety of approaches, including aesthetic, humanistic, social behavioral, and legal policy.

This theory-based minor provides the foundation for you if you decide to further your studies in a professional program (professional skills communications courses are not part of this program). This minor is designed to complement your major area of study and is not available if you are enrolled in any of the majors in the College of Communications.

These online courses are taught by the same faculty as on campus, and at least two of the courses must be at the 400 level.


The 18-credit Minor in Media Studies is composed of one required communications course and four elective courses selected in consultation with an adviser. At least 6 of your 18 credits must be at the 400 level. A grade of "C" or better is required in all courses that you take to fulfill requirements for the minor.

Prescribed Course (3 credits)

  • 3

    Mass communications in the United States: organization, role, content, and effects of newspapers, magazines, television, radio, books, and films.

Additional Courses (15 credits)

Select 3 credits from

  • 3

    The development of cinema to its present state; principles of evaluation and appreciation; examples from the past and present.

  • 3

    The development of electronic media and telecommunications, emphasizing social, economic, political and global impact.

Select 12 credits from

  • 3

    Examines diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in media content, media business, and media practice.

  • 3

    Nature and theories of law; the Supreme Court and press freedom; legal problems of the mass media.

  • 3

    Structure and functions of American and other mass communications systems and their relationship to political and economic systems.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102

  • 3

    Ethical problems in the practice of journalism; principal public criticisms of news media; case study approach.

  • 3

    The role of international media in communication among and between nations and peoples.

    • Prerequisite

      Select 1 of the following:

      COMM 100 or COMM 110 or COMM 118 or COMM 150 or COMM 180 or COMM 251 or COMM 260W or COMM 320 or COMM 370

  • 3

    Comparative study of modern mass systems and the evolution and structure of specific countries' systems.

    • Prerequisite

      COMM 410

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

How to Apply

Admissions Help

Please work with your adviser if you have questions about adding a minor. You can find your adviser's contact information in your student portal or by calling advising at 814-863-3283.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admittance into the media studies minor, you must:

  • be a current Penn State undergraduate student in your fifth semester and be in a bachelor's degree major
  • maintain a grade of C or better in all courses for the minor
  • confirm that you do not have a matching minor code and major code 

Adding a Minor

If you have achieved fifth-semester standing (60 credits completed), you can apply for admission to the minor. To begin, please follow these steps:

  1. Talk with your academic adviser about incorporating the minor into your major and to develop a semester-by-semester plan for meeting requirements.
  2. You can apply for the minor by adding it in LionPATH. You should do this as early as possible, but you can apply up to the late drop deadline of your graduating semester.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email once you declare the minor in LionPATH.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Undergraduate Minor in Media Studies, offered in partnership with the Penn State Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, please contact:

World Campus Advisers
Phone: 814-863-3283
Email: [email protected]