Major Requirements

What do I need to do in order to graduate with a BA in Media Studies?

Students need a total of 128 units to graduate. These include:

  • 48 Media Studies major units
  • 44 Core Curriculum units
  • Minor (optional)
  • 1 Service Learning course
  • 1 Cultural Diversity course
  • 3 semesters of a Language
  • General Elective units


What is USF’s Academic Residency Requirement?

  • All students need to complete at least 44 units at USF.
  • All students are required to take their last 30 units at USF.
  • The Service Learning requirement needs to be taken at USF – it cannot be fulfilled through study abroad or transfer credits.
  • You must take at least 16 upper division units to fulfill the Media Studies major. These 16 upper division units must be taken at USF or at a USF-sponsored study abroad program. They cannot be fulfilled through transfer courses from non-sponsored USF study abroad programs or from other U.S. institutions.
  • At least half of your minor units—i.e., at least 10 units of upper or lower-division courses—must be taken at USF or at a USF-sponsored study abroad program.
  • Courses taken at a USF-sponsored study abroad program will count towards the residency requirement.

What is a passing grade for the Media Studies major/minor, Journalism minor and Film Studies minor?

All courses C

What are passing grades for the Core requirement?

  • Writing C-
  • Language C-
  • Public Speaking D-
  • All others D-

What happens if I don’t get a passing grade?

If you receive a grade lower than “C” in Media Studies, Film Studies or Journalism, you will either have to repeat the course, or substitute another adviser-approved course for the failed course.

Note: If you repeat the same course twice, you will only receive units for it once. If you take another adviser-approved course, units from the failed course will count towards general electives (if you've received a "D-" or above).

If you don’t earn the minimum grade to pass a Core course, the same rules apply as above.

What Core A2 Writing Course do I take?

Your ACT or SAT scores in writing will determine which core writing courses you take at USF. You can view your test scores and a list of writing classes you are eligible to take under “Test Scores” in myUSF.

When can I begin taking Media Studies courses?

For First Year Students:
If you test into RHET 130/131 “Written and Oral Communication” or RHET 195 “First Year Seminar,” you will be able to take “Introduction to Media Studies” (MS 100). If you test into RHET 110 “Written Communication I,” and after you complete that course successfully, you will need to take RHET 120, “Written Communication II,” the following semester, at which time you can also take MS 100 concurrently.

For Transfer Students:
All transfer students must take a writing course, either RHET 250 or RHET 295. You can take either concurrently with MS 100. If you have taken an introductory mass media, communications or media studies course at your former institution, please discuss this with your media studies adviser.

Which courses transfer for the Core or the Major?

The Transfer Admission Department in the Office of Admissions will determine which courses fulfill Core requirements or count as general electives when they receive your transcript from your previous institution(s). Results will show on your Degree Evaluation screen. If you have any questions, please contact the Transfer Admissions Department.

Media studies advisers are the only ones who can determine if a course(s) fulfills the Media Studies major/minor, Journalism minor or Film Studies minor requirements. Make sure to avoid taking duplicate courses by discussing this with your adviser as soon as possible. If the adviser determines that a class(s) fulfills a course for the major or the minors, they will fill out an online Waiver/Substitution Request Form, and these changes will be updated to the Degree Evaluation screen.

To access your Degree Evaluation screen, please do the following:

  1. Log into myUSF
  2. Click on the "Student" button in the middle Self Service box
  3. Click on “Student Records”
  4. Click on “Degree Evaluation”

What is the “double dipping” policy?

Double dipping means you can take one course to fulfill requirements in two different programs. Two of your Media Studies major courses can fulfill two courses in any of the related minors (Film Studies or Journalism). For example, “Introduction to Video” will fulfill one course in the Media Studies major or one course in the Film Studies minor.

Where do I find out which courses I need to fulfill my graduation requirements?

The Degree Evaluation (DE) screen shows the courses you have taken, are in process of taking, or are registered to take:

  • Core Curriculum
  • Major
  • Minor
  • General electives

What if my substitutions or transfer courses aren't reflected on Degree Evaluation screen?

If you and your media studies adviser have agreed on substitutions or transfer courses to fulfill your major and/or minor requirements, and these are not reflected on your Degree Evaluation screen, please visit your adviser, and either:

  1. Fill out your checklists, sign and deliver to the Media Studies Department office in Kalmanovitz Hall, room 103
  2. Have your adviser submit an online substitution request

Visit Student Enrollment Services for more information on Graduating.

How do I keep informed about my degree completion status?

Students should look at the DE screen before registration to see what courses they still need, and after registration to make sure the courses in which they’ve registered fulfill the appropriate categories. Before viewing your information, be sure to refresh the screen by clicking on the “Refresh” button.

To access your Degree Evaluation screen, please do the following:

  1. Log into myUSF
  2. Click on the "Student" button in the middle Self Service box
  3. Click on “Student Records”
  4. Click on “Degree Evaluation”

How many units can I register for per semester?

Your tuition covers anywhere from 12 units to a maximum of 18 units. If you successfully complete at least 16 units per semester you will graduate in four years. If you take 18 units, you can proceed a little faster. Options for an 18-unit semester includes taking two units of Media Workshop or Media Internship, or a computer class or an exercise class. Talk to your adviser about options.

What is a Directed Study?

A Directed Study is a faculty supervised student research project in Media Studies that can be taken for 1-4 units.  The faculty member and student fill out a Directed Study Registration Form, and the faculty member creates and attaches a syllabus, which details your study plan.  You then take the form to your adviser, department chair and the dean (go to CASA for dean’s signature).  Directed Studies count towards major and minor requirements.