International Media Certificate (CMCI & International Affairs majors)

International Media Certificate

Today’s Journalism/Media and International Affairs majors are entering an increasingly globalized, technology-focused workforce. This undergraduate certificate program is designed exclusively for undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI), and in the International Affairs program (IAFS) in the College of Arts and Sciences. This certificate program will prepare you for job opportunities emerging both within and across the fields of news, global media, advertising, strategic communication, and international business, politics and diplomacy.

The undergraduate Certificate in International Media (IMC) is designed to give students a strong conceptual understanding of both communication media and international politics. The IMC allows students majoring in International Affairs at the University of Colorado to explore careers in international reporting, advertising, strategic communication and entertainment, while CMCI majors will acquire the context and perspective necessary to understand the debates and issues that dominate contemporary global society.

This certificate demonstrates interdisciplinary breadth and a high level of academic achievement.

International Media Certificate coursework allows students to study the geography, economics, history and policies that shape contemporary practices in media around the world. IAFS majors can expect to learn more about international news and communication media, and CMCI majors will learn more about how the world outside the United States operates.

The International Media Certificate requires no additional credit hours to complete with a regular bachelor’s degree, but it focuses your ongoing coursework and lets potential employers see the results. This certificate program is jointly administered by International Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Media, Communication and Information. The IMC selection committee will consist of the co-directors of the certificate from IAFS and CMCI.

To apply to the IMC, you must be either in the College of Media, Communication and Information OR an International Affairs major in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a 2.75 overall GPA, and must have accumulated 30 credit hours, including six credit hours in your field of major. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Students are eligible to acquire the International Media Certificate when they complete a total of 18-19 credit hours. IAFS majors must take two required courses, and CMCI majors must take three required courses. Students should fulfill the remaining credit hours through interdisciplinary elective courses as indicated in Lists A and B. 

CMCI Students

CMCI majors are required to take a total of 9-10 hours comprised of these classes:

MDST 3201 Media, Culture and Globalization—3 credit hours

JRNL 4411 International Media and Global Crises—3 (spring only)


Choose one of the following:

IAFS 1000 Global Issues and International Affairs—4

OR   PSCI 2012 Introduction to Comparative Politics—3

OR   PSCI 2223 Introduction to International Relations—3

OR   GEOG 1962 Geographies of Global Change—3


International Affairs Students

IAFS majors are required to take 6 hours of the following courses:

MDST 3201 Media, Culture, and Globalization—3

JRNL 4411 International Media and Global Crises—3 (spring only)

CMCI majors must take a total of 12 hours of international affairs courses, including a minimum of 9 hours from LIST A. IAFS majors must take a total of 12 hours of CMCI courses, including a minimum of six hours from List B.


List A

Courses dealing with international issues (CMCI students must take a minimum of 9 hours from this list):

GEOG 3682 Geography of International Development—3

GEOG 4712 Political Geography—3

HIST 4126 U.S. Diplomatic History Since 1940—3

HIST 4820 Human Rights: Historical Perspectives—3

ECON 3403 International Economics and Policy—3

ECON 3784 Economic Development and Policy—3

ECON 4784 Economic Development—3

ECON 3545 Environmental Economics—3

PHIL 3190 War and Morality—3

PHIL 3260 Philosophy and the International Order—3

PSCI 3143 Problems in International Relations—3

PSCI 3163 American Foreign Policy—3

PSCI 3193 International Behavior—3

PSCI 4012 Global Development—3

PSCI 4173 International Organization—3

PSCI 4183 International Law—3

PSCI 4193 International Political Economy—3

PSCI 4732 Critical Thinking in Development—3

PSCI 4783 Global Issues—3

WMST 3500 Global Gender Issues—3


List B

Courses dealing with communication media (IAFS majors must choose a minimum six hours from this list):

COMM 3320 Persuasion in Society—3

INFO 3502 Problems in Online Communities—3

INFO 3504 Problems in Digital Identity—3

JRNL 2001 Fundamentals of Reporting—3*

JRNL 3102 Photojournalism I—3

JRNL 3651 Journalism Law and Ethics—3

JRNL 3771 Journalism History—3

JRNL 4351 Reporting War, Conflict and Peace—3

JRNL 4871 Special Topics—3 (specific courses approved semester by semester)**

MDST 3321 Media Industries and Economics—3

MDST 3401 Media, Food and Culture—3

MDST 3711 Media and Culture—3

MDST 3791 Media and the Public—3

MDST 4211 Asian Media and Culture—3

MDST 4331 Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality in Popular Culture—3

MDST 4371 Religion and Media—3

MDST 4372 Islam, Pop Culture and Media—3

* IAFS students who wish to take advanced skills-based writing/reporting courses must take this course as a prerequisite.

** These special topics courses also include "CU in DC" journalism seminar/internship classes.

Additional courses that deal with media may be approved at the discretion of the CMCI co-director. Contact advisor Susan Avila for referral. Additional courses that deal with international affairs may be approved at the discretion of the International Affairs co-director. Contact Assistant Director Katherine Rousseau for referral.


Apply for the International Media Certificate by completing this online form, below. Please fill in the appropriate fields, upload the required materials and press submit. The IMC allows students majoring in International Affairs at the University of Colorado to explore careers in international reporting, advertising, strategic communication, and entertainment, while CMCI majors will acquire the context and perspective necessary to work in global and international jobs.

Apply here!

The International Media Certificate is a program for undergraduate students jointly operated by the College of Media, Communication and Information and the International Affairs program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Faculty and researchers have international experience in media studies, print and broadcast journalism, communication, and advertising and public relations. Among the faculty are leading researchers on critical media studies, communication, political economy of media and international communication.


  • Katherine Rousseau: assistant director, International Affairs Program
  • Susan Avila: academic advisor, College of Media, Communication and Information


  • Thomas Zeiler: professor and director, International Affairs Program
  • Hun Shik Kim: associate professor, College of Media, Communication and Information


No. This certificate is restricted to students majoring in International Affairs and all majors in the College of Media, Communication and Information.


After you:

·       have completed 30 hours of college coursework

·       have also completed six credits of courses in their major and

·       have a minimum of a 2.75 overall GPA at CU-Boulder


No, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. A faculty committee of one faculty member from each unit (the Director of IAFS and the CMCI Co-Director for IMC) will review complete applications each term. The committee may also recommend fewer total acceptances than the 20 maximum if the applicant pool is not adequate in any given year.

In the event that the faculty committee finds more qualified students from one discipline or the other, the committee may recommend that more students be taken from that discipline and fewer from the other, still resulting in a total of 20 students.


If you are a CMCI student who wants to check out International Affairs courses to see if you are interested, consider enrolling in PSCI 2012 Introduction to Comparative Politics—3, PSCI 2223 Introduction to International Relations—3, or GEOG 1962 Geographies of Global Change—3. If you decide to enter the IMC program, any one of these three courses would count toward the certificate.

If you are an IAFS student, it is not possible to take any of the certificate’s required CMCI courses without first being accepted into the IMC Program. However, to get a feel for beginning Journalism, you might wish to enroll in JRNL 2001 Fundamentals of Reporting—3. If you decide to enter the IMC program, this course would count toward the certificate. 


You will receive an email from the certificate director in your major confirming your acceptance.


Students who have been accepted to the Certificate are responsible for ensuring that they complete the requirements for the certificate.


You will apply for it to the certificate director in your major with evidence you have met all requirements when you apply for graduation. It will appear on your transcripts two months after your bachelor’s degree is awarded. The Certificate will be mailed to the address you specify; expect it eight to 12 weeks after commencement.


No.  All required courses must be taken for a letter grade, not pass/fail.


Yes.  Certificate co-directors in IAFS and CMCI must give prior approval for use of Study Abroad and Independent Study credits.


If after reviewing this site you still need additional information, please e-mail the CMCI advisor Susan Avila or International Affairs Program Assistant Director Katherine Rousseau.  

The International Media Certificate is designed to facilitate completion of the required 18-19 credit hours without any extra courses or time to graduate. Please familiarize yourself with this website and keep the following tips in mind to get the most out of the program:

  • Find courses that count twice. Compare the list of IM Certificate-approved courses with core and elective curriculum or requirements in your major. If possible, plan to take courses that count for both at once.
    • International Affairs majors: identify courses that overlap with your IAFS major requirements, including List A classes and two of the required CMCI classes, MDST 3201 and JRNL 4411.
  • ​Make sure you can take the three required courses (9-10 credit hours) at CU Boulder. For CMCI majors, IMC requirement #1 allows students to choose one of four options (IAFS 1000, PSCI 2012, PSCI 2223, or GEOG 1962). Required course #2 is MDST 3201 Media, Culture and Globalization. Required course #3 is JRNL 4411, International Media and Global Crises—offered in SPRING ONLY.
    • International Affairs majors, your two required IMC courses are MDST 3201 (Functional Area I for the IAFS major) and JRNL 4411 (Functional Area IV for the IAFS major).
  • Consult the list of IMC-approved electives when registering every semester:
  • Keep an eye out for possible course substitutions. For the 12 hours of elective credit, you may suggest upper-division international or CMCI courses from the CU Boulder catalog if you find a relevant course you’d like to take that is not already listed on the IM Certificate website. To suggest an upper-division international course to be considered for IM Certificate credit, send a formal email request to International Affairs Program Assistant Director Katherine Rousseau. To propose an upper-division CMCI elective for possible IM Certificate credit, email your request to Susan Avila.
  • Remember that some of your IM Certificate electives can be taken as study abroad courses. Make sure to get approval in advance for any courses you intend to take when abroad. For courses related to international issues, please contact Katherine Rousseau for approval. For courses related CMCI, please contact Susan Avila.
  • If you wish to pursue independent study related to Certificate curriculum, please remember that a maximum of 3 credit hours of independent study can be applied toward the IM Certificate. Follow the same steps for approval in advance as listed above.
  • Attend the reception / advising information session held once a year for all IM Certificate students.
  • Check in with any questions. Feel free to email Susan Avila or Katherine Rousseau anytime you would like to go over your progress toward the Certificate and make sure you’re on track to complete all requirements by graduation. This is particularly important during your last three semesters.