Students in the College of Media, Communication and Information have many different academic goals and career paths, but they share a common interest in communication in speech and writing, in design and visual presentation, and in computing and digital media. The college’s “core curriculum” builds on this shared interest to offer a common body of courses designed to create a distinctive academic community for CMCI students. The core also makes it easy for students to have a second major outside CMCI, as its requirements dovetail almost entirely with the general requirements of other CU-Boulder schools and colleges.
Overall, the core curriculum teaches expression, collaboration and critical literacy across multiple forms of communication—from speech and writing to digital media. This means students learn techniques and technologies for expressing themselves, making sound arguments and working effectively with others. It also means they learn how different people, texts and media communicate ideas, shape the world and influence our perceptions of it.
All CMCI students take classes that provide a well-rounded education in humanities, the arts and the social and natural sciences. Some classes are required of all students while others are electives that allow students to explore new subjects, or to learn more about topics that have always interested them. To enhance the core’s range of courses, students are required not only to take a major but also to focus in a second academic area by taking additional courses in that field. The secondary field may be a minor, a cluster of courses unified by a central theme or a certificate in a specific subject.
The core offers an innovative learning-by-doing approach. Early in their studies at CU-Boulder, all CMCI students take a set of two courses in which they use what they’ve learned in the classroom to create hands-on lab or studio projects that display the communication, design and technical skills they have learned so far. Then, shortly before they graduate, students take a course that requires them to produce an independent project that harnesses all of the skills they’ve learned in their CMCI major.
Every CMCI student pursues a different passion—but each will finish his or her time at the college with a better understanding of how media, communication and information respond and contribute to our evolving civilization.