Degree Programs

Offering two degree programs, the Department of Communication Studies specializes in three areas: Interpersonal and Public Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Film and Media Arts.

OverviewWhat's Unique About FMA?What's Unique about IPC?What's Unique about JMC?
students studying and chatting

Our degree programs reflect practical and theoretical aspects of human communication, journalism, film studies and media production within the context of a liberal arts education.

What’s Unique About Film and Media Arts?

two students making film

The Tivoli Repertory Series

As a part of the Film and Media Arts program not only do you get to see films in a movie theater during class, after class you can see more of the movies that made films what they are today. Every semester our department shows a selection of important international, art house, experimental or documentary films at our partner theater, the Tivoli Cinemas. We bring in film directors, programmers and scholars to show their work and offer students the chance to meet and talk to working professionals all for free. Supported by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

Opera Goes to the Movies

Have you seen the beautiful new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts? Film and Media Arts students go to the opera there every year as a part of our innovative course, Opera Goes to the Movies. More than any other art form the movies borrow from the format of Opera, and in this course students make connections between world-class opera and its filmic antecedents.

The Student Film Showcase

Wonder what kind of films are being made in Film & Media Arts classes? At the end of each semester we show a program of student work, programmed by students at the Tivoli Theater. Students get to see their work presented on the big screen, and the Kansas City community gets to see the impressive and innovative work students in the department are making.

What’s Unique about Interpersonal and Public Communication?

two students talking

Faye Kirchner Speech Contest

Students enrolled in Comm-St 110: Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening can compete in the Faye Kircher Speech Contest for monetary prizes. The contest is judged by Kansas City civic leaders and distinguished Communications Studies Department alumni.

Mercury Association

The Mercury Association, a student organization within Communication Studies, helps UMKC students to prepare for work and careers. The Mercury Association sponsors an annual Internship Brunch, where students can network with area businesses and organizations that are looking to hire interns and new employees.

UMKC Debate Program

UMKC’s debate program has been nationally ranked among the top 10 since 1989, alongside the debate programs at schools such as UCLA and Cornell. The UMKC debate program operates from the Communication Studies Department.

What’s Unique about Journalism and Mass Communication?

two students interviewing

KCUR 89.3FM and K-ROO Student Media

KCUR 89.3FM and K-ROO: There are two radio stations on the UMKC campus. Journalism students can intern at KCUR, a flagship NPR station, which serves Kansas City and outlying cities such as St. Joseph, MO and Lawrence, KS. K-ROO Student Media is UMKC’s new student-run online radio station, where students can produce radio programs, become involved in management, or run the website. K-ROO Student Media is devoted to promoting local music, athletics, arts, and student campus organizations.

The University News

UMKC’s student newspaper has served UMKC and Kansas City since 1933. Yes, U-News is an independent student newspaper, and all news stories are reported, edited, and produced by students. Copies are distributed to the University, Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Midtown and Downtown areas. U-News is also online, with potential to reach the entire KC metropolitan area.


Students enrolled in broadcast courses are involved in producing programs for Time Warner Cable Channel 17 (KHEN). KCEN broadcasts seven days a week, reporting local and national news and showcasing popular local events.

Learn more about the B.A. in Communication Studies

Learn more about the B.A. in Film and Media Arts