Media Studies


Prerequisite Completion

You may apply to Media Studies only after you have completed Media Studies 10. In addition, you must have completed at least two of the remaining three prerequisite courses. The fourth prerequisite course may be in progress at the time of your application; it must be successfully completed by the end of that term. Please see the Applying Overview page for more details.

Note: Students must take courses to satisfy Media Studies prerequisite requirements. Exam units do not satisfy prerequisite requirements.

Students intending to major in Media Studies must take one course (or its approved equivalent) from each of the following four groups:

I. American History (Post-Civil War period):
Complete one from the below list:
History 7B: Introduction to History of the U.S.–Civil War to Present
History 124A: U.S. from late 19th Century to the Eve of World War II
History 124B: U.S. from World War II
History 131B: Social History of the U.S.–End of Civil War to Global Age

II. American Institutions:
Political Science 1: Introduction to American Politics

III. Introductory Social Sciences and Humanities:
Complete one from the below list:
Anthropology 3AC: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
Comparative Literature 20: Episodes in Literary Cultures
Comparative Literature 20A: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and Philosophy
Comparative Literature 20B: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and Society
Comparative Literature 20C: Episodes in Literary Cultures: Literature and History
Economics 1: Introduction to Economics
Economics 2: Introduction to Economics–Lecture Format
Psychology 1: General Psychology
Psychology 2: Principles of Psychology
Rhetoric 10: Introduction to Practical Reasoning and Critical Analysis of Argument
Rhetoric 20: Rhetorical Interpretation
Sociology 1: Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 3AC: Principles of Sociology
Theater 26: Introduction to Performance Studies

IV. Introductory Media Studies*:
Complete one from the below list:
Media Studies 10: Introduction to Media Studies**

* Beginning Fall 2020, Media Studies 10 must be taken at UC Berkeley. California community college Media Studies 10 equivalent transfer courses will no longer be accepted. Past UC Berkeley Media Studies 10 versions, Media Studies N10 (summer) and Media Studies W10 (online), will satisfy this requirement.

** Media Studies 10 is a prerequisite to the core courses–Media Studies 111, 112, 113, and 114. You may not be enrolled in Media Studies 10 and any other core course at the same time. If you “crash” your way into 111, 112, 113, or 114, you may not be permitted to subsequently enroll in Media Studies 10.

All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. Note that not every course is offered every semester, and some courses are not open to students at every level (for example, Media Studies 10 is intended for sophomores/students who began as freshmen and completed two semesters at Cal and first-semester transfer students. Only freshmen and sophomores can enroll in Political Science 1, etc.). You are responsible for consulting with the appropriate departments for course scheduling and enrollment regulations. These are the only Berkeley courses that are acceptable in these two prerequisite groups.

If you begin UC Berkeley as a freshman, plan your schedule carefully so that you can complete the prerequisites and apply to the major before you reach 70 units. If you are over 70 units (minus exam units, community college courses taken while in high school, and excess P.E. units–over four) and need to submit an appeal application, you will need to plan to have three semesters to complete the major since our core courses are only offered in the fall and spring. Below are additional helpful tips for enrolling in prerequisites:

  • Media Studies does not control the scheduling of prerequisites offered by other departments. It only controls the scheduling of Media Studies 10, so prerequisites can occasionally be offered at conflicting times.
  • Media Studies does not control the enrollment management of courses offered by other departments; they determine who may enroll in their courses as well as when and how they process their wait lists.
  • Media Studies 10 should be taken in the fall term or spring term of your second year if you began Cal as a freshman. It can be difficult for juniors to enroll in this course. Seniors are never admitted.
  • If you are a junior and you still need Media Studies 10, you should consider enrolling in Media Studies 10 during UC Berkeley’s Summer Session.
  • History 7B is set up to admit freshmen and sophomores.
  • Political Science 1, Sociology 1 or 3AC, Anthropology 3AC, and Economics 1 are usually offered every semester; most are often offered in Summer Session. Check with departments offering prerequisites to confirm when offering.
  • Each of the history prerequisites is offered only once per year. History 7B is usually offered in the spring semester. Some may be offered in Summer Session.
  • We do not advise attempting to complete all prerequisites in a single semester.

Transferring Prerequisite Courses
Most Media Studies prerequisites can be satisfactorily completed at two-year or other four-year institutions.  Please note: Beginning Fall 2020, Media Studies 10 must be taken at UC Berkeley.  Community college Media Studies 10 equivalent transfer courses will no longer be accepted.

Students who begin Berkeley as freshmen should complete as many prerequisites as possible at Berkeley. Although it may occasionally be necessary or convenient to take courses in community college over the summer, we urge intended majors to make it a priority to complete these courses at the UC level.

Transfer students should make sure that the courses they took at a California community college are acceptable prerequisites for the major. A course that is approved for the University may not be approved for the major. Visit to see the articulation agreement for your specific community college, not district, to find out what courses have been approved as prerequisites for the Media Studies major. is a reliable source of information for transfer students.

Transfer students coming from out-of-state schools and other four-year universities will need to request that courses they have taken at their prior schools be reviewed as possible prerequisites for the Media Studies major. Submit the courses for review using the Intended Majors Course Substitution Form (major not declared yet), which will be reviewed by Dr. Josh Jackson, Assistant Director of Media Studies. Decisions are emailed to the student.