Interdisciplinary Studies Major, B.A.–Cultural Studies

Department of Communication

Visit Program Website

115 Bingham Hall, CB# 3285

(919) 962-2311

Larry Grossberg, Professor

Christian Lundberg, Associate Professor

Patricia Parker, Chair

William Brown, Director of Undergraduate Studies

The cultural studies program is designed to give students the opportunity to create a rigorous, interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary program organized around a particular theme, question, problem, or interest (e.g., third world/ethnic studies, technology, science studies, theory, neoliberalism, labor, disability, popular culture, etc.), or to establish links across a range of classes that define a specific intellectual focus. Cultural studies offers a home to students united by questions of the complex, dynamic workings of culture in contexts of power.

The major is designed for undergraduate students who wish to combine the strengths of various departments and curricula in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students in the cultural studies program tend to be strongly motivated, self-disciplined, intellectually curious, and able to assume greater responsibility for their education. The program is distinguished by intensive advising, collaboration across disciplinary perspectives, and opportunities to extend learning beyond the space of the classroom. Students interested in cultural studies should meet with one of the directors of the program to explore their interests and choose an advisor.

For additional information, contact Larry Grossberg, or Christian Lundberg, Cultural Studies Program, Department of Communication, Bingham Hall.

Department Programs



Graduate Programs


In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
COMM 350Practices of Cultural Studies3
Seven additional courses approved by a faculty advisor (appointed by the director in consultation with the student)21
Total Hours24

Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one course on matters of social/cultural difference/diversity such as ANTH 380, COMM 318, or RELI 323. Students are also strongly encouraged to take at least one course on contemporary theory such as COMM 412.

Students are required to take classes in at least three departments. No more than four courses (12 hours) in the same department may count toward the major. A student should strengthen his or her course of study by choosing Approaches, Connections, and elective courses that complement courses in cultural studies.

Students with an overall grade point average of 3.3 or above and a grade point average of 3.3 or above in cultural studies courses are encouraged to undertake an honors thesis project during the senior year for a total of six credit hours (COMM 691H and COMM 692H). These hours will be in addition to the 24 hours (eight courses) minimally required for the major.

Special Opportunities in Communication

Honors in Communication Studies

The department participates in the University’s Honors Program. Students eligible for the program (see University requirements) may consult with the departmental honors advisor about enrolling in COMM 693H and COMM 694H, or COMM 691H and COMM 692H for honors students in cultural studies. These courses can be used for elective credit in the major but not for satisfying core course or concentration requirements. Additional information can be found on the department Web site.

Independent Study

The opportunity for independent study is available through enrollment in COMM 396 or COMM 596. Interested students should consult a faculty advisor in the department. Please see the department Web site for details.


The department has an extensive internship program in media-related industries, business, public service, and other organizations. Internships allow students to explore the relationship between communication theory and its practice in everyday life. Credit can be obtained through consultation with the internship advisor and enrollment in COMM 393. More than 100 organizations have participated in the program. The department also offers the Hollywood Internship Program, a summer study and work opportunity for selected students interested in pursuing careers in the film industry. Note: Internship credit counts as elective hours and does not count toward the 30 credit hours required for the major.

WUNC Radio and WUNC-TV

Limited opportunities exist for internships and employment with the public radio and television stations in Chapel Hill and in the Research Triangle Park.

Performance Opportunities

Students are involved in writing and adapting plays and screenplays, directing, and participating in staged productions for the public. Additionally, students often appear in regular performances sponsored by graduate students in the Department of Communication and in productions directed by faculty members.

Student Television (STV)

STV is a student-run video production operation that provides hands-on opportunities in a variety of programming assignments.

Carolina Film Association (CFA)


This association is committed to enabling students in developing their cinematic craft. It accomplishes its mission by offering resources and guidance to students pursuing cinematic projects through self-contained or episodic forms.

Study Abroad

Students may take coursework toward the major through the University’s study abroad program. Departmental approval for major credit is required.

Undergraduate Awards

The department offers a number of awards for leadership and contributions to the field, in all areas of specialization. Awards are presented at a department ceremony in the spring semester.