School of Communication Future Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Communication?

Communication is the foundation of contemporary life. To study communication is to learn about new and emerging digital media, worldwide current events, fast-paced social and cultural change, innovative problem solving, and public engagement.

The study of communication is so many things: dynamic, diverse, critical, applied, focused, wide-ranging and vital to understanding and making change in our modern world.

As a CMNS student you’ll explore the complexities and interplay of media, culture, technology, society, politics and policy. You’ll be involved in front-line research and learning that focuses on the history, the currency and the future of communication and media.

Theory, research and applied skills combine to make this a dynamic, important degree to help you achieve your career goals.

What if I’m interested in more than one area of study?

We offer joint majors with Business Administration, Interactive Arts & Technology, English, and Anthropology/Sociology. You can also choose a minor from most subject areas at SFU.

What are Concentrations?

Concentrations are a simple way for students who are interested in a particular area of study to find classes related to that topic, including: Media & Culture, Technology & Society and Globalization/Political Economy & Policy. Students do not need to declare a concentration and are welcome to take classes from all three.

What about work experience?

Communication Co-op allows you to gain relevant on-the-job experience, make connections, earn money, and apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to the industry. Co-op is a great way to get a head-start on your future career. Visit SFU Co-Op for details.

Where will my courses be based?

The majority of Communication courses are offered on the SFU Burnaby campus. Overall, approximately 70% of CMNS classes are offered at Burnaby while 30% are offered at the Vancouver Harbour Centre Campus. Reliable transit runs between all campuses and students have the use of a U-Pass (Compass) Transit card. Other courses required for the degree (such as WQB courses) are available at Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey campuses.

What do students and alumni think about the program?

Read personal stories from students and alumni on the Meet Our Students blog.

What will I study?

All Communication students begin with the introductory courses CMNS 110 – Introduction to Communication Studies and CMNS 130 – Introduction to Social Change. After you have completed those courses you will be able to enroll in 200-level classes. For a description of CMNS 110 and CMNS 130 as well as a list of 200 to 400-level classes, click here.

How much will it cost?

A University education is an investment in your future.  Students benefit not only from classroom learning, but also from extra-curricular offerings such as Student Services, Recreation-Athletics, U-pass and more.  It is important to look at all the possible costs before making decisions about when and where to attend post-secondary school.Tuition and other fees are calculated based on the number of units (credits) a student chooses to enroll in during a semester. Other factors which affect tuition and fees are your status in Canada (domestic or international student), if you are taking a semester of Co-op education, if you are auditing a course, if you will participate in the health and dental plan and if one of your classes requires additional materials. Learn more about tuition. Research scholarships and financial aid. Plan your budget.