College Majors in Communications, Journalism, and Media Studies
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
Communication and Media Studies
A program that focuses on the comprehensive study of communication, and that spans the study of mass communication/media studies, old and new media technologies, social and political applications, and speech communication and rhetoric. Includes instruction in interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural communication; theories of communication; critical thinking, argumentation, and persuasion; written communication; printed, electronic, and digital media; rhetorical tradition and criticism; media, society, and culture; consequences and effects of mass media; media social science and criticism; and quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry.
Mass Communication/Media Studies
A program that focuses on the analysis and criticism of media institutions and media texts, how people experience and understand media content, and the roles of media in producing and transforming culture. Includes instruction in communications regulation, law, and policy; media history; media aesthetics, interpretation, and criticism; the social and cultural effects of mass media; cultural studies; the economics of media industries; visual and media literacy; and the psychology and behavioral aspects of media messages, interpretation, and utilization.
Speech Communication and Rhetoric
A program that focuses on the scientific, humanistic, and critical study of human communication in a variety of formats, media, and contexts. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of interpersonal, group, organizational, professional, and intercultural communication; speaking and listening; verbal and nonverbal interaction; rhetorical theory and criticism; performance studies; argumentation and persuasion; technologically mediated communication; popular culture; and various contextual applications.
A program that focuses on the methods and techniques for reporting, producing, and delivering news and news programs via radio, television, and video/film media; and that prepares individuals to be professional broadcast journalists, editors, producers, directors, and managers. Includes instruction in the principles of broadcast technology; broadcast reporting; on- and off-camera and microphone procedures and techniques; program, sound, and video/film editing; program design and production; media law and policy; and professional standards and ethics.
A program that focuses on the theory and practice of gathering, processing, and delivering news and that prepares individuals to be professional print journalists, news editors, and news managers. Includes instruction in news writing and editing; reporting; photojournalism; layout and graphic design; journalism law and policy; professional standards and ethics; research methods; and journalism history and criticism.
A program that focuses on the use of still and motion photography in journalism and prepares individuals to function as news photographers and photographic editors. Includes instruction in photography, journalism, studio procedures and techniques, camera and equipment operation and technique, news editing, print and film editing, news scene composition, subject surveillance, media law and policy, news team field operations, and professional standards and ethics.
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
A program that focuses on the creation, execution, transmission, and evaluation of commercial messages in various media intended to promote and sell products, services, and brands; and that prepares individuals to function as advertising assistants, technicians, and managers. Includes instruction in advertising theory, marketing strategy, advertising design and production methods, campaign methods and techniques, media management, related principles of business management, and applicable technical and equipment skills.
A program that focuses on how people, individually and collectively, understand and accommodate to health and illness and the role of communication and media in shaping professional health care messages and public acceptance of these messages. Includes instruction in the development and use of health-related and care-related messages and media; the goals and strategies of health care promotion; relationships, roles, situations, and social structures in the context of health maintenance and promotion; and applications to disease prevention, health advocacy, and communications concerning treatments.
International and Intercultural Communication
A program that focuses on the specialized knowledge and skills needed for effective communication in the international community and among people of different cultures; and that prepares individuals to function at the national and international levels as journalists, public relations specialists, travel industry representatives, intercultural trainers, and/or foreign service officers. Includes instruction in journalism, communications, intercultural and international relations, marketing and public relations, and global communications policy.
Organizational Communication, General
A program that focuses on general communication processes and dynamics within organizations. Includes instruction in the development and maintenance of interpersonal group relations within organizations; decision-making and conflict management; the use of symbols to create and maintain organizational images, missions, and values; power and politics within organizations; human interaction with computer technology; and how communications socializes and supports employees and team members.
A program that focuses on human and media communication in the political process and that prepares individuals to function as members of political and public affairs organizations, political campaign staffs, and related government and media entities. Includes instruction in media effects, political speaking and debating, political advertising and marketing, image management, political journalism, opinion polling, and aspects of print and broadcast media related to the production and distribution of media messages in political settings.
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
A general program that focuses on organizational communication, public relations, and advertising; and that prepares individuals to function in a wide range of public and private sector positions requiring the skills of persuasive communication. Includes instruction in communications, public relations, and advertising theory; principles and techniques of persuasion; message/image design; marketing strategy; professional writing; public speaking and multi-media presentation skills; digital communications; and applied research.
Public Relations/Image Management
A program that focuses on the theories and methods for managing the media image of a business, organization, or individual and the communication process with stakeholders, constituencies, audiences, and the general public; and that prepares individuals to function as public relations assistants, technicians, and managers. Includes instruction in public relations theory; related principles of advertising, marketing, and journalism; message/image design; image management; special event management; media relations; community relations; public affairs; and internal communications.
A program that focuses on the methods and techniques for communicating about sports in a variety of formats, media, and contexts; and that prepares individuals to be sports reporters and writers, photojournalists, radio and television announcers, producers and directors, recreational sports promoters, and public relations specialists. Includes instruction in sports writing, photography, broadcast journalism, sports production, game rules, media and public relations, and sports promotion.
Technical and Scientific Communication
A program that focuses on the communication of technical and scientific knowledge to a variety of audiences through print, video, and digital media; and that prepares individuals to function as technical writers and editors, documentation developers, web designers, and usability specialists. Includes instruction in scientific and technical writing and editing, graphic and information design, web design, audience analysis, document usability and field testing, publications management, and applications to specific technical fields.
A program that focuses on the process of managing the creation, publication, and distribution of print and electronic books and other text products and prepares individuals to manage the editorial, technical, and business aspects of publishing operations. Includes instruction in product planning and design, editing, author relations, business and copyright law, publishing industry operations, contracting and purchasing, product marketing, electronic publishing and commerce, history of publishing, and professional standards and ethics.
Radio, Television, and Digital Communication
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
A program that focuses on the development, use, critical evaluation, and regulation of new electronic communication technologies using computer applications; and that prepares individuals to function as developers and managers of digital communications media. Includes instruction in computer and telecommunications technologies and processes; design and development of digital communications; marketing and distribution; digital communications regulation, law and policy; the study of human interaction with, and use of, digital media; and emerging trends and issues.
Radio and Television
A program that focuses on the theories, methods, and techniques used to plan, produce, and distribute audio and video programs and messages, and that prepares individuals to function as staff, producers, directors, and managers of radio and television shows and media organizations. Includes instruction in media aesthetics; planning, scheduling, and production; writing and editing; performing and directing; personnel and facilities management; marketing and distribution; media regulations, law, and policy; and principles of broadcast technology.
To find a college or university offering the programs you want, use our Search for Schools page.
Communications majors can become:
- Investigative reporters
- News and feature piece writers
- Radio/television announcers
- Labor relations specialists
- Corporate directors and executives
- Development officer/fundraiser
- Communications managers
- Event planners
- Public relations specialists
- Marketing specialists
- Media buyers
- Media relations specialists
- Promotions managers
- Advertising sales representatives
- Film and video editors
- Graphic designers
- Market research analysts
- Public affairs specialist
- Community affairs specialist