Communication Studies Major
The BA in Communication Studies is a major in the College of Arts and Sciences for students interested in specializing in digital media studies as an area of expertise. The major helps students develop advanced skills in communications with an emphasis on digital media studies, including multimedia writing, video editing and production, web content strategy and design, and writing for social media platforms.
Communication Studies students acquire a solid grounding in the study of digital communications while exploring current ideas and tools that are shaping the knowledge society. A hallmark of the Communication Studies curriculum is the emphasis on both theory and practice. Not only do students study what is happening at the forefront of emerging communication technologies, they also participate. Students have access to cutting-edge resources as they make and reflect upon media and in the process acquire important skills in teamwork, innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. The major prepares students for careers in digital media including web content strategy and design, social media/community management, and multimedia journalism.
The Department of Communication Studies is committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Faculty are dedicated to the art of thinking across media, platforms, and theories in order to create an innovative and socially responsible curriculum that goes beyond the classroom. Communication Studies students gain hands-on experience by working closely with faculty on a variety of activities.
Learning Goals and Objectives
Goal 1: Students will gain critical awareness of the social role of media.
Objective 1.1: Students will understand the history and context of the role that media has played in society.
Objective 1.2: Students will be able to articulate and critique the role media has historically played, and currently plays in society.
Goal 2: Students will understand the principles and practices of effective media communication.
Objective 2.1: Students will be able to identify and employ a range of effective communication strategies to navigate audience, purpose, and context.
Goal 3: Students will understand and apply human centered design approaches to communicating through digital media.
Objective 3.1: Students will analyze, articulate, and understand how multiple theoretical approaches of aesthetics and design inform the way audiences act, interact, and produce meaning.
Objective 3.2: Students will be able to create media objects which effectively applies these design principles for a desired rhetorical goal.
Goal 4: Student will understand the relation between media and social responsibility.
Objective 4.1: Students will understand and articulate the ethical questions and principles that inform the use of digital media.
Objective 4.2: Students will understand and articulate how digital media has been, and can be, employed to facilitate innovation, social change, and civic engagement.
Goal 5: Students will be able to use digital media in a way which demonstrates information literacy.
Objective 5.1: Students will employ digital media tools and approaches to establish the veracity and credibility of information.
Objective 5.2: Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively manage the ubiquitous flow of digital media information.
Objective 5.3: Students will be able to effectively use digital media to research, gather, and assess digital information and knowledge.
Communication Studies Major Curriculum
The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:
- Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
- Ethics Intensive, and
- Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.
General Education Signature Courses
See this page about Signature courses. Six courses
General Education Variable Courses
See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses
General Education Overlays
General Education Integrative Learning Component
See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses
Communication majors must also take three courses in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) as part of the Integrated Learning Component (ILC) of the GEP. These courses must be outside of the major department. To fulfill the ILC requirement, students should choose three courses from the following:
|ART 103||Non Western Art & Architecture||3|
|ART 104||The Experience of Architecture||3|
|ART 105||Arts of East Asia||3|
|ART 106||Art of Colonial Latin America||3|
|ART 107||Women, Gender, and Art||3|
|ART 208||Modern Art & Architecture||3|
|ART 209||Contemporary Art||3|
|ART 212||History of Photography||3|
|CHN 310||Selections in Chinese Lit||3|
|ECN 330||Economics of Labor||3|
|ECN 370||Economic Development||3|
|ECN 375||Environmental Economics||3|
|ECN 460||African Economies||3|
|ECN 475||Asian Economies||3|
|ECN 480||Ecns of Poverty & Income Dist||3|
|ECN 485||Ecns of Migration & Immigratn||3|
|ENG 207||Images of Women in Literature||3|
|ENG 211||Black Popular Culture||3|
|ENG 215||Passing Narratives - Black Lit||3|
|ENG 329||Black Women's Literature||3|
|ENG 364||History of Journalism||3|
|FRE 322||Making our Voices Heard||3|
|GRM 321||Getting to Know the Germ Media||3|
|ITA 365||Italian Society and the Media||3|
|JPN 310||Selections in Japanese Lit I||3|
|HIS 385||His of Women in Am Since 1820||3|
|HIS 386||American Environmental History||3|
|HIS 387||Popular Culture in the US||3|
|MTF 191||Introduction to the Film||3|
|MTF 192||History of Narrative Film & TV||3|
|MTF 291||American Film||3|
|MTF 292||European Cinemas||3|
|MTF 293||Asian & Pacific Cinemas||3|
|MTF 294||Global Cinemas||3|
|PHL 262||Freedom, Citizenship, Culture||3|
|PHL 334||Ethics and Criminal Justice||3|
|POL 117||Intro to Political Thought||3|
|POL 150||First-Year Seminar||3|
|POL 305||Politics, Ideology, & Film||3|
|POL 317||Urban Politics||3|
|POL 324||Race & Ethnic Politics in U.S.||3|
|POL 327||Environmental Politics in Am||3|
|POL 331||Latin American Politics||3|
|PSY 150||Gender Matters||3|
|REL 327||Religion & Race in Phila.||3|
|RUS 310||Selections in Russian Lit I||3|
|SOC 205||Ethnic & Minority Relations||3|
|SOC 206||Theories of Crime||3|
|SOC 207||Juvenile Justice||3|
|SOC 208||Sociology of Gender||3|
|SOC 252||Media & Popular Culture||3|
|SOC 330||Urban Sociology||3|
|SOC 335||Classes and Power in US||3|
|SOC 377||Inside-Out Expl Crime&Justice||3|
|SPA 360||Spanish in the Community||4|
|THE 371||Christianity and Media||3|
|THE 372||Technology Ethics||3|
Communication Studies Courses
Eleven required courses, including six core courses and five option courses.
All Communication majors will be assigned a departmental advisor with whom they will consult during the course of their studies and who will help them select a series of course appropriate for both their interests and future careers.
All students complete the six Core courses and select the remaining five courses from the list of Option Courses.
|COM 200||Communication Theory/ Practice||3|
|COM 201||Ethics in Communication||3|
|COM 202||Digital Aesthetics||3|
|COM 371||Civic Media||3|
|COM 372||Web Design & Development||3|
|COM 472||Digital Storytelling||3|
|Select five of the following: 1|
|Digital Photography I|
|Digital Photography II|
|Photo Essay/Docu Photo|
|Advanced Web Design|
|Social Media & Communty Engmnt|
|Bear Witness:Images/Soc Change|
|Special Topics/ Com&Digi Media|
|Intro to Computer Science|
|Computer Science II|
|Public Speaking & Presentation|
|Writing for Organizations|
|Writing for Public Relations|
|Case Studies: PR & Advertising|
|Persuasion/Influence in Media|
|Tutor Prac, Writ Cntr Thry Pr|
|Writing for Digital Platforms|
|History of Journalism|
|Special Topics in Writing|
|Special Topics in Journalism|
|Journalism & Entrepreneurship|
|Ethics in Journalism|
|The Art of Editing|
|Integrated Mktg Communications|
|MKT Communications (non-Bus)|
|Social Media Marketing|
|Mkt in a Multicultural World|
|Public Relations and Publicity|
|Fundamentals of Design|
|Digital Media in Sports|
|Screenwriting II (MTF 282 is a pre-req)|
|Directing for Film/TV (MTF 284 is a pre-req)|
|Advanced Lghtg, Camera, Design (MTF 284 is a pre-req)|
|Edit & Digital Post-Production (MTF 284 is a pre-req)|
|Prof. Film Production Workshop (MTF 284 is a pre-req)|
Courses in the major may be chosen from a broad set of options. Note: two of the five must be COM courses, the remainder can be either COM courses or from the list of affiliated courses
Students who have completed both 200 and 201 and have at least junior standing are eligible to take the Internship course as one of their option courses. In order to take the Communications Internship students must be a Communications major and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Communication Studies students with junior or senior standing and an overall GPA of 3.0 may apply for credit in an independent study program. These courses usually cover a topic not typically offered as part of the standard selection of courses, but which will enhance the student's educational objectives. At the end of the semester preceding the semester in which an independent study is sought the interested students should submit a written proposal describing, with particulars, the planned study project. The minimum requirement for such a proposal is that it include a substantial critical and/or creative project, and the name of the appropriate faculty member.