Program Type: Major
Program Level: Undergraduate
Department: Majors

Few academic disciplines offer such wide and varied professional opportunities as communications. At Upstate, our communications program empowers students to take advantage of that world of opportunities with a learning experience that is as broad as it is deep.

Three areas of concentration tailor Your experience to your unique career goals.

As a communications major you’ll be able to choose from one of three concentrations. So while you’ll gain a solid foundation in the core principles of the communications field, you can specialize in an area of particular interest to you.

Communication Studies 

The communication studies concentration enables students to understand the centrality and complexity of communication in personal, professional and civic life. Students are encouraged to engage in ethical human communication and become critical consumers of knowledge and information. Courses reflect a variety of disciplines in the field of communication including organizational communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, small group and rhetoric. 

Mass Media

The mass media curriculum encourages students to become critical producers and consumers of mass communication. Students explore the function and history of mass media in society while developing the skills for production using traditional print and broadcast journalistic practices, as well as new media technologies.

Public Relations

The public relations concentration uses the study and application of traditional and emerging industry tools and strategies for effective communication and relationship building between organizations and their publics. Students produce publicity and informational materials, develop and implement public relations campaigns and acquire hands-on experience within this rapidly expanding field through work with real-world clients within the local community.

Regardless of which concentration is the best fit for you, the learning experience will be characterized by extensive hands-on learning opportunities. Regular internship sites include public relations agencies, television and video studios, print journalism and online journalism outlets.

  • In addition to the general education requirements, students must complete the following 15 hours in shared core communication requirements along with the concentration-specific coursework below. Furthermore, students will complete a 12-21 hour cognate or minor to complement the chosen degree program.

    • SPCH U301: Theories & Principles of Human Communication
    • SPCH U333: Advanced Public Speaking
    • JOUR U305: Mass Communication Theory
    • COMM U375: Communication Research Methods
    • COMM U490: Senior Seminar

    Communication Studies (27 hours)

    • Writing and Presentation Skills (6)
    • Culture and Communication (6)
    • Professional Practices (6)
    • Nine additional hours from categories 
      above (9)

    Mass Media (27 hours)

    • Mass Media Core (9)
    • Writing (3)
    • History/Theory (3)
    • Film (3)
    • Professional Options (3)
    • Six additional hours from categories 
      above (6)

    Public Relations (27 hours)

    • Public Relations Core (15)
    • History/Theory (3)
    • Professional Options (3)
    • Six additional hours from categories 
      above or 300-level SPCH courses (6)

    The course categories above are made up of classes such as:

    • COMM U399: Internships/Independent Study
    • JOUR U201: Survey of Mass Communications
    • JOUR U302: Journalism's Role in History
    • JOUR U303: Law and Ethics of the Mass Media
    • JOUR U304: Writing for the Media
    • JOUR U310: Mass Media and Society
    • JOUR U315: International Media
    • JOUR U328: Fundamentals of Public Relations
    • JOUR U330: TV Studio Production
    • JOUR U333: News and Feature Writing
    • JOUR U334: Writing for Broadcasting
    • JOUR U335: Video Editing
    • JOUR U348: Illness, Culture and the Media
    • JOUR U349:  Health Messages and the Media
    • JOUR U350: Social and Emerging Media
    • JOUR U398: Special Topics in Journalism
      (topics vary by semester)
    • JOUR U428: Public Relations Campaigns
    • JOUR U429: Crisis Communication 
    • JOUR U450: Women in the Media
    • JOUR U480: Diversity in the Media 
    • SPCH U303: Ethics in Human Communication
    • SPCH U309: Small Group Communication
    • SPCH U310: Interpersonal Communication
    • SPCH U312: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
    • SPCH U313: Performance Studies
    • SPCH U330: Interviewing
    • SPCH U333: Advanced Public Speaking
    • SPCH U340: Voice and Diction
    • SPCH U347: Environmental Communication
    • SPCH U350: Communication & Gender
    • SPCH U380: Intercultural Communication
    • SPCH U398: Topics in Speech Communication
      (topics vary by semester)
    • SPCH U430: Communicating Difference in
      Social Institutions
    • SPCH U440: Argumentation and Debate
    • SPCH U448: Organizational Communication
    • SPCH U450: Communicating for Social Change  
  • Graduates from the communication degree program go on to careers in areas such as:

    • Advertising
    • Corporate Communication
    • Customer Service
    • Event Planning
    • Filmmaking and Videography
    • Human Resources
    • Law and Graduate School
    • Non-Profits
    • Office Management
    • Politics and Political Strategy
    • Print and Digital Journalism
    • Public and Media Relations
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Social Media Management
    • Training and Development
    • Writing and Editing
  • Dr. Warren Bareiss is the internship coordinator for the communication concentrations and has established contacts throughout the Upstate that benefit our students each semester. Students interested in a communication internship for course credit should contact Dr. Bareiss for additional information and to explore current openings and opportunities.

    Agencies where we have had students intern are listed below. Students should inform Dr. Bareiss before contacting any agency. Students cannot get internship credit without processing the appropriate paperwork and without enrolling in COMM 399.

    • Arts and Humanities
    • Events Planning
    • Government
    • Health Related
    • Journalism (Electronic)
    • Journalism (Writing/Print)
    • Public Relations
    • Radio/Audio Production
    • Religious
    • Sales/Marketing/Advertising
    • Social Work and Justice/Community Welfare
    • Sports
    • Television/Video Production

    For details, download the full internship catalog  .