At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The Telecommunications program seeks to prepare informed, responsible professionals for leadership roles in the electronic communication and information industries. The program stresses the social, cultural and economic impact of electronic media, including radio, television, videogames, telephones and the Internet.
Students can choose an emphasis in programming and production, management and entrepreneurship, law and policy.
Graduates go on to careers at local radio and television stations; broadcast, cable and satellite networks; Internet content and service providers; wired and wireless telephone companies; and other related media and entertainment industries. The major emphasizes the business and legal parameters of telecommunications, making it an excellent preparation for law school or graduate school and careers in government policy and the entertainment field.
What is Telecommunications?
Telecommunications is the array of electronic media industries that make up the global communications ecosystem. This comprises radio, television, telephones and the internet. Telecommunications includes traditional broadcast, cable, satellite and telephone companies, such as radio and TV stations and networks and music and film companies, as well as internet businesses involved in audio and video production, video games, social media, the Internet of Things, and more. This includes internet service providers, cloud computing, mobile telephones, and more. Students learn current industry practices and essential technological, economic, and legal concepts to develop the skills necessary to become successful leaders in all forms of electronic media and related industries throughout the world.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are creative and like to produce audio or video content.
- You’re entrepreneurial and imaginative and want to develop new products.
- You’re analytical and imaginative and want to discover new insights into how people use media technologies.
- You’re outgoing and like to travel and want to help businesses grow.
- You like sports or entertainment, or have strong technical or policy interests and are interested in shaping the future of the Internet.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunications, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||34-35|
3-4 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 3-4 credits of General Education GS courses.
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Students must select at least 72 credits in courses outside the Bellisario College of Communications.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|COMM 160||Basic News Writing Skills||1|
|COMM 180||Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications||3|
|COMM 280||Introduction to Telecommunications Technologies||3|
|COMM 380||Telecommunications Management||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3-4 credits of the following:||3-4|
|Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy|
|Principles of Economics|
|Introduction to Statistics for Business|
|Select 12 credits of the following: 1||12|
|Gaming and Interactive Media|
|Television Field Production|
or COMM 242
|Television Studio Production|
|Digital Media Metrics|
|Advanced Video Production|
|Telecommunications Promotion and Sales|
|Media Programming Strategies|
|Law of Mass Communications|
|International Mass Communications|
|World Media Systems|
|World Media Systems|
|Wireless Communications Industry|
|Emerging Telecommunications Technologies|
|Wireless Devices and Global Markets|
|Analysis of Broadcast-Cable Policy|
|Issues in Electronic Commerce|
|Entrepreneurship in the Information Age|
|Internship (3 credits)|
|Select 3 credits in law of the following: 1||3|
|Law of Mass Communications|
|Internet Law and Policy|
|Select 3 credits in capstone courses of the following: 1||3|
|Advanced Telecommunications Management and Leadership|
|Advanced Telecommunications Topics|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3 credits in social aspects of communication of the following:||3|
|Media and Democracy|
|Introduction to Media Effects|
|Gender, Diversity and the Media|
|Mass Communication Research|
|Law of Mass Communications|
|Political Economy of Communications|
|News Media Ethics|
|International Mass Communications|
|Cultural Aspects of the Mass Media|
|Sports, Media and Society|
|The Mass Media and the Public|
|Ethics and Regulation in Advertising and Public Relations|
|Media Effects: Theory and Research|
|World Media Systems|
|Independent Studies (1-3 credits)|
Students must meet with a faculty adviser to approve their course selections.
Students must take at least 9 credits of 400-level courses from the additional or supporting course lists.
Professional Values and Competencies
Individual professions in journalism and mass communication may require certain specialized values and competencies. Irrespective of their particular specialization, all graduates should be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:
- understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and assemble and to petition for redress of grievances;
- demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
- demonstrate an understanding of gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;
- demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
- understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
- demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
- think critically, creatively and independently;
- conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
- write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
- critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
- apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
- apply basic tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Administrative Support Assistant
204 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2019-20 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|COMM 160*||1||COMM 180*1||3|
|ENGL 15 or 30||3||Foreign Language||4|
|Foreign Language||4||General Education (GN)||3|
|General Education (GN)||3||General Education (GH)||3|
|General Education (GS)||3||General Education (GQ)||3|
|ECON 102 or STAT 200*†||3-4||General Education (GA)||3|
|Foreign Language||4||COMM 280*2||3|
|General Education (GA)||3||BA Knowledge Domain (US Cultures)||3|
|General Education (GN)||3||Other Cultures||3|
|General Education (GH)||3||General Education (GQ) if ECON 102 is taken 3rd semester, or General Education (GS) if STAT 200 is taken 3rd semester.||3|
|COMM 380*||3||COMM 190, 242, 282, 283, 310, 374, 383, 383A, 384, 385, 386, 403, 410, 419, 419H, 479, 483, 484, 484A, 485, 490, 491, 493, 495, GAME 140, or IST 310*||3|
|COMM 110, 118, 205, 304, 403, 405, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 417, 418, 419, or 496*||3||COMM 190, 242, 282, 283, 310, 374, 383, 383A, 384, 385, 386, 403, 410, 419, 419H, 479, 483, 484, 484A, 485, 490, 491, 493, 495, GAME 140, or IST 310*||3|
|General Education (GA)||3||ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D||3|
|BA Knowledge Domain (IL Cultures)||3||Elective||3|
|COMM 403, 404, or 492*||3||COMM 190, 242, 282, 283, 310, 374, 383, 383A, 384, 385, 386, 403, 410, 419, 419H, 479, 483, 484, 484A, 485, 490, 491, 493, 495, GAME 140, or IST 310*||3|
|COMM 486, 487, or 489*||3||3|
|BA Knowledge Domain||3||Elective||3|
|General Education (GWH)||1.5||General Education (GWH)||1.5|
|Elective (if ECON 102 taken instead of STAT 200 for required major course)||1|
|Total Credits 120-121|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
Students studying at any of the commonwealth campuses that do not offer COMM 180 will take that course in the 5th semester upon arrival to University Park. In place of COMM 180, students should take a General Education (GA) in their second semester. COMM 180 will replace the General Education (GA) in the fifth semester.
Students studying at any of the commonwealth campuses that do not offer COMM 280 will take that course fifth semester upon arrival to University Park. In place of Comm 280, students should take ENGL 202A/ENGL 202B/ENGL 202C/ENGL 202D in their fourth semester. COMM 380 should be taken sixth semester in place of ENGL 202A/ENGL 202B/ENGL 202C/ENGL 202D.
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
A telecommunications degree prepares students for career success with a valuable mix of hands-on technical experience and leadership development skills. Students can pursue careers in television, radio and other forms of content production, audience research and programming, marketing and sales, product and app development, or legal and policy issues. Graduates go on to work at major television networks, production companies, sports leagues, social media companies, internet and telephone companies, industry associations, government agencies and public advocacy groups both in the United States and in many other countries around the world.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
The telecommunications program is excellent preparation for law school or graduate school. The curriculum includes a heavy emphasis on legal and policy issues including free speech, privacy, intellectual property, technology law and entertainment law, providing a solid foundation for law school. The program also covers important economic and business concepts related to the media and technology industries, including issues related to diversity, ethics and globalization. This provides a solid grounding in research and analysis for graduate school.
The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is evaluated regularly by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the Bellisario College has consistently met the high standards of the organization that is dedicated to excellence in professional education in journalism and mass communications. For undergraduate students, accreditation most practically means that upper-level professional classes in each major will be conducted in rooms with 20 or fewer students.
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
105 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802