Communications, B.A. (University College)

Program Code: COMUC_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 0-11
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 55-64

3-16 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 0-6 credits of GS; 0-6 credits of GH; 0-4 credits GQ courses.

0-12 credits for the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.

General Education

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 Keystone/General Education Course 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

Knowledge Domains

  • 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.

Cultures Requirement    

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.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
COMM 160Basic News Writing Skills1
COMM 270Introduction to Multimedia Production3
COMM 494Research Project Courses3
COMM 495Internship3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credtis from Foundations of Mass Media and Society:3
The Mass Media and Society Keystone/General Education Course
Media and Democracy Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits from Foundations in Media Writing (May double count for writing across the curriculum requirement):3
Writing for Media
News Writing and Reporting
Select 3 credits from Foundations in Communication Theory (May double count with general education credits):3
Rhetorical Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Communication Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits from the following in Communications Research Methods/Theory (May not double count with option additional courses requirement):3
Communication Research Methods
Intercultural Communication Theory and Research
Mass Communication Research
Research & Analytics
Select 3 credits from Mass Communications Ethics and Public Policy:3
Law of Mass Communications
Mass Media and Politics
Media Law and Ethics
Requirements for the Option
Requirements for the Option: Require a grade of C or better
Select an option30-31

Requirements for the Option

Corporate Communications Option (30-31 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Beaver, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CAS 252Business and Professional Communication Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses 1
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following tracks:12-13
PR/Marketing Track
Public Relations
Public Relations Media and Methods
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Corporate Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Selling Techniques
Principles of Marketing
Strategic Communication Track
Principles of Strategic Communications
Strategic Communications in a Global Environment
Social Media Strategies
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 15 credits of the following (at least 3 credits must be at the 400 level):15
Interpersonal Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Mediation and Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement Keystone/General Education Course
Intercultural Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Rhetorical Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Communication Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Organizational Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Keystone/General Education Course
Communication Ethics
Introduction to Corporate Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Internal Communication
External Communication
Risk and Crisis in Corporate Communication
Strategic Speaking
Social Media in Corporate Communication
Newspaper Practicum 2
Newspaper Editorial Staff 2
Radio Practicum 2
Introduction to Media Effects Keystone/General Education Course
Gender, Diversity and the Media Keystone/General Education Course
Basic Photography for Communications
Social Justice and the Image Keystone/General Education Course
Graphic Design for Communications
The Nature of Media
Television Field Production
Cinema and Globalization Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Media & Politics Keystone/General Education Course
Special Topics 3
Foreign Studies 4
Introduction to Critical Studies of Media
Introduction to Advertising
Public Relations
Media and Government
Perspectives on American Journalism
Media and World Politics
Cultural Foundations of Communications
News Media Ethics
International Mass Communications
Cultural Aspects of the Mass Media
Sports, Media and Society
The Mass Media and the Public
Principles of Strategic Communications
Strategic Communications in a Global Environment
Research & Analytics
Social Media Strategies
Feature Writing
Graphic Applications in Print Communications
Public Relations Media and Methods
Public Relations Campaigns
Sports Writing
Sports Information
Internship 5
Independent Studies
Writing for the Web
Principles of Marketing
Digital Journalism Option (30 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Beaver, New Kensington

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
COMM 460WReporting Methods3
Additional Courses 1
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits in Professional Practices (May not double count with any other major or option requirements.):9
Basic Photography for Communications
Graphic Design for Communications
Photojournalism
Television Field Production
Special Topics
Feature Writing
Graphic Applications in Print Communications
Convergent Media News Service: Newspaper Production
Writing for the Web
Select 18 credits from the following (at least 3 credits must be at the 400 level):18
Interpersonal Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement Keystone/General Education Course
Intercultural Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Rhetorical Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Communication Theory Keystone/General Education Course
Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Keystone/General Education Course
Newspaper Practicum 2
Newspaper Editorial Staff 2
Radio Practicum 2
Introduction to Media Effects Keystone/General Education Course
Gender, Diversity and the Media Keystone/General Education Course
Basic Photography for Communications
Social Justice and the Image Keystone/General Education Course
Graphic Design for Communications
The Nature of Media
Photojournalism
Television Field Production
Introduction to Media & Politics Keystone/General Education Course
Special Topics 3
Foreign Studies 4
Introduction to Critical Studies of Media
Public Relations
Cultural Foundations of Communications
News Media Ethics
International Mass Communications
Cultural Aspects of the Mass Media
Sports, Media and Society
The Mass Media and the Public
Principles of Strategic Communications
Strategic Communications in a Global Environment
Research & Analytics
Social Media Strategies
Feature Writing
Editorial, Opinion and Commentary Writing
News Editing and Evaluation
Graphic Applications in Print Communications
Convergent Media News Service: Newspaper Production
Convergent Media News Service: TV
Convergent Media News Service: Radio and Online Publications
Public Relations Media and Methods
Sports Writing
Sports Information
Internship 4
Independent Studies
Writing for the Web

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Effective oral, written, and visual communication skills.
    1. Students will be able to write and deliver an effective speech.
    2. Students will be able to write an effective press release.
    3. Students will be able to create an effective visual communication (website, photography, graphics).
  2. Knowledge of and facility with current professional standards and practices.
    1. Students will be able to create effective materials as part of their internships, consistent with professional standards and practices.
  3. Facility with communications theory and research methods as a foundation of critical thinking.
    1. Students will demonstrate understanding of communication theory by writing an in depth paper on a selected theory.
    2. Students will be able to design and execute an original research project.
  4. Knowledge of the roles communications systems and professionals play in shaping local, national, and global communities.
    1. Students will demonstrate understanding of intercultural communication by writing a paper on an assigned topic.
    2. Students will work effectively with diverse colleagues as part of their internship.

Academic Advising

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.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Beaver

John Chapin
Program Coordinator
117 Michael Baker Building
724-773-3877
jrc11@psu.edu

Brandywine

Susan Fredricks
Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1373
smf17@psu.edu

Greater Allegheny

Zack Furness
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9153
zackfurness@psu.edu

New Kensington

Allen Larson
Associate Professor
3550 Seventh Street Rd.
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6731
arl13@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 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).

Beaver Campus

Corporate Communications Option: Communications, B.A. at Beaver Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*†3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 100A* †3
PSYCH 100 (or Social and Behavioral Sciences)*†3STAT 100 (or GQ)3
World Language level 14World Language level 24
General Education Course3General Education Course (GH)3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270* 3CAS 252*3
World Language level 34COMM 282 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Major Course)*3
General Education Course (GQ)3COMM 11
COMM 260W*3PHIL 103 (or General Education Course)*†3
CAS 301 or 303*†3STAT 200 (or General Education Course (GQ))‡ †3-4
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 14.5-15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 2023COMM 428C or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3
COMM 428A*3BA Other Cultures3
COMM 2*2General Education Course3
ENGL 420 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3Free Elective3
General Education Course3COMM 409 or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3
 14 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 428D*3COMM 494*3
Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course*3COMM 495*3-6
General Education Course3COMM 428E*3
BA Requirement3COMM 4033
Social or Behavioral Science (GS)*†3BA Requirement3
 15 15-18
Total Credits 121-125

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.

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.

Journalism Option: Communications, B.A. at Beaver Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H* 3CAS 100A3
PSYCH 100 (or General Education Course)* †3STAT 100 (or GQ)3
World Language level 14General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course3World Language Course level 24
 General Education Course (GH)3
 16 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270*3COMM 460W (or Journalism Option Additional Major Course)*3
World Language level 14COMM 282 (or Journalism Option Additional Major Course)*3
STAT 200 (or GQ)3-4COMM 1*1
CAS 301 or 303*†3PHIL 103 (or General Education Course)*3
COMM 260W*3STAT 200 (or General Education (GQ))4
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16-17 15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 420* 3COMM 409* 3
COMM 403* 3Digital Journalism Option3
COMM 462*3BA Other Cultures3
COMM 428A (or Digital Journalism Option)*3General Education Course3
General Education Course3COMM 460W3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 494* 3COMM 4953-6
General Education Course3COMM 428E (Digital Journalism Option)3
Digital Journalism Option3COMM 4033
Social or Behavioral Science*3BA Requirement3
BA Requirement3BA Requirement3
 15 15-18
Total Credits 123-127

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.

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.

Brandywine Campus

Corporate Communication Option: Communications, B.A. at Brandywine Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*†3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 100A* †3
PSYCH 100 (or Social and Behavioral Sciences)*†3AMST 105 (or General Education Course)*†3
World Language - Elementary6World Language - Intermediate6
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 General Education Course (GQ)3
 18 17.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270* 3CAS 252*3
General Education Course (GQ)3COMM 282 or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majror Course)*3
COMM 260W*3COMM 11
CAS 301*†3PHIL 103 (or General Education Course)*†3
STAT 200 (or General Education Course (GQ))‡†3-4ENGL 202 (A or B recommended)3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15-16 14.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MKTG 301W*3COMM 471 or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3
COMM 370*3BA Other Cultures3
COMM 2*2General Education Course3
COMM 205 or ENGL 420 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3CAS 204*3
General Education Course3COMM 409 or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3
 14 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 494*3COMM 495*3-6
CAS 404 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course (if needed) or General Education Course or Free Elective*3
General Education Course3BA Requirement3
BA Requirement3BA Requirement3
ECON 102 or 104 (or Any Social or Behavioral Science (GS))*†3Free Elective3
CNED 2801 
 16 15-18
Total Credits 125-129

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.

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.

Greater Allegheny Campus

Corporate Communications Option: Communications, B.A. at Greater Allegheny Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*†3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 100A*†3
PSYCH 100 (or Social and Behavioral Sciences)*†3World Language Level 2 4
World Language Level 14General Education Course (GH)3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GQ)‡13
PSU 81General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 17 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270*3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
World Language Level 3 4Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course*3
General Education Course3STAT 200 (or General Education Course (GQ))4
COMM 260W*3ECON 102 or 104*†3
CAS 301 or 303*†3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 COMM 1 or 31
 16 15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MKTG 301*3COMM 471*3
COMM 370*3CAS 252*3
COMM 1 or 3*1COMM 1 or 3*1
Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course*3CAS 204*3
General Education Course3Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course*3
BA Fields Requirement3BA Other Cultures3
 16 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 403*3COMM 495*3
COMM 494*3Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course* (if needed) or General Education Course or Free Elective3
Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course*3BA Fields Requirement3
BA Fields Requirement3BA Requirement3
General Education Course3Free Elective 3
 15 15
Total Credits 126

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.

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.

New Kensington Campus

Journalism Option: Communications, B.A. at New Kensington Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H* 3CAS 100A3
PSYCH 100 (or General Education Course)* †3General Education Course3
World Language level 14World Language Course level 24
General Education Course3General Education Course (GQ)3
 16 14
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270*3COMM 282 or 292 (or Journalism Option Additional Major Course)*3
World Language level 34COMM 1*1
General Education Course 3STAT 200 (or General Education (GQ))4
CAS 301*†3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
COMM 260W*3BA Other Cultures3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 420 (or Journalism Option Additional Major Course)* 3COMM 409* 3
COMM 403* 3COMM 470A*3
COMM 2* 2CAS 204* 3
COMM 205 (or Journalism Option Additional Majors Course)* 3General Education Course3
General Education Course3COMM 460W3
 14 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 494* 3COMM 4953
CAS 404 (or Journalism Option Additional Major Course)* 3Journalism Option Additional Major Course or General Education Course or Free Elective3
General Education Course3BA Requirement3
BA Requirement3BA Requirement3
General Education Course3Free Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 120.5

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.

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.

Corporate Communications Option: Communications, B.A. at New Kensington Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 100N*†3COMM 160* 1
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 100A* †3
PSYCH 100 (or Social and Behavioral Sciences)*†3World Language level 24
World Language level 14General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 General Education Course (GQ)3
 16 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 270* 3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
World Language level 34COMM 282 or 292 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majror Course)*3
General Education Course 3COMM 11
COMM 260W*3STAT 200 (or General Education Course (GQ))‡ †4
CAS 301*†3ECON 102*† 3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MKTG 301W*3COMM 370*3
COMM 2*2CAS 252*3
COMM 403*3Corporate Communications Option Additinal Majors Course*3
COMM 205 or ENGL 420 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3BA Other Cultures3
General Education Course3CAS 204*3
 14 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMM 494*3COMM 495*3
COMM 471*3Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course (if needed) or General Education Course or Free Elective*3
CAS 404 (or Corporate Communications Option Additional Majors Course)*3BA Requirement3
General Education Course3BA Requirement3
BA Requirement3Free Elective3
General Education Course3 
 18 15
Total Credits 125

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.

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.

Career Paths

With the rapid development of digital technologies over the last decade, the field of communications has seen unprecedented growth and convergence in media, both technologically and structurally. The degree in communications provides two options for you to develop written, verbal, and visual skills in an effort to gain professional employment in fields such as social media, public relations, corporate communications, publishing, video and multimedia production, and/or digital journalism.

Careers

  • Corporate Communications Option: In extending traditional organizational communication, strategic communication, and public relations to the digital age, this option prepares you to compete in a global society. Graduates work in corporate communications, social media, public relations/marketing, sales, non-profit development, and human resources, among other fields.
  • Digital Journalism Option: In today's workplace, journalism graduates are required to regularly engage rapidly converging media in their work. This option offers graduates a competitive advantage by complementing traditional options (newspaper, magazine, radio, TV) with convergent course work designed to prepare you for professional journalism in the digital age.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Communications students may pursue graduate studies in communications, journalism, media writing, social media, public administration, and business. Related fields include law, integrated marketing, and health communications.

Internships

All Communications majors are required to complete an internship as part of their degree requirements. Students are encouraged to seek internship experiences that will help them pursue their professional and personal goals. Our students have completed internships at hundreds of different sites across Pennsylvania and the region, ranging from local television and radio stations to the corporate offices of Disney, Aflac, Hasbro, UPMC, and Comcast, to name just a few.

Professional Resources

Contact

Beaver

117 Michael Baker Building
724-773-3877
jrc11@psu.edu

https://beaver.psu.edu/academics/degrees/communications

Brandywine

25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1373
smf17@psu.edu

https://brandywine.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/communications

Greater Allegheny

COMMUNICATIONS
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9153
zackfurness@psu.edu

https://greaterallegheny.psu.edu/academics/communications-ba

New Kensington

3550 Seventh Street Rd.
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6731
arl13@psu.edu

https://newkensington.psu.edu/4-year-communications