College of Arts and Sciences

Communication Studies

Welcome to Communication Studies

Welcome to the Department of Communication Studies. 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, including 1) organizing and hosting TEDx events for the campus community, 2) serving as digital media consultants to Philadelphia-area non-profit organizations through the enterprise Beautiful Social, 3) producing multimedia journalism in underrepresented communities. 

Educational objectives and learning outcomes

Students in Communication Studies work over time to build a portfolio of original work which showcases knowledge and skills in the field of communications. Portfolios demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes at the level of the department’s core educational objectives: 

  • Information Literacy - to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use specific information for the issue or problem at hand
  • Effective Communication - to employ effective communication strategies to navigate audience, purpose, and context and rhetorical considerations in the production and consumption of digital media
  • Design Thinking - to develop creative, human-centered approaches to designed communication and understand the variety of ways audiences act, interact, and make meaning
  • Social Responsibility - to understand how digital media can be employed to facilitate social entrepreneurship, innovation, and foster positive social change
  • Knowledge Integration - to connect ideas and synthesize diverse perspectives to innovate for useful ends