Communication — Journalism & Media Communication Concentration

Department Chair: Dr. Julee Russell,, (701) 845-7440
Faculty Contact: Dr. Jonna Ziniel,, (701) 845-7431
Department Office: 204 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7310
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Communication major, Journalism & Media Concentration, explores print, broadcast, and digital communication formats while developing skills in journalism, public relations, digital media, and media convergence. This program is offered both face-to-face and completely online. The wide variety of classes, combined with an internship, make these graduates highly marketable in today’s job market.

Alumni from our program work in a variety of fields and positions. Students graduating with this major will be prepared for a variety of careers including: newspaper reporter, public relations practitioner, advertising and marketing specialist, public affairs officer, director of media relations, multimedia writer, media sales representative, campaign director, research specialist or columnist.

Examples of projects you may complete with this major are analysis and application of concepts from movies or television programming, creation of public relations materials for organizations, beat reporting, web page development and creation of digital media.

  • Society of College Journalists
  • Lambda Pi Eta
  • Student Media

Practical Experience

You will gain many skills throughout your time in this program including: public speaking confidence, interviewing skills, ability to write for a variety of media, tools for effective interpersonal communication, ability to communicate with people from a variety of cultures, and creating new technology including podcasts, web pages, video streaming, and other digital media.

During your junior or senior year, you will have the opportunity to practice your skills and gain hands-on experiences through an internship. Students have recently completed internships through areas such as television stations, radio stations, newspapers, marketing departments, public relation firms, realty offices and social media management departments.

“As a small university, VCSU focuses greatly on helping each individual student find the right internships that are relevant to their degrees and future plans. As a communication major, internships have given me real-world experience in the media and have better prepared me for the future.” —Anna Weisenberger ’14, Jamestown, N.D.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II 1
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II 1
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
Introductory College Physics I
Introductory College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Technology, Engineering, and Design
HPER 100Concepts of Fitness and Wellness2
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Women in America
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

 Required ENGL 125

Major Requirements

Required Courses
COMM 212Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 216Intercultural Communication3
COMM 411Communication Theory3
COMM 491Senior Capstone1
COMM 497Internship3
or COMM 487 Field Experience
Total Credits13

Media Communication Concentration Requirements

COMM 200Introduction to Media Writing3
COMM 314Public Relations3
COMM 315Digital Communication3
COMM 344Reporting and Feature Writing3
COMM 465Media Law and Ethics4
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Photography I
Photography II
Photography III
Authoring Digital Publications
Communication and Interviewing
Gender Communication
Understanding Statistics
Research Methods
Issues in Communication
Social Media Management
Sports Information
Popular Culture and Rhetoric
Media Law and Ethics
Principles of Marketing
Website Authoring
Advertising and Promotions
Total Credits25

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 13 Hrs
Total Concentration Requirement 24 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2
COMM 110 (Gen Ed)3COMM 112 (Gen Ed)3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4Lab Science (Gen Ed)4
UNIV 1501Mathematics (Gen Ed)3
 14 15
Second Year
Directed Elective3COMM 2123
Elective: Consult Advisor3Directed Elective3
COMM 114 (Gen Ed)3Elective: Consult Advisor3
COMM 200 (Gen Ed)3Minor Course: Consult Advisor3
Literacies (Gen Ed)3Social Science (Gen Ed)3
 15 15
Third Year
Art and Music (Gen Ed)3COMM 3143
COMM 2163COMM 3443
Elective: Consult Advisor3Elective: Consult Advisor3
Minor Course: Consult Advisor3Minor Course: Consult Advisor3
Minor Course: Consult Advisor3Minor Course: Consult Advisor3
 15 15
Fourth Year
COMM 3153COMM 4113
COMM 4973COMM 4654
Elective: Consult Advisor3COMM 4911
Minor Course: Consult Advisor3Directed Elective3
Minor Course: Consult Advisor3Elective: Consult Advisor3
 Minor Course: Consult Advisor3
 15 17
Total Credits 121

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Practices professional and ethical communication strategically
  2. Researches, evaluates, and synthesizes information effectively
  3. Engages in and appreciates diverse thoughts and ideas
  4. Competently works well with others in interpersonal and group situations