Apr 12, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


View Programs and Courses  

View Flow Sheets  


Associate Professor Peter Oehlkers, Chairperson

Professors: Robert E. Brown, Christopher J. Fauske, Ellen S. Golub, Mark B. Zaitchik

Associate Professors: Guillermo Avila-Saavedra, Peggy Dillon, Rebecca Hains, Cindy Vincent

Assistant Professor: Hanlong Fu

Faculty Emeriti

Professor: Ellen Golub, Eileen Margerum

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Science-Communications


Media Studies 
Public Relations  


Communication Studies 
Public Relations   

The Communications Major

The Bachelor of Science in Communications combines theory and practice, professional standards and hands-on experience, grounded in a rich liberal arts context. The program’s intensive courses in writing, editing, research, critical media studies, and multimedia design prepares students to be socially engaged critical thinkers who are prepared for success in various communication-related fields. Many students earn internship credit working for communication businesses such as public relations agencies, advertising firms, television studios, and newspapers, and/or for the communication divisions of businesses and nonprofits in fields ranging from healthcare to the arts. On-campus co-curricular opportunities include in the student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and in the Salem State chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the honor society of the National Communication Association. In the capstone Seminar course, COM 503 , seniors create a professional portfolio of their work, learn how to manage a job search, meet professionals in the field, and explore options ranging from careers in media and communication to opportunities for graduate study.

Concentrations in the Major

The Communications major consists of 42 credits. All Communications majors select a concentration, which serves as an area of emphasis within their studies. Three concentrations–advertising, journalism, and public relations—offer pre-professional specialization in fields aligned with major media-related industries. A fourth concentration, media studies, is broader and more flexible, preparing students to write well and think critically about the relationship between media and society.

Advertising Concentration

Communications majors who are advertising concentrators take courses in advertising principles and copywriting for a variety of media. They also produce print and multimedia ads in the computer lab and work on real-world advertising projects for clients in COM507 , Experiential Learning in Advertising. Advertising concentrators also choose two major electives. The Advertising flow sheet details the core and concentration requirements.

Journalism Concentration

Communications majors who elect a journalism concentration learn students to write for a wide range of professions in the new and traditional media: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, blogs, and other digital media. Journalism concentrators are required to choose four electives within the major and may elect to intern at local and Boston-based publications. The journalism flow sheet details the core and concentration requirements.

Media Studies Concentration

Communications majors who concentrate in media studies explore the relationships between mass media, individuals, and our culture. Courses cover the history of media, the social impact of media, the relationships between media and the law, global media and communications, and the theoretical development of media studies. Media studies concentrators also choose three electives in the major. The media studies flow sheet details the core and concentration requirements.

Public Relations Concentration

Communications majors who concentrate in public relations learn about public relations in an innovative program that combines both traditional and technologically current interactive settings with an enhanced, hands-on, experiential environment in which student teams work directly with real-world clients. Students build relationships, resumes and the experience that prepares them to compete in the 21st century marketplace. They learn to engage consumers, employees, governments and citizens in compelling conversations through an array of traditional print and broadcast media and the explosion of revolutionary social media tools. In addition to required courses, public relations concentrators also choose two electives in the major. The public relations flow sheet details the core and concentration requirements.

The Communications Minor:

The minor in Communications consists of 18 credits and offers four choices to students: Advertising , Communication Studies , Journalism , and Public Relations .

Combined Program: B.S. in Communications with Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communications

In the Strategic Communications graduate certificate program, students learn to plan, produce and evaluate strategic campaigns for corporate, non-profit and government agencies.

By studying best practices in public relations, advertising and social media, students will become equipped to better connect with target audiences. There are two routes of entry into the graduate certificate program: Direct entry (applying to the graduate school after the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree) and entry through the combined program in communications. The combined program in communications allows undergraduate COM majors to earn credits towards the graduate certificate in Strategic Communications as part of their undergraduate degree.

Who is the combined program for?
The combined program is available to undergraduate communications majors at Salem State University. It is an option for COM majors in any concentration who meet the following prerequisites:

  • Completion of a total of 60 undergraduate credits, at least 9 of which must be communications credits;
  • A major GPA of 3.0 or higher; and
  • Permission of the graduate coordinator.

What courses are required to earn the certificate?
Students earn the certificate upon the completion of five three-credit courses, all of which are offered online:

  1. COM 700: Introduction to Strategic Communications
  2. COM 710: Communications Technology
  3. COM 715: Persuasion, Propaganda, and Public Relations
  4. COM 716: Communications in the Global Village
  5. IDS 725: Information Technology Fluency in Professional Practice

Which of the graduate courses count towards the B.S. degree?
COM 700 and one other course may be applied to the undergraduate degree. In your undergraduate flowsheet, these courses would take the place of two COM electives (or, if you have already taken all the COM electives required of you, they can count as two free electives). The other three courses are to be taken after the student has completed the BS in Communications.

What are the advantages of earning the graduate certificate via the combined program?
It takes students less time to earn the BS and the graduate certificate in the combined program than to earn them separately. This is because two of the five required graduate courses count towards the undergraduate degree.
The combined program also reduces the costs of the certificate. This is because the two courses that count towards the undergraduate degree are billed as undergraduate credits, which cost less than graduate credits.

How and when do I apply?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed once complete.
To apply, prospective students must submit the following materials on paper to the School of Graduate Studies, SB113:
- A completed application form
- Two completed recommendation forms, with at least one from a COM professor
- A personal statement
- A resume

To request an application form and a recommendation form, please email Jeremy Bubier at jbubier@salemstate.edu.

Salem State University Organizations

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) recruits students to participate in student competitions, sponsor fundraising events, and take advantage of working opportunities within the communication fields. The Sigma Omega chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the honor society for communication affiliated with the National Communication Association, focuses on service projects within and beyond the university campus. Membership to Lambda Pi Eta is by invitation only and is based on academic achievement.