Communication & Media
Location: IRC - B12
Phone: 607-436-3411
Fax: 607-436-2420

Major in Communication Studies

What is Communication Studies?

A recent survey found that top management and business professionals regarded communication skills as the single most vital competence needed in an organization or corporation. We are living in an information driven society and in an increasingly global community, where new ideas and technologies move at a rapid pace. In this program we seek to adequately prepare students to enter and participate fully in this exciting and interdependent world. Our Communication Studies program blends the best principles of a liberal arts education with the intention to help prepare our students for a professionally useful role in a modern, persuasively sophisticated, information oriented, working environment. It is our intention to help our students become more personally and socially effective in an increasingly complex work world.

What Can A Student Do With This Degree?

Communication Studies would be a good major for a student who would like to enter a wide variety of professional areas where communication skills are important. Our students with this major have gone on to work in a variety of careers like (but not limited to): director of corporate communication, publications editor, advertising, public relations specialist, nonprofit organization director, legal communication consultant, fund raiser, college recruiter, government lobbyist, entertainer, market researcher, script writer, business manager, college administrator, communication researcher, minister, recreational supervisor, political activist, media buyer, sports publicist, mediator, university communication professor, labor relations consultant, marketing communication manager, public information officer, advertising account executive, governmental press secretary, public opinion researcher, conflict management specialist, community director researcher, medical communication trainer, speech writer, training specialist, media critic, telemarketing manager, legislative assistant, public affairs director, teacher, and communication consultant.

Many of our students also choose to further their education by going on to graduate school. They may choose to continue their education in areas like communication studies, law, and public education.

The Structure of Our Department

Our Communication & Media Department is large and complex, with two major and eight minor areas of study. The two majors include: Communication Studies and Mass Communication. Students in each major are required to complete a specified group of core courses and then select from a variety of related elective courses.

Students who select the Communication Studies major have the option of taking courses which focus on corporate and organizational communication, advertising and public relations, or critical studies in communication. Students who work in this area are prepared for a wide variety of communication related careers, or to go on to graduate study in communication arts.

Students in the Mass Communication major can choose the Production Track or the Media Studies track. Our Mass Communication students in the Production Track have the opportunity to be involved in our student-produced television news program operating out of two teaching TV studios and three digital editing suites. We also offer courses in Writing for the Newspaper, Writing for Radio, TV and Film, and Broadcast Journalism.

We also offer the following minor programs in Communication Studies: Public Relations, Advertising, and Business Communication. Our department offers an extensive program of internships in all the areas of major study. In these internships our students get a preview of professional experiences they will encounter after graduation.

Our Faculty

We have sixteen full time faculty and over 90% have the highest possible degrees in their teaching specialty. Our faculty prides itself on quality teaching and several have won teaching awards and recognition for their proficiency in the classroom. We are proud of the work and collaboration we have done with the thousands of graduates from this department in the past 30 years. Our faculty have published books and articles, given convention presentations, produced and directed plays, produced and directed film and television productions, and worked in journalism, but our main dedication is to our students and the professionally oriented learning environment at this college. We value collaboration in our students and among ourselves. We strive to make our courses responsive to the post-graduate world our students will enter. A visit to our web site will provide a more detailed description of our faculty

Our Facilities

The Communication & Media Department of the State University of New York, College at Oneonta is privileged to have state of the art classrooms with media equipped rear-screen video projection capabilities, digital video, and CD capabilities. We have video support from a master control room, a computer console in each room, film and video support from the Instructional Resources Center, and a Teaching Learning Technology Center which supports the innovative use of technology in the classroom. We have a satellite up-link unit and mobile satellite up-link truck to make appropriate teleconferencing possible. In addition to a superb library with over a million volumes we have a specialized media library which supports our instructional efforts.

Our Department has two teaching television studios, one audio/radio studio, and three non-linear editing studios. There is also a media equipped instructional resource facility with a mobile media truck equipped with satellite up-link capabilities. All the above facilities are located in one building and are used in the instructional process.

Clubs and Organizations

The Department supports four student clubs. The Communication & Media Society is the Communication Studies club. These students are involved in a wide variety of activities, mostly related to networking and career choice in the Communication Studies Area. The WIRE Video Production Club, in the Mass Communication area, and WONY radio provide practical experiences for those students interested in media production.

Since the beginning of the department, thousands of majors have graduated from our department programs. Many alumni have pursued graduate studies and/or established successful careers in the corporate world, businesses, public relations firms, advertising, training, government, law, film, theater, public service, and education. The Department tries to maintain contact through the College’s Office of Alumni Affairs. Graduates are informed about job possibilities in various organizations in which alumni have some form of influence or authority.


Many students take advantage of our close proximity to several large corporate and organizational centers to complete internships that provide a practical experience to apply their educational skills in a professional environment. Some students complete these internships over a summer and others substitute them for a Fall or Spring semester in their course of study.

We have had students complete internships at a wide variety of organizations and corporations like: Grey Advertising, Katz Communications, American Express, NBC, Radio City Music Hall, WZOZ radio station, Glimmerglass Opera Co., American Cancer Society, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, Ringling Bros., MTV, ABC, Fox Broadcasting, Mediation Services Inc., Syracuse Stage, Incorporated, Fox Hospital, Adirondack Scenic, Banjo Radio Group, United Media, and CBS. The students who take advantage of this program report that it was a rewarding preview to the professional world after graduation. Many also begin networking in these internships which can eventually lead to employment after graduation.

The internship program allows a student the opportunity to explore a career environment as part of their academic experience, while receiving college credit. Actual credit hours are determined by the nature and time committed to the internship, but up to six semester hours may be used to fulfill requirements for the major in Communication Studies. The Mass Communication major requires six credits of internship. Additional credit hours received during the internship would be applied to the College’s general electives requirement.

Teaching Assistantships

Students can have an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member in the teaching and management of a faculty member’s course. By partaking in such an experience, the student can receive one to three credits of Communication Studies or Mass Communication. Consult with the department chair about details on this opportunity.

For More Information

Further description of department programs and courses can be found in the College Catalog and or by writing to:

Department Chair - Communication & Media SUNY College at Oneonta Oneonta,
New York 13820

Better yet, visit our campus so we can get to know you personally. We would be happy to arrange a personal tour of our facilities.

Phone (607) 436-3411 Fax (607) 436-2420

To learn more about the programs at the College at Oneonta or to plan a campus visit, please contact:

Admissions Office State University of New York College at Oneonta 116 Alumni Hall Oneonta, NY 13820-4016

Voice: 1-800-SUNY-123
E-Mail: Website: http//

Major Program areas

Communication Studies

introduces students to the theories and practices of oral communication and persuasion. Students in this major usually seek careers in business related fields, as well as corporate communication, advertising, sales, public relations, and events management.


Mass Communication

is designed to meet the needs of students who seek careers in the fields of broadcasting, journalism, film, audio production and video production.