Communication is at the heart of everything we do.

Our students are dynamic and innovative, whether they're working on a publication, shooting a video, designing a web site, or crafting a clever tweet. As a Communications major, you'll master visual, creative and technical skills within a collaborative working environment. You'll think critically about the media and apply your skills to hands-on class projects and exciting internships with companies like the Boston Ballet and Harvard Medical School.

No matter your career path, a firm foundation in Communications will help you achieve your goals. Our students succeed and find positions in advertising, news, editing, event planning, social media, video production, design, and writing. The tools of the communications field are constantly evolving, but strong communication skills will help you stay ahead of the curve in any endeavor.

Program Requirements

Major in Communications

The major in communications focuses on "how people use messages to generate meaning within and across all kinds of contexts, cultures, channels, and media." Meaning generation is central to the work we do in the Department of Communications, convergence is the focus that binds together the concentration areas within the major and the core courses required of all majors. This emphasis on media convergence — that is the intersection and interaction of the multiple media disciplines — is at the center of what is going on in the real world.

The major of communications includes advanced coursework and capstone experiences like internships, independent study, and Studio Five — the department's student-run, professional communications workplace. Each student majoring in communications is required to take 40 semester hours of study in the Department of Communications.

The Communications Core Requirements
The major requires three core courses that explore the areas of media and society, writing and editing, visual communication and the technology currently driving emerging media. A blend of theory and hands-on, practical projects prepare students for further developmental work in one of the department's areas of concentration.

  • COMM 121 Visual Communication
  • COMM 122 Media Writing Bootcamp
  • COMM 124 Media, Messages, & Society

Students should complete the three core courses by the end of the second year of study in a four-year program. A student should declare their major at the end of the sophomore year. In this recommended sequence, the student would complete the core and then declare an area of concentration.

Concentration Requirements
Each concentration has three or four required courses, normally taken in sequence. These courses can be taken during the first two years of a student's program, concurrently with core requirements, provided the student takes the necessary prerequisite core courses first.

Students may choose between two and three electives from a list of courses relevant to each area of concentration. This allows students optimum flexibility and an opportunity to build competencies across areas of the discipline.

Senior Seminar/Storytelling (Capstone Experience)
This required capstone course extends the theoretical underpinnings offered while providing students with an opportunity to develop a senior project that reflects and synthesizes all they have learned in the department. The course explores the many roles stories play in the shaping of human experience, the elements that comprise successful narratives, and the ways that digital technologies may disrupt our conventional understanding of how stories are shared.

Independent Learning Options (Capstone Experiences)
Students majoring in communications have four opportunities to complete the departmental requirement of 8 credits of independent learning. Students may take a maximum of 20 credits of independent learning.

  • COMM 350 Independent Study
  • COMM 370 Internship
  • COMM 380 Field Experience
  • COMM 390 Studio Five: A Communications Workplace

Departmental Honors
The Department of Communications offers the opportunity for majors to receive departmental honors. Students in Comm 344, Senior Seminar, which is the required capstone for the major, who have a superior record in the major and who receive an A on their senior project and an A in the seminar will receive departmental honors. Student projects will be reviewed and graded by both the faculty member teaching the seminar and at least one additional faculty member in the student's concentration area. The designation of departmental honors will appear on the student's transcript.

Departmental Recognition
The Department of Communication does not offer the designation "departmental recognition." Instead, outstanding students may be named to Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communications Association's honor society for students in communications.

Minor Requirements

Students who wish to pursue a general minor in communications may do so by completing three required core courses, along with two electives.

Customize Your Program

We encourage our students to tailor the Communications major to fit their interests. Simmons offers concentrations in Graphic Design, Media Arts, Journalism and dual-major and minor options, including two joint majors in Public Relations/Marketing Communications in collaboration with the School of Management and Web Design and Development in collaboration with Computer Sciences. Your advisor will help you develop the best path to meet your personal and professional goals. 

We also offer a minor in communications for students majoring in other areas. Students who wish to pursue a general minor in communications may do so by completing the three required core courses, along with two electives. Other concentration-specific minors available are:

Internships and Research

Our students take advantage of internships at arts and cultural organizations in Boston and beyond, building their skills and resumes and learning from mentors in their fields.

Our students fulfill their independent learning and internship requirements in a variety of ways, including recent placements at Boston Herald, Harvard Medical School, Lesley College, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Boston Ballet, to name a few. 

Faculty
    Ellen Grabiner
    • Ellen Grabiner
    • Associate Professor and Chair of Communications, Co-Director of the Cinema and Media Studies Minor
    • Phone: 617-521-2827
    • Office: L301
    Judith Aronson
    Sidney Berger
    James Corcoran
    • James Corcoran
    • Associate Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2843
    • Office: L302A
    Kristin Scott
    Rachel Gans-Boriskin
    Default Profile Image
    Default Profile Image
    Andrew Porter
    • Andrew Porter
    • Associate Professor of Practice and Internship Director
    • Phone: 617-521-2841
    • Office: L314
    Bob White
    • Bob White
    • Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2844
    • Office: L324
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How to Apply

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.