Pursue your Communications major with Simmons University

Students in our Communications degree at Simmons University are engaged and innovative designers, journalists, content creators, media analysts, and communications strategists.

Students working on a video project

Why pursue a degree in Communications?

Communication is key in all aspects of life; it is how we interact, connect, and make impressions on each other and the world around us. The Communications degree at Simmons University focuses on how we use messages to generate meaning within and across contexts, cultures, channels, and media.

Generating and conveying meaning is central to the work we do in our Communications major, as is an emphasis on media convergence—the intersection and interaction of the multiple media disciplines.

The skills attained and fine-tuned in the Communications degree are indispensable for students as they move through networks of the communications fields and professions.

Within the Communications Department, students tailor their degree program to match their personal and career aspirations, by choosing from a mix of courses in the Design, Journalism and Integrated Media concentrations.  We also host two joint majors in Public Relations and Marketing Communications and Web Design and Development.

What will a BA in Communications teach you?

The Communications major consists of forty (42) credit hours. Three core courses are required for all Communications majors: Visual Communication, Media Writing and Editing, and Media, Messages, & Society.

With guidance from their faculty advisor, students in the Communications major have the flexibility to creatively design their own distribution of courses, drawing from the areas of Design, Journalism, and Integrated Media.

In addition to the three core courses, and the six courses drawn from the areas listed above, students complete two 1-credit technology or skills-based courses and a capstone including internships and/or Studio 5, our unique student-run communications agency. Please refer to the Program Requirements for Communications majors below for more detailed information or view all the Communications course descriptions.

Graduates of our Communications degree find positions across  advertising, journalism, social media management, content creation, and design. The tools of the communications sphere are constantly evolving, but the knowledge, skills, and compass students develop in the BA in Communications enable them to stay flexible, resourceful, and ahead of the curve in any endeavor.

Bachelor’s degree in Communications admission requirements

Students interested in applying to the undergraduate Communications degree program must submit the following items to be considered for undergraduate admission:

  • Completed Application
  • High School Transcript
  • SAT or ACT Test Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (required if English is not your first language)
  • College Essay College Transcript (if applicable)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (one teacher, one counselor)

Learn more about Simmons University’s Communications major requirements and our first-year undergraduate application process for Communications majors, including deadlines and what we look for in an applicant.

What can you do with a Communications degree?

In the Communications major, students master the creative as well as the technical skills necessary to negotiate a collaborative working environment. They think critically about media and apply that thinking to hands-on class projects and exciting internships with companies like the Boston Ballet and Harvard Medical School.

Jobs for communications majors range from working in media, the arts, marketing, public relations, journalism, and various other industries. Job titles for careers in communications include:

  • Public Relations Manager
  • Content Manager and Strategist
  • Community Engagement Manager
  • Marketing/Corporate Communications Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Video Journalist
  • Audio Producer
  • Reporter
  • Digital Reporter & Producer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Art Director
  • Web Designer

Find out more about our Communications major!

Simmons’ Bachelor of Arts in Communications explores the nuances of visual, written, and verbal communication to equip students to excel across their chosen professions. We encourage you to reach out to our faculty with any questions—their contact information can be found below. You can also request more information about our Communications major, schedule a campus tour, or find out how to apply today!

The communications department offers a program in Communications with concentrations in Design, Journalism, and Integrated Media, a joint program between Communications and the Business in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, a joint program between Communications and Computer Science in Web Design and Development, an Interdisciplinary major in Arts Administration, and three Complete Degree programs, which are entirely on-line and geared toward adult learners. The course requirements for these programs follow.

BA in Communications

Communications majors complete 42 credits in Communications, including 3 required core courses, 2 1-credit technology courses, 4 courses in their concentration, 2 courses outside their concentration, and an independent learning Capstone experience.

Step One: Core Requirements

All Communications students take a three-course introductory core:

COMM121 Visual Communication 4
COMM122 Media Writing and Editing 4
COMM124 Media, Messages and Society 4

Step Two: Technology Courses

All students complete at least two-credits of technology skill-based courses:

COMM110 Introduction to 2D Design Technology 1 1
COMM112 Introduction to Animation & Motion Graphics Technology 1 1
COMM114 Introduction to Audio and Video Editing 1

Step Three: Concentration Courses

Courses are broadly organized around the concentrations of Design, Integrated Media, and Journalism.

Students take 4 courses in one of the concentrations below, and 2 courses distributed among the other two concentrations. At least two of these six courses should be at the 300 level.

Design Integrated Media Journalism
COMM 210 Introduction to Graphic Design COMM 120 Communications Media COMM 181 Public Speaking and Presentation
COMM 241 Design Thinking COMM 163 Radio Operations and Podcasting
COMM 215 Blogging and Op/Ed Writing
COMM 240 Typography COMM 186 Introduction to Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications COMM 260 Journalism
COMM 244 Web Design COMM 224 Storytelling COMM 263 Social Media Journalism
COMM 246 Digital Imaging for Design
COMM 220 Video Production
COMM 310 In-Depth Storytelling
COMM 248 Type and Image COMM 222 Animation COMM 312 Health Communications
COMM 286 Advertising Practice and Branding COMM 262 Media Convergence COMM 320 Media and the First Amendment
COMM 333 Responsive Design
COMM 269 Globalization and Intercultural Communications (periodic travel course)  COMM 322 Video Journalism
COMM 340 Advanced Design COMM 281 Content Creation and Strategies
COMM 327 Culture of the News
  COMM 323 Digital Cultures
  COMM 324 Social Media: Social Listening and Analytics  

Step Four: Capstone

Students take at least 4 credits of an independent learning Capstone in the senior year:

COMM370 Internship 0
COMM380 Capstone Internship 0
COMM390 Studio 5: A Communication Workplace 4

Integrated Media Concentration

Students in Integrated Media complete the Communications Core, 2 Technology courses, 4 courses in the Integrated Media concentration, 2 courses in Design and/or Journalism, and a Capstone.

Integrated Media Courses:

COMM120 Communications Media 4
COMM163 Radio Operations and Podcasting 4
COMM186 Introduction to Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications 4
COMM220 Video Production 4
COMM222 Animation 4
COMM 224 Storytelling 4
COMM262 Media Convergence 4
COMM269 Globalization and Intercultural Communication 4
COMM281 Content Creation and Strategy 4
COMM323 Digital Cultures 4
COMM324 Social Media: Social Listening and Analytics 4

Journalism Concentration

Students in the Journalism Concentration complete the Communications Core, 2 Technology courses, 4 courses in the Journalism concentration, 2 courses in Design and/or Integrated Media, and a Capstone.

Journalism Courses:

COMM181 Public Speaking and Presentation 4
COMM 215 Blogging & Opinion and Editorial Writing 4
COMM260 Journalism 4
COMM263 Social Media Journalism 4
COMM310 In-Depth Storytelling 4
COMM312 Health Communications 4
COMM320 Media and the First Amendment 4
COMM322 Video Journalism 4
COMM327 Culture of the News 4

Design Concentration

Students in the Design Concentration complete the Communications Core, 2 Technology courses, 4 courses in the Design concentration, 2 courses in Journalism and/or Integrated Media, and a Capstone.

Design Concentration Courses:

COMM210 Introduction to Graphic Design 4
COMM240 Typography 4
COMM241 Design Thinking 4
COMM244 Web Design 4
COMM246 Digital Imaging for Design 4
COMM248 Type and Image 4
COMM286 Intro to Advertising Practice and Branding 4
COMM333 Responsive Design 4
COMM340 Advanced Design 4

Independent Learning

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. 

Communications at Simmons University

See what it's like to be part of our Communications program.

Spotlight on Communications Students and Alums

Krystianna Pietrzak (KP) ’20 and Jessie Andrew ’20 in front of a color wall of graffiti

Simmons Alums Create “Queer-Led Web Design” Team

We celebrate Pride Month with 2020 graduates KP and Jessie, who run Inkpot Creative, a unique website development company that offers cutting edge website design for photographers, with a focus on inclusivity.

Bella Yee ’24

Flourishing in the Community at Simmons and Completing Meaningful Internships

Bella Yee ’24 is a Public Relations and Marketing Communications major, with minors in Business and Public Policy. She is the Communications Director for the Student Government Association and Co-President of the Communications Liaison. Yee also interned for the Massachusetts legislature, most recently for the Office of Representative Adrianne Ramos.

Rachel Andriacchi ’24 enjoying a snowy day

Reflecting on Opportunities in Communications and the Decision to Chase a Career in Journalism

Rachel Andriacchi ’24 majored in Communications and is the Op-Ed Editor of The Simmons Voice, the student news site of Simmons University, and the Co-Editorial Lead of CommTracks, the annual magazine produced by seniors from the Communications Department. Now approaching graduation, Andriacchi reflects on their experience at Simmons.

A row of children's books on a shelf. Robyn Budlender robzy_m, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Children’s Literature Editor Karen Boss ’95 ’13 Champions Diverse Authors in Successful Career Change

Karen Boss ’95 ’13MA earned a double Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Sociology and returned to Simmons twenty years later for her Master’s in Children’s Literature. She is a senior editor at Charlesbridge, where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books, and middle-grade and young adult works.

Lynne Kaplan ’73

How Lynne Kaplan ’73 Made a Career Out of Her Gift for Communicating

Lynne Kaplan ’73 has enjoyed a long career in business consulting. A common thread that links her work is the commitment to support individuals in personal and professional development.

Agency mentor Aaron Pickering, Vice President of Headstand, mentors Studio 5 students.

Studio 5 Imparts Real-World Industry Experience to Communications Students

Essentially a student-run communications agency, Studio 5 gives Communications students at Simmons a taste of real work experience. We spoke with Communications professors and recent alumnae/i about what makes Studio 5 such a successful exercise in experiential learning.

Linda Siperstein Adler ’73 seated at a table during her 50th class reunion

Linda Siperstein Adler ’73 Writes (Technically) for Robots

Linda Siperstein Adler shares her career experiences in publishing and technical writing, and her work as chair of the 50th Reunion Committee for the Class of 1973.

Photo of Mary Dowling Marino

The Accidental CPA: How Communications Strengthened a Career in Accounting

Mary Dowling Marino ’73 shares her journey, from majoring in Communications at Simmons to “accidentally” becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).