Design

By strengthening your visual intelligence, you'll cultivate the artistry you need to create compelling and impactful messages.

Student working on their laptop in the Student Activities Center

Meaningful design is critical to how we build and interpret meaning

Print or digital, our students are immersed in human-centered design, integrating technical skill with critical inquiry, intersectional frameworks, and commitment to audience and community. Students hone both their critical thinking and critical making through hands-on projects and internships.

Design students also incorporate other communications disciplines such as integrated media, media studies, public relations and marketing communications, and journalism in their coursework. That versatility sets our students apart — employers know Simmons graduates understand the bigger picture and can contribute to any creative team from day one.

With highly competitive design skills, you'll find fulfilling and creative internships in places ranging from WGBH to Puma. Our students not only excel in the technical and creative areas, but additionally understand the meaning making practices that afford them a competitive edge.

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

Required

COMM121 Visual Communication 4
COMM210 Introduction to Graphic Design 4

Electives (8 credits, choose two)

COMM240 Typography 4
COMM241 Design Thinking 4
COMM244 Web Design 4
COMM246 Digital Imaging for Design 4
COMM286 Intro to Advertising Practice and Branding 4
COMM333 Responsive Design 4
COMM340 Advanced Design 4

COMM 328: when appropriate

Tech Courses (2 credits, choose two)

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

Internships are a key component of the Design program. In a cultural center like Boston, there are a myriad of opportunities to build your skills, resume, and networking relationships with organizations in the city and beyond. Recent internship placements include WGBH and Puma.

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