Department of Mass Communication

BA in Mass Communication (Multi-Platform Journalism) | BA in Mass Communication (Film) | BA in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Advertising) | BA in Mass Communication (Broadcast Production) | Course Descriptions

Acting Chair: Dr. Jean Bodon  (936) 294-4419

Faculty Members: Jean Bodon, Janet Bridges, Tom Garrett, Robin Johnson, Richard Kosuowei, Nam Kim, Ruth Massingill, LaChrystal Rickie, Mel Strait, Christopher White

Adjunct Faculty Members: Carol Cooper, Cheryl Eschenfelder, John Hanson, Lionell Hilliard, Frank Krystyniak. Karen Lee, Ann Meador, Jerry Westergaard

Endowed Chair Faculty MembersKelli Arena, Peter Roussel

StaffDeanna Briones, Hollie Davis, LeeAn Muns, Steve Sandlin

Information:  (936) 294-1341; Dan Rather Communications Building 123

Website: http://www.shsu.edu/~com_www/


The Mass Communication Program at Sam Houston State University offers a unique educational experience.  In daily, one-on-one contact with faculty from a variety of theoretical and practical backgrounds, students are exposed to a combination of hands-on production classes, professional development classes, and traditional theory/criticism classes. Our graduates develop 1) general media literacy skills that are increasingly required in our media-saturated contemporary experience and 2) specific skill-sets especially applicable to the emerging technologically-driven marketplace.

There are four MCM degree plans or emphases:  Multi-Platform Journalism, Broadcast Production, Film, and Public Relations & Advertising. Graduates can enter a variety of fields, including but not limited to video production, print and television news, broadcast and cable sales, media management, advertising, digital media production, promotions/public relations, and corporate media.  In addition, students may supplement their degrees with educational requirements that allow them to become certified media-specialists in public school systems. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the MCM Department’s internship program.

Mission

The mission of the Department of Mass Communication is to acquire, synthesize, and disseminate knowledge related to print, broadcast, cable, online, and other forms of electronic communication for the purpose of producing media literate, socially aware, professionally competent graduates.

Program emphasis is on the preparation of ethical and technologically proficient communication professionals who are capable of making a positive impact on their environment and on society. Our graduates will acquire the skills for today’s media marketplace and also develop the broader, theoretical background for:

  • Negotiating convergence in the communication fields;
  • Communicating with and servicing diverse populations;
  • Understanding the economic and political pressures on professional integrity; and
  • Intelligently assessing and interpreting unfolding events in a media saturated experience. .

Academic Programs

Highlights

The Department of Mass Communication offers a comprehensive blend of courses, including but not limited to global communication, film production and theory, media production and reporting, audience assessment, media sales, mass communication theory and history, and writing for print, broadcast, and digital media, and other professional development areas. The curriculum introduces students to each of the four emphasis areas during their first year in the mass communication program. During the remaining three years, students can register for classes in digital audio and video editing, film production and directing, feature writing, research techniques, communication law, media marketing, scriptwriting, global communication, and broadcast journalism. Students with a major or minor in the MCM Department will have the opportunity to work with departmental media: 90.5 KSHU-FM, Cable Channel 7, The Houstonian newspaper, student news, and Priority One PR as part of their college experience.

Suggested Free Electives

Students in Mass Communication should select a specialized area of four free elective classes (12 credits) from a single department outside of MCM and compatible with their professional goals. In choosing an appropriate set of free electives, students should discuss their career plans with an advisor. Free electives in Management and Marketing are desirable for public relations. History, English, foreign languages, Art, Theatre, Sociology, and other social sciences and fine arts are helpful to all emphases. Students with a Multi-Platform journalism emphasis could benefit from free electives in Political Science or History.

Career Opportunities

There are a variety of career opportunities in the Mass Communication field. Some graduates pursue traditional positions in the mass media marketplace (reporting/editing/writing for newspapers, television stations, radio stations, or magazines). MCM graduates may also pursue careers with public relations and advertising agencies, with corporate communication programs and within government, hospital, and other institutional settings. Graduates can affiliate with nonprofit agencies or move into sales and other promotional positions. Increasingly, graduates have been teaching in high schools, pursuing advanced graduate studies, and working in interactive media.

Student Organizations and Activities

The Department supports student chapters of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the National Broadcasting Association (NBS), the Texas Association of Broadcast Students (TABS), the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Internships and Study Abroad

Junior and senior level students who meet requirements may enroll in semester-long professional internships. MCM students have interned at national media outlets such as CBS News, Entertainment Tonight, ESPN, David Letterman, The Jerry Springer Show, MTV, and Disney World; regional media outlets including KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; KHOU-TV in Houston, The Conroe Courier, The Victoria Advocate, Pierpont Public Relations, the Houston Symphony; and at specialized institutional sites such as the Texas State Senate.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available for outstanding undergraduate students continuing in the program. Most scholarship deadlines are March 1 for the following academic year.

Please contact the Department of Mass Communication or visit: http://www.shsu.edu/~sfa_www/scholarship.html#masscommunication.

Program Specific Requirements

All students in the Mass Communication program will complete a departmental four-course core that provides a foundation for success in a variety of media fields. To help students understand the contemporary media environment, the core includes an analysis of media and society. Because specific skills are required in the media marketplace, the applied Writing for Mass Media and T.V. & Film Production courses are part of the core. A course in mass media law and ethics examines legal issues pertinent to the print, electronic, and emerging digital press.

All Mass Communication majors and minors must earn a grade of ‘C’ or better in each Mass Communication course.

Curriculum

Multi-Platform Journalism

The Multi-Platform Journalism track provides students with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively through the traditional print and broadcast media, as well as the emerging digital media. Skills emphasized include information gathering, writing, and presentation/dissemination techniques. The Muti-Platform Journalism track prepares students for careers in journalism and mass communication. Journalistic writing, and visual and online communication make-up the core of the professional program. The Multi-Platform Journalism track gives students a solid foundation in reporting news for television, radio, online, and print.

Bachelor of Arts
Major in Mass Communication (Multi-Platform Journalism)

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 ENG 164 <ENGL 1301>, ENG 165 <ENGL 1302>
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 MTH 164 <MATH 1332> or MTH 170 <MATH 1314>
Component Area III (Natural Sciences) 8 8 hours lab science
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts) 3 Fine Arts
Component Area IV (Literature/Philosophy) 3 PHL 261 <PHIL 2361> or PHL 263 <PHIL 2306>*
Component Area IV (Cultural Studies) 3 Foreign Language 3rd course*
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences) 15 ECO 230 <2300>, 233 <2302>, or 234 <2301>*
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 1 KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
Degree Specific Requirements
PHL <PHIL>* 3  
ART 181 <ARTS 1360>, ART 230 <ARTS 2360>, or ART 233 <ARTS 2370> 3  
ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>* 3  
Foreign Language 14  
Advanced Liberal Arts Electives 13  
Major Core
MCM 130 <MCOM 1330> 3  
MCM 132 <MCOM 1332> 3  
MCM 171 <MCOM 1371> 3  
MCM 262 <MCOM 2362> 3  
MCM 271 <MCOM 2371> 3  
MCM 362 <MCOM 3362> 3  
MCM 372 <MCOM 3372> 3  
MCM 374 <MCOM 3374> 3  
MCM 373 <MCOM 3373> 3  
MCM 374 <MCOM 3374> 3  
MCM 465 <MCOM 4365> 3  
MCM 470 <MCOM 4370> or MCM 464 <MCOM 4364> 3  
MCM 471 <MCOM 4371> 3  
<MCOM 4383> 3  
Track Electives
MCM 326 <MCOM 3326> 3  
MCM 360 <MCOM 3360> 3  
MCM 364 <MCOM 3364> 3  
MCM 371<MCOM 3371> 3  
MCM 398 <MCOM 4398> 3  
MCM 466 <MCOM 4366> 3  
Minor or Specialized Area
(Departmental approval) 12  
Total Hours: 120

Film

The Film Production Track provides students interested in digital cinema with the basics of film production and the visual lexicon. This includes fundamental film production and post-production skills, as well as, an examination of contemporary and historical films in terms of style and context. This knowledge allows the student to have an appreciation of the tasks involved in filmmaking, developing skills to critically examine film texts and prepares students for an exciting career in the filmmaking industry

Bachelor of Arts
Major in Mass Communications: Film

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 ENG 164 <ENGL 1301>, ENG 165 <ENGL 1302>
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 MTH 164 <MATH 1332> or MTH 170 <MATH 1314>
Component Area III (Natural Sciences) 8 8 hours lab science
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts) 3 Fine Arts
Component Area IV (Literature/Philosophy) 3 PHL 261 <PHIL 2361> or PHL 263 <PHIL 2306>*
Component Area IV (Cultural Studies) 3 Foreign Language 3rd course*
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences) 15 ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>,or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>*
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 1 KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
Degree Specific Requirements
PHL <PHIL>* 3  
ART 181 <ARTS 1360>, ART 230 <ARTS 2360>, or ART 233 <ARTS 2370> 3  
ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>* 3  
Foreign Language 14  
Advanced Liberal Arts Electives 13  
Major Core
MCM 130 <MCOM 1330> 3  
MCM 132 <MCOM 1332> 3  
MCM 171 <MCOM 1371> 3  
MCM 251 <MCOM 2351> 3  
MCM 271 <MCOM 2371> 3  
MCM 351 <MCOM 3351> 3  
MCM 352 <MCOM 3352> 3  
MCM 353 <MCOM 3353> 3  
MCM 372 <MCOM 3372> 3  
MCM 475 <MCOM 4375> 3  
MCM 471 <MCOM 4371> 3  
MCM 499 <MCOM 4399> 3  
Track Electives
MCM 326 <MCOM 3226> 3  
MCM 371 <MCOM 3371> 3  
MCM 373 <MCOM 3373> 3  
MCM 378 <MCOM 3378> 3  
MCM 379 <MCOM 3379> 3  
MCM 498 <MCOM 4398> 3  
Minor or Specialized Area
(Departmental approval) 12  
Total Hours: 120
Notes:
*Courses may be counted in two separate requirements. Students should use elective and/or minor hours to satisfy the 42 advanced hour requirement. All students must complete at least 120 hours to graduate.
Select at least 6 liberal arts hours from liberal arts courses listed at end of this section.

Emphasis in Public Relations Advertising

The Public Relations emphasis prepares students for both agency work and leadership positions in corporate and/or nonprofit environments. While writing and presentation skills are essential, emphasis is on application of these writing and presentation skills for managing communication with individuals and groups in organizations. Students in the public relations emphasis complete the MCM five-course core and the professional seminar plus courses in public-relations principles, public-relations writing, and either strategic planning or campaigns for public relations and advertising. They also complete Communication Research Methods, MCM electives, and one course in marketing.

Bachelor of Arts
Major in Mass Communication: Public Relations and Advertising

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 ENG 164 <ENGL 1301>, ENG 165 <ENGL 1302>
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 MTH 164 <MATH 1332> or MTH 170 <MATH 1314>
Component Area III (Natural Sciences) 8 8 hours lab science
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts) 3 Fine Arts
Component Area IV (Literature/Philosophy) 3 PHL 261 <PHIL 2361> or PHL 263 <PHIL 2306>*
Component Area IV (Cultural Studies) 3 Foreign Language 3rd course*
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences) 15 ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>*
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 1 KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
Degree Specific Requirements
PHL * 3  
ART 181 <ARTS 1360>, ART 230 <ARTS 2360>, or ART 233 <ARTS 2370> 3  
ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>& 3  
MKT <MKTG> 3  
Foreign Language 14  
Advanced Liberal Arts Electives 13
Major Core
MCM 130 <MCOM 1330> 3  
MCM 132 <MCOM 1332> 3  
MCM 271 <MCOM 2371> 3  
MCM 282 <MCOM 2382> 3  
MCM 381 <MCOM 3381> 3  
MCM 383 <MCOM 3383> 3  
MCM 385<MCOM 3385> 3  
MCM 388<MCOM 3388> 3  
MCM 482<MCOM 4382> 3  
MCM 483 <MCOM 4383> 3  
MCM 489 <MCOM 4389> 3  
MCM 471 <MCOM 4371> 3  
Minor or Specialized Area
(Departmental approval) 12  
Total Hours: 120
Notes:
*Courses may be counted in two separate requirements.
Students should use elective and/or minor hours to satisfy the 42 advanced hour requirement. All students must complete at least 120 hours to graduate.
Select at least 6 liberal arts hours from liberal arts courses listed at end of this section.

Emphasis in Broadcast Production

Students completing the Broadcast Production emphasis prepare for decision-making and technical responsibilities in broadcast, cable, and alternative video production. Technical, artistic, and management skills combine to ensure that quality electronic content is presented in an effective, appropriate, and engaging manner, within budget.

Broadcast production students complete the MCM four-course core, the professional seminar, and four of the courses in the Broadcast Journalism emphasis: audio production, introductory visual communication, beginning single camera/nonlinear editing, TV studio production, and MCM electives. In addition broadcast production students complete a scriptwriting course for fiction and nonfiction and an advanced production course where they create and produce programming for the departmental television station. Every broadcast-journalism student will work at  Cable Channel 7 during his/her college tenure and each will write, produce, shoot and edit his/her own television programs for the station.

Bachelor of Arts
Major in Mass Communication

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

SHSU Course NumberHoursRecommended Sequence
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication) 6 ENG 164 <ENGL 1301>, ENG 165 <ENGL 1302>
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 MTH 164 <MATH 1332> or MTH 170 <MATH 1314>
Component Area III (Natural Sciences) 8 8 hours lab science
Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts) 3 Fine Arts
Component Area IV (Literature/Philosophy) 3 PHL 261 <PHIL 2361> or PHL 263 <PHIL 2306>*
Component Area IV (Cultural Studies) 3 Foreign Language 3rd course*
Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences) 15 ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301>*
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 1 KIN 215 <KINE 2115>
Degree Specific Requirements
PHL <PHIL>* 3  
ART 181 <ARTS 1360>, ART 230 <ARTS 2360>, or
ART 233 <ARTS 2370>
3  
ECO 230 <ECON 2300>, ECO 233 <ECON 2302>, or ECO 234 <ECON 2301> 3
Foreign Language 14
Advanced Liberal Arts Electives 13
Major Core
MCM 130 <MCOM 1330> 3  
MCM 132 <MCOM 1332> 3  
MCM 171 <MCOM 1371> 3  
MCM 271 <MCOM 2371> 3  
MCM 372 <MCOM 3372> 3  
MCM 373 <MCOM 3373> 3  
MCM 377 <MCOM 3377> 3  
MCM 475 <MCOM 4375> 3  
MCM 471 <MCOM 4371> 3  
MCM 473 <MCOM 4373> 3  
Track Electives 6  
MCM 351 <MCOM 3351> 3  
MCM 326 <MCOM 3326> 3  
MCM 371 <MCOM 3371> 3  
MCM 378 <MCOM 3378> 3  
MCM 498 <MCOM 4398> 3  
MCM 377 <MCOM 3377> 3  
(Departmental approval) 12  
Total Hours: 120

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