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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) | BA in Agricultural Communication (Mass Communication & Agricultural Sciences) | Minor in Mass Communication | Mass Communication Teaching Concentration | Course Descriptions

Chair: Jean Bodon  (936) 294-4419

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

Adjunct Faculty Members: Cheryl Eschenfelder, Frank Krystyniak. Karen Lee, Ann Meador, Philip Logan, Jenna Jackson, Joe Leydon

Endowed Chair Faculty MembersKelli Arena, Peter Roussel

StaffHollie 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 five MCOM degree plans or emphases:  Multi-Platform Journalism, Broadcast Production, Film, Public Relations & Advertising, and Agricultural Communication. 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 with a concentration in Mass Communication Teaching. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the MCOM Department’s internship program.


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


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 MCOM Department will have the opportunity to work with departmental media: 90.5 KSHU-FM, 90.5.2 El Gato, 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 free elective classes compatible with their professional goals. In choosing an appropriate set of free electives, students should discuss their career plans with an advisor. For example, free electives in Management and Marketing are desirable for Public Relations & Advertising. 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). MCOM 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. MCOM students have interned at national media outlets such as CBS News, Entertainment Tonight, ESPN, David Letterman, The Jerry Springer Show, MTV, The Cannes Film Festival, South by Southwest, 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 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 departmental 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 courses, and successfully pass the departmental required competency writing and production tests.


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 foundation 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


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

Public Relations & Advertising

The Public Relations & Advertising 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 & Advertising emphasis complete the MCOM four-course core and the professional seminar plus courses in public-relations & advertising principles, public-relations & advertising writing, and either strategic planning or campaigns for public relations and advertising. They also complete Communication Research Methods, MCOM electives, and one course in marketing.

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Mass Communication: Public Relations & Advertising

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

 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 MCOM four-course core, the professional seminar, and four of the courses in the Broadcast Production 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-production student will work at the radio and television stations during his/her college tenure and each will write, produce, shoot and edit his/her own television or radio programs for the stations.

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Mass Communication: Broadcast Production

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

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