Communication Studies | New England College
Contact Us Calendar Campus Map Social Mashup
Accepted Students Parents & Families Alumni Students, Faculty & Staff (My NEC)

Communication Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Journalism Media Studies
Public Relations & Advertising

Communication Studies examines the ways in which social meanings are produced through the creation, mediation, and reception of messages. Students may focus in Journalism, Media Studies, or Public Relations and Advertising, or devise their own area of concentration. This major offers both practical training in the use of media technologies and communication strategies, as well as critical and historical perspectives on media and communication. Students in this major learn to gather, analyze, organize, and present information in a clear and engaging fashion. In addition to course work, students may gain practical experience through the college newspaper, radio, commercial magazines, and professional internships.


Students are encouraged to consider an internship as part of their communication study at New England College. Internship opportunities exist in the areas of radio and television broadcasting, public relations, video production new media, newspapers, for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Semester Abroad Recommendation

International affairs and first-hand knowledge of other cultures is increasingly significant to communication studies majors. We therefore strongly recommend that students in the communication program elect at least one year of a foreign language and one semester or more at a foreign study program offered by New England College. In the semester abroad program, students may fulfill some of their major requirements as well as general education requirements.

Requirements to Major in Communication Studies

A student may not earn below C in the required Core or Concentration courses.

A. Communication Core Courses

  • CO 1000 – Meaning of the Media Image
  • CO 1110 – Oral Communication
  • CO 2020 – Interpersonal Communication
  • CO 3410 – Freedom of Speech
  • CO 4430 – Senior Seminar
  • CO 4910 – Internship in Communication Studies (BU/SM Internship with permission) or CO 4920 – Practicum in Communication Studies(BU/SM Practicum with permission)

B. Communication Concentrations

Students choose a minimum of 24 credits from the courses listed for each concentration. The examples listed below are only a few of the possibilities. Students wishing to incorporate additional relevant courses from other departments into their Concentration should submit formal written request and receive approval by Communication faculty.

Journalism Concentration (24 Credits)

The journalism concentration provides focused study in news writing, opinion writing, feature writing, investigative reporting, photojournalism, copy editing, design, advertising, and promotion. Students receive hands-on experience producing the college newspaper, the NewEnglander.

  • CO 1050 – Introduction to Sport Communication or CO 2120 – Introduction to Journalism
  • CO 3120 – Journalism: Feature Writing Workshop
  • CO 3130 – Journalism: Investigative Reporting
  • CO 4750 – Practicum in the NewEnglander

Choose at least two from the following:

  • AR 1710 – Photography I
  • AR 2710 – Photography II
  • CO/CT 3140 – Desktop Publishing
  • CO 3210 – Video Production I
  • CO 3340 – Principles of Public Relations
  • CO/CT 3730 – Writing for Multimedia
  • CO 3990 – Topics in Communication Studies
  • CO 4050 – Sport Rhetoric
  • WR 1910 – Introduction to Professional Writing
  • WR 2910 – Writing and Editing

Media Studies Concentration (24 Credits)

The media studies concentration offers students courses in media history, criticism and theory, as well as hands on training in media production. Students in this concentration learn to apply critical concepts to media messages, and to become cognizant and ethical media consumers and producers.

  • CO 2220 – Film: History and Criticism
  • CO 2230 – Television: History and Criticism
  • CO 3320 – Advertising: History and Criticism
  • CO 3280 – Gender, Power and the Media

Choose at least two from the following:

  • AR 1710 – Photography I
  • AR 2410 – Graphic Design I
  • CO/CT 3140 – Desktop Publishing
  • CO 3210 – Video Production I
  • CO 3220 – Video Production II
  • CO 3230 – Digital Editing
  • CO 3240 – Scriptwriting
  • CO 3260 – Radio Programming and Production
  • CO/CT 3710 – Introduction to Multimedia Production
  • CO/CT 3730 – Writing for Multimedia
  • CO 3990 – Topics in Communication Studies

Public Relations and Advertising Concentration (24 credits)

The advertising and public relations concentration provides study of the history, criticism, ethics, and practice of public relations and advertising. Students will engage in hands-on learning experiences as they perform various functions of the public relations and advertising fields.

  • BU 2510 – Principles of Marketing
  • BU 3810 – Advertising and Promotion
  • CO 3320 – Advertising: History and Criticism
  • CO 3340 – Principles of Public Relations
  • CO 3360 – Public Relations Case Studies

Choose at least one from the following:

  • AR 1110 – Two-Dimensional Design I
  • AR 2410 – Graphic Design
  • BU/CT 3530 – Internet Marketing
  • BU 4520 – Consumer Behavior
  • CO 2120 – Introduction to Journalism
  • CO/CT 2750 – Website Design
  • CO/CT 3140 – Desktop Publishing
  • CO/WS 3280 – Gender and Power in Media
  • CO/CT 3730 – Writing for Multimedia
  • WR 1910 – Introduction to Professional Writing

Generalist Concentration (24 Credits)

Instead of concentrating in a particular area of communication studies a student may independently design a concentration. In this option, the student must complete a concentration made up of 24 credit hours in communication courses offered by the Communication major or another relevant discipline. A minimum of 16 credit hours must be 3000-level or 4000-level Communication courses. These courses must be approved by the Communication Studies faculty. Students wishing to incorporate additional relevant courses from other departments into their Concentration must submit a formal written request and receive approval by Communication Studies faculty.

C. Distribution Courses and Electives

Requirements to Minor in Communication Studies

The Communication Studies minor consists of a minimum of 20 credit hours that show a balanced distribution between beginning and advanced courses. Depending on the choice of courses, a student may develop a minor based on an existing major concentration, such as: Advertising, Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations. Students wishing to develop a minor in an area in which no major concentration is offered (such as radio, communication theory, etc.) must submit a formal written request and receive approval by the Communication faculty. In collaboration with the Sport and Recreation Management department, a minor in Sport Communication is also a possibility.

Course Descriptions

**All undergraduate courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.

CO 1000 Meaning of the Media Image

This course offers an introductory survey in the history and criticism of media images and industries. Students learn methods in media literacy and develop a critical vocabulary for interpreting media texts, industries, audiences and technologies. Offered every semester.

CO 1050 Introduction to Sport Communication          

This course explores the myriad ways sport and communication are linked. Topics can include sport, media, and society; sports writing and rhetoric; sport and film; sports broadcasting; sport public relations and advertising, and sports video production. Offered every other fall.

CO 1110 Oral Communication

This course introduces students to the theories and principles of effective public speaking and listening. Students learn to examine ideas, organize information, and express opinions clearly and responsibly through several class presentations. Offered every spring.

CO 2020 Interpersonal Communication        

Through the study of this topic, students learn the principles of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intercultural communication and the often unspoken rules which guide us in our interactions. This growth-oriented course develops an understanding of basic interpersonal communication concepts such as listening, perception, conflict, language, culture and self-concept, and their application in everyday life. It is strongly recommended that students take this course during their first or second year. Offered every fall.

CO 2120 Introduction to Journalism

This course explores the history of journalism, professions within the journalism field, and the basics of writing and editing news articles, opinion pieces, and news features. A critical focus on new media and the future of journalism is also included. Students may write for specialty areas like sports, entertainment, and politics. The best work is submitted to the college newspaper, The NewEnglander. Offered every other fall.

CO 2220 Film: History and Criticism               

This course surveys the history and development of film and introduces concepts in formalist film criticism. Students apply the knowledge and skills gained in this course to specific screenings in order to analyze movies representative of historical types or critical concepts. Offered every other spring.

CO 2230 Television: History and Criticism     

This course surveys the history and development of television and its impact on various aspects of society. This course develops critical skills through the analysis of television programs and the application of theoretical models for understanding tele-visual culture.

CO 2750 (CT 2750) Website Design

This course will explore the information resources on the Web and the best tools to access these resources. Students learn to publish on the Web, develop HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and design websites. Throughout the course students also review, analyze and evaluate successful and exemplary websites.

CO 3120 Journalism: Feature Writing Workshop

This course explores the use of fiction techniques in journalism, and begins with a month of readings reflecting different genres (travel, sports, music, politics, etc.), styles (profile, personal narrative, etc.), journalism history (new journalists of the 60s and 70s like Thomas Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson), and the craft of feature writing (feature leads, editing, organization, etc.). Informed and inspired, students then workshop their own articles, receiving constructive criticism from classmates. This course generates dynamic features for the college newspaper, The NewEnglander. Offered every other spring.

CO 3130 Journalism: Investigative Reporting              

Investigative reporting is dedicated to the citizen’s right to know. This course surveys seminal examples of investigative journalism, as well as the journalistic skills needed to expose injustice and the abuse of power. Students work on their own semester-long investigative report, with the best work sent to the college newspaper, The NewEnglander. Offered every other fall.

CO 3140 (CT 3140) Desktop Publishing          

In this computer-based class, students learn and apply the basics of desktop publishing and the use of visuals in publications. Students explore the impact this form of publishing has on society. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

CO 3210 Video Production I            

This course emphasizes the use of technology in the service of effective communication. It offers hands-on experience in preproduction, production, and postproduction, both in studio and in the field. Requires extensive work outside of class. Offered every other spring.

CO 3220 Video Production II           

This is an applied course in television production. Students contribute to the production of programs suitable for public screening. Requires extensive work outside of class. Prerequisites: CO 3210 and permission of instructor. This course may be repeated once with the instructor’s permission. Offered based on student/faculty interest.

CO 3230 Digital Editing      

Using an all-digital format, students will learn how to edit videos professionally using Final Cut Pro and have the opportunity to take the Apple Certification exam for FCP. Prerequisite: CO 3210.

CO 3240 Scriptwriting       

This course provides an introduction to terminology, techniques, and styles of scriptwriting for a variety of media. Students will develop original ideas or adapt a story outline and treatment into a professional script. Prerequisite: WR 1020.

CO 3260 Radio Programming and Production              

This course provides an overview of radio, including its history, technology (satellite radio, etc.), cultural impact, FCC regulations, and programming (journalism, public service, etc). The course also provides hands-on training in the WNEC Studios. Offered every fall.

CO 3280 (WS 3280) Gender and Power in Media       

This course explores the social politics of media representations, and the ways in which constructions of gender and sexuality intersect with race, class and ethnicity. Students in this course learn to apply works in critical feminist and race theories to a variety of media text. Prerequisite: Meaning of Media Image or instructor permission.

CO 3320 Advertising: History and Criticism  

This course provides a critical and historical survey of advertising in the U.S. and abroad. . Prerequisite: WR 1020. Offered every other fall.

CO 3340 Principles of Public Relations

Public Relations is often defined as the communication of meaningful information to specific publics and the manipulation of information for questionable purposes. Students explore these definitions and many others as this course surveys the history, ethics, and principles of PR. Topics discussed throughout the semester include Edward Bernays (“the father of public relations”), the social history of “spin,” and the ethics of persuasion. Students practice the principles of public relations by writing mission statements, press releases, speeches, etc. for their own nonprofit organization or small business. Offered every other fall.

CO 3360 Public Relations Case Studies          

Students study and analyze seminal public relations cases and learn to apply principles of public relations in a variety of scenarios. Prerequisites: WR 1020. Offered every other spring.

CO 3410 Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right guaranteed by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As such, it operates as an ideal, principle, and guide. However, the actual practice of this ideal, while codified into laws, is influenced by power, social inequality, and circumstance. This course surveys the ideal and actual practice of free speech. Particular attention is also paid to seminal court cases and ethical dilemmas that have shaped our views of freedom of the press. Topics explored in this course include Enlightenment rationality and freedom, democracy and citizenship, civil rights and dissent, media monopoly, free speech during wartime, and freedom in non-U.S. countries. Offered every spring. 

CO 3420 The Voice of Nature

Nature was an articulating presence for earlier storytelling cultures. It is mute in modern industrial times.  At the beginning of the 21st century we desperately need to rethink our dominant myths of progress and growth and the role of technology, living narratives that vivify our links with the natural world. This course focuses on the interplay among rational, mythic, aesthetic, and spiritual communicative experience. Students will explore their ecological identities by investigating the communicative practices of diverse cultures and participating in experiential activities.

CO 3710 (CT 3710) Introduction to Multimedia Productions   

This course will introduce the basics of multimedia production. Students will learn how to organize and present information interactively and how to design the individual elements of a multimedia production, including images, text, and video.

CO 3730 (CT 3730) Writing for Multimedia  

This course is designed to introduce the student to methods of writing for interactive multimedia which include Web pages, CD-ROMs, video games, etc. Material presented includes the role of the interactive writer, thinking interactively, interactive structure, script format, flowcharts, and the special challenges of presenting information and stories interactively. Software useful to the interactive writer will also be introduced.

CO 3840 (BU 3840) Edge Sports NH Practicum

Edge Sports NH is a commercial magazine operated by students and distributed through New Hampshire Department of Travel and Tourism welcome centers. This experiential course allows students to apply knowledge of outdoor sports or sales or writing or photography or PhotoShop and InDesign software as part-time employees of a real business. May be repeated for credit multiple semesters with permission of instructor.

CO 3990 Topics in Communication Studies   

This course is an intensive examination of one specific area of communication. Its particular focus is dependent upon the needs and interests of students and faculty. Since topics change, it may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite Permission of instructor. Offered based on student/faculty interest.

CO 4050 Sport Rhetoric    

This course explores the impact of discourses communicated by and through sports. Students will utilize theories of rhetorical criticism to examine how sports organizations and media tell the story of sports, shaping and reinforcing cultural values. Prerequisite: WR 1020.

CO 4430 Senior Seminar   

The senior seminar is designed to prepare students for life after college, giving them a deeper sense of who they are and what they have to offer to others in their personal, work, and community lives, as well as in their roles as citizens of the world. Prerequisite: Senior status. Offered every spring. 

CO 4710 (CT 4710) Web Publishing and Design           

This course teaches students how to write and design text, graphics, animation, and video for the web and other online services. The course emphasizes persuasive aesthetics, or the use of color, text, and graphics, to interest and guide web viewers. Students design and implement interactive web sites, peruse and evaluate current sites, and learn techniques for producing designs that are quick to download, interesting and accessible.

CO 4750 Practicum in The NewEnglander     

Communication Studies majors are encouraged to gain practical experience in their chosen concentration before graduating. This course provides practical experience with the college newspaper, The NewEnglander. Skills practiced may include writing, editing, design, photography, and advertising and promotion. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Variable credit (1-6). 

CO 4810 Directed Study in Communication Studies   

Course of study to be arranged between faculty and student(s) in the field of Communication beyond regular course offerings. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Variable credit (1-4), depending on contract.

CO 4830 Independent Study in Communication Studies           

Advanced, independent study of a specific topic beyond regular course offerings. Course of study to be arranged with a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Variable credit (1-4), depending on contract.

CO 4910 Internship in Communication Studies           

Students work on the job with newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, public relations companies, advertising firms, radio and television stations, etc. Potential interns must meet the College-wide internship requirements and must be approved by the communication faculty. An internship may be taken by qualified students on a semester, year, or summer basis. Recommended for students planning a career in communication. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor, and Junior/Senior status. Variable credit (1-16).

CO 4920 Practicum in Communication Studies

The practicum is designed to provide the student with an experiential learning experience in an area within communication based on interest and availability. The practicum can be completed either on- or off- campus. Variable credit (1-16).