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Academic Master Plan

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College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Communication/ Journalism

Rowland Hall 108
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1521
Department Web Site


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Contact Information

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions Office
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
Phone: 717-477-1213
Fax: 717-477-4016

Graduate Dean's Office

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA  17257
Phone: 717-477-1148


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Master of Science in Communication Studies

Communication Studies Program

The Master of Science in Communication Studies provides professional growth opportunities in the dynamic areas of strategic public relations and digital media. The Department of Communication/Journalism is accredited by ACEJMC (Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) and is dedicated to educating its graduate students in the key areas of:

  • Mass communication writing and web publishing,
  • Communications research and analysis, and
  • Theory and ethics.

The program allows students to strengthen an existing communications career, to prepare for advanced communications studies, or to begin a new journey into the evolving world of today’s communication industries through personalized interaction with Communication/Journalism faculty.

The graduate program in communication studies is directed to:

  • The media professional who seeks to update skills in digital media and Internet publishing for career advancement.
  • The baccalaureate degree holder in communication who wishes to refine and build upon previous academic preparation.
  • The baccalaureate degree holder in another discipline who wishes to prepare for a career in the media, public relations, or a closely related field.

Communication Studies Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet all requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average (GPA). An above average score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or significant communications work experience may be considered if the GPA is lower than 2.75.

In addition you must include with your application:

An applicant whose bachelor’s degree is not in a communication-related field may have a number of undergraduate courses to take in addition to the master’s degree requirements.

Apply to our Master’s in Communications program today, or contact us to request more information.

Communication Studies Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Communication Studies is a 30-credit program delivered in flexible course of study to accommodate the varied academic backgrounds and career objectives of students. Students select courses in public relations, electronic media, print media, digital media, and interdisciplinary areas to enhance professional and personal growth opportunities.

To qualify for a Master of Science in Communication Studies, you must complete a minimum of 30 credits with a “B” average (3.0) including a professional project (COM603) that is certified as acceptable by a committee of the communications studies faculty.

Required Courses

  • COM510 Professional Seminar
  • COM520 Applied Mass Communication Research
  • COM603 Professional Project in Mass Communications

Select one option and complete both courses:

Strategic Public Relations

  • COM505 PR Foundations
  • COM506 PR Strategies

Digital Media

  • COM 527 Digital Storytelling
  • COM 528 Digital Media Workshop

Select five communication/journalism courses (15 credits) as restricted electives to satisfy professional goals and personal interests.

  • COM 410  Women and the Media
  • COM 425  Feature Writing
  • COM 451  Electronic News Gathering
  • COM 452  Electronic Field Production
  • COM 460  Case Studies in Public Relations
  • COM 470  Advanced Digital Photographic Communication
  • COM 476  Magazine Design
  • COM 481  Interactive Media Design
  • COM 482  Internet Communication
  • COM 484  Electronic Media Programming and Management
  • COM 490  Special Topics in Mass Communication
  • COM 511  Modes of Film Communication
  • COM 516  Photographic Communication
  • COM 526  Emerging Mass Media Technologies
  • COM 530  Law & the Media
  • COM 536  Global Communications Systems
  • COM 570  Fund Raising & Association Public Relations
  • COM 594  Selected Topics in Mass Communication
  • COM 609  Internship I
  • COM 610  Internship II

Note: With the approval of the student's advisor, students may select interdisciplinary courses (up to 9 credits), which enrich and broaden the communication studies curriculum.

Communication Studies Special Resources

Students have access to audio and video production studios, visual and multi-media tools, and computer labs equipped with the latest industry hardware and software, and mini-labs with iPads and access to the latest social media applications.

The MAC lab in Rowland Hall is equipped with:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Digital cameras
  • Scanners
  • Assorted film processing equipment

The department also has several audio suites equipped with computer editing stations utilizing Adobe Audition and Apple Logic software.

The university’s TV studio in the basement of Grove Hall is used for live and pre-recorded programs. The control room equipment includes:

  • Grass Valley Kayak Digital Production Switcher
  • Compix Graphic Generator
  • EZ News (newsroom management software)
  • 24-Channel Mackie audio console
  • Apple Final Cut Pro HD non-linear editing system
  • News set
  • Chroma key wall
  • Areas to create alternate sets

The Mobile TV Production Lab is equipped with:

  • Ross Crossover 16 Production Switcher
  • Three hard-wired Cannon XHA1 cameras
  • One JVC 790U wireless camera
  • Panasonic DV decks including instant replay controllers
  • 16-Channel Mackie Audio Console
  • Talent audio and monitoring equipment

Students operate the mobile lab in positions including talent, director, graphics, camera operators and producers, broadcasting live coverage of all home football and basketball games.

A chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is affiliate with the department. The faculty regularly attends regional and national conventions and meetings of professional organizations with students.


Students interested in pursuing a Master’s in Communications at Shippensburg University will benefit from small class sizes and individual attention from dedicated faculty and staff. Classes are taught by professors with background in the theory and ethics of contemporary communication. Professors also have practical experience in today’s media landscape. Communication studies graduates frequently go on to rewarding careers as publicists, marking specialists, communications coordinators or other related positions.

Communication Studies Internships

By enrolling in Shippensburg’s Communication Studies Master’s program, students can pursue their own individual interests within the fields of marketing and communications. This will better position them for success in the industry of their choice, whether it’s media, government, or non-profit. Through the Master’s in Communications optional internship component, students gain valuable real-world experience and professional contacts that may be useful when searching for a job. Interns have worked with organizations such as The Patriot News (Harrisburg), FoxSportsNet (Pittsburgh), Lancaster United Way, the Governor’s Press Office (Harrisburg), the U.S. Army War College (Carlisle), CNBC (Washington), Antietam Cable (Hagerstown), WGAL-TV (Lancaster), WHTM-TV (Harrisburg), and WPMT-TV (York).