College of General Studies

Media and Professional Communications (BA)

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Nearly 117,000 Market Research Analyst and Marketing Specialist positions will open by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The projected job growth in these fields is around 40 percent, much faster than the national average for all careers.


This major provides students with a rigorous education in the theories of mass media process, history, and ethics as well as the opportunity to specialize in one of three professional practice areas: corporate and community relations, writing for the professions, or digital media.

The three tracks are designed to strengthen both the knowledge base and proficiencies of students pursuing careers in communication fields, such as print, television, radio, film, new media, and corporate and organizational communications. This program also will benefit students pursuing careers in a variety of industries in which communication with internal and external audiences is critical. Learn more about our featured internship opportunity with Pitt Panther TV, and other internship opportunities, today.

Students must earn a minimum of 120 credits for the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in media and professional communications. Of this total, the major consists of 12 credits of prerequisite courses and 24 credits of specialization courses. The remaining credits for the degree are outlined on the Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree information sheet. A grade of C or better is required in English composition and writing courses.

For course schedule and descriptions, visit www.courses.as.pitt.edu.

Prerequisite courses for all tracks: 12 credits

Course NameTitleCredits
COMMRC 0320Mass Communication Process3
COMMRC 1121History of Mass Media3
ENGWRT 0610Introduction to Journalism and Nonfiction3
PUBSRV 1455
Ethics, Law, and Public Policy in Mass Media3

Specializations: 24 credits

Choose one of the three specialization tracks that follow.

1. Corporate/Community Relations

Required: 9 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1111Theories of Persuasion3
COMMRC 1732Special Topics: Media Relations                     3
BUSERV 1940Marketing Fundamentals3

Electives, choose four: 12 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1102Organizational Communication3
COMMRC 1730Special Topics: Health Communications3
ENGCMP 0301Writing Arguments3
ENGCMP 0410Writing in the Legal Professions3
ENGCMP 0420Writing for the Public3
ENGCMP 0515Persuasive Writing: Advertising and Fundraising3
ENGCMP 0520Integrating Writing and Design3
ENGCMP 0550Topics in Public and Professional Writing3
ENGCMP 1103Public Relations Writing3
ENGCMP 1104Creative Corporate Writing3
ENGWRT 1330Intermediate Nonfiction3
ENGWRT 1403Topics in Nonfiction: Electronic Media3
PUBSRV 1200Practices of Nonprofit Management3
PUBSRV 1310Diversity Issues in Public Service3
PSY 0105Social Psychology3

Internship, choose one: 3 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
CGS 1900Internship3
THEA 1484Directed Project: Business Management           3

2. Writing for the Professions

Required: 6 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1114Freedom of Speech and Press3
And choose one of the following courses:
ENGCMP 0400Written Professional Communication3
ENGWRT 1330Intermediate Nonfiction3

Electives, choose five: 15 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1732Special Topics: Media Relations3
ENGCMP 0301Writing Arguments3
ENGCMP 0410Writing in the Legal Professions3
ENGCMP 0420Writing for the Public3
ENGCMP 0520Integrating Writing and Design3
ENGCMP 0550Topics in Public/Professional Writing3
ENGCMP 1103Public Relations Writing3
ENGCMP 1400Grant and Proposal Writing3
ENGWRT 1391Writing the Review3
ENGWRT 1393Sports Writing3
ENGWRT 1399Topics in Nonfiction: Newspaper3
ENGWRT 1401Topics in Nonfiction: Magazine3
ENGWRT 1403Topics in Nonfiction: Electronic Media3

Internship, choose one: 3 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
CGS 1900Internship3
ENGWRT 1370The Pitt News                              3

3. Digital Media

Completion of two prerequisite courses is necessary before registration for Pittsburgh Filmmakers (PF) courses will be permitted. FILMST 0001 is a prerequisite to all other PF courses. See your advisor to register.

Required: 9 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1122Media Criticism3
ENGFLM 0355Visual Literacy3
FILMST 0001Motion Picture Fundamentals (PF)    3

Electives, choose four: 12 credits

A maximum of two PF courses can be included in the four electives.

Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1105Television and Society3
COMMRC 1126Media and Consumer Culture3
ENGCMP 0520Integrating Writing and Design3
ENGFLM 0400Introduction to Film3
ENGFLM 1390Contemporary Film3
ENGFLM 1485Film and Politics3
ENGFLM 1683Documentary Film3
ENGLIT 0354Words and Images3
ENGLIT 0550Introduction to Popular Culture3
HAA 0010Introduction to Art3
HAA 0070European Visual Tradition: From the
Renaissance to the Present
3
HAA 1810Experimental Video3
PS 1836Politics through Film3
PSY 1050Topics in Psychology:
Psychology of the Media
3
SA 0110Foundation Design3
SA 0130Foundation Drawing3
SA 1270Digital Imaging3
FILMST 0151Introduction to Web Design (PF)3
FILMST 0245Photoshop Foundations (PF)3
FILMST 0410Advanced Digital Photography (PF)3
FILMST 0601Video Production I (PF)3
FILMST 0610Digital Effects and Compositing (PF)3

Internship: 3 credits

Course NumberTitleCredits
CGS 1900Internship                                   3

 

In 2012, Internet media became the media industry's second-largest employment sector, according to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. One in six people employed in the U.S. media industry now work for internet-media businesses, according to the analysis.