Communication Track

From film production to public relations to journalism, there's no disputing that Boston boasts a thriving communication industry. Boston is home to a vibrant creative economy that features some of the best minds in newspaper reporting, broadcasting, advertising, and filmmaking.

Exploring topics ranging from PR, advertising, and mass communication to new media and journalism, you'll put your knowledge to practice in internships at independent production companies, news services, newspapers, magazines, marketing and public relations agencies, and others.

"This experience has allowed me to understand the ins and outs of planning a large scale non-profit event, and the connections I made will help me in the future. The program is the perfect way to get a feel for what you want to do career-wise."
Cinthya Pereira, Fordham University
Intern, Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.

Summer 1: The Academic Phase
(May 19 - June 26, 2015)

You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in the field of communication.

Choose Two:

  • COM CM 301 Principles and Practices of Public Relations

    Introduction to origins, scope, and principles of professional practice. Covers the theories, strategies, and tactics used in public relations programs for corporate, governmental, and nonprofit institutions. Focuses on ethical decision-making in researching problems, setting objectives, identifying audiences, designing messages, choosing communication channels, and evaluating results. Examines opportunities and requirements for work in the field. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Downes CGS 123
  • COM CM 311 Professional Presentation

    Introduces students to theories and skills of effective public address through an intensive battery of practical public speaking assignments. Course topics include clear, reasoned organization of messages; effective use of evidence; audience analysis and adaptation; skilled verbal, nonverbal, and audio/visual delivery; group communication; principles of persuasion and argument; critical listening and evaluation of public address. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Joseph COM 106
  • COM CM 313 Corporate Communication

    Explores the trends and issues affecting corporations, crisis management, public affairs communication, consumer affairs, employee relations, environmental problems, and issues of multinationals. Uses case studies. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Quigley COM 210
  • COM CM 317 Introduction to Advertising

    History, nature, function, practice, and social and economic aspects of advertising; ethical responsibilities, psychological appeals, marketing, media, research, product analysis, creative strategies, and agency operation. Students prepare a comprehensive advertising plan including a marketing strategy and speculative advertising campaign. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Cakebread COM 317
  • COM CM 321 Mass Communication Research

    Introduction to the philosophy and process of social-scientific research and the most common methods used to study mass communication. Includes a variety of research methods, an examination of data-analysis procedures, and an analysis of mass communication issues. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Wu FOB B01
    SA2 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Elasmar FOB ARR
  • COM CM 331 Writing for Communication

    Intensive exposure to some of the basic writing formats in communications: news releases, letters, features, and profiles. Lead writing, editing, and techniques of interviewing. Extensive writing and rewriting. Develops basic writing skills for various audiences. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CO 201.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA2 Independent T, R 1:30 PM-5:00 PM Clark KCB 103
  • COM CM 345 Public Relations in Nonprofit Settings

    Examines the role of managed communication and marketing in public relations problems unique to health, education, and human and public service organizations. Analysis of organizational structure, publics/audiences, public relations and communication programs, and fundraising practices of these agencies. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Downes EPC 204
  • COM CM 380 Theory and Process of Communication

    Focuses on the nature, processes, and functions of communication in human life. Discussions include basic assumptions of theory-building as applied to the study of communication, cognition and language, and the contexts of communication. Models and theories are reviewed and evaluated. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Oppliger COM 210
  • COM CM 441 Media Relations

    Students study a variety of publicity tactics (news conferences, feature placements, special events, and media tours), which they combine into publicity campaign plans. Involves lectures, in-class discussions, video cases, and individual take-home cases. Students are encouraged to plan campaigns in their area of interest. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301 and COM CM 331.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Shanler COM 317
  • COM CM 443 New Media and Public Relations

    Explores the effects of new media on the fundamental theories, models, and practices of public relations. Studies how websites, blogs, citizen journalism, social media, direct-to-consumer communication, podcasting, viral marketing, and other technology-enabled changes are affecting interpersonal, small group, and mass media relationships. Also covers and uses the interactive tools that are re-defining the practice of public relations. Combines lecture, discussion, guest speakers, case study, and research to help students uncover and appreciate the power and potential of interactive media. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Quigley COM 210
  • COM CM 522 Managing Corporate Crises and Issues

    Review and diagnosis of major crises and issues affecting corporations. Case discussions of five types of crises: technological, confrontational, malevolence, management failure, and management control. Examines appropriate management actions and communications before, during, and after a crisis. Reviews issues management: monitoring, analysis, strategy determination, and implementation. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301.Grad Prereq: COM CM 701.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 2:30 PM-6:00 PM Shanler COM 210
  • COM CO 201 Introduction to Communication Writing

    The core writing course for communication students. Students review editing skills and apply those skills to professional writing assignments for the web and print: news stories, memoirs, proposals, film scripts, and profiles. Weekly written assignments and writing workshops with an emphasis on revision. Students consider how text and media work together in informational, persuasive, and narrative writing for specific audiences. Prepares students to write with confidence in communication fields. 4 cr.

    Prereq: CAS WR 100; or equivalent.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, R 9:30 AM-12:00 PM Burak COM 106
    SA2 Independent M, T, R 1:30 PM-4:00 PM Hall KCB 201
  • COM FT 250 Understanding Film

    Required of all students in the Film Program. An introduction to the art of film. How do films make meaning? How do audiences understand them? Explores some of the ways in which movies teach us new ways of knowing. Students also study a variety of historical examples of different styles that illustrate the expressive possibilities of image and sound. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 5:00 PM-9:00 PM Grundmann KCB 107
  • COM FT 310 Storytelling for Film and Television

    Required of all undergraduate students in Film & Television. Introduction to the art and craft of storytelling through the moving image. Particular emphasis is given to writing short scripts. Topics covered include character development and narrative structure as it applies to shorts, features, and episodic television. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Bernstein COM 323
  • COM FT 325 Creative TV Producing

    Introductory course that takes the student through the various stages of production, beginning with concept and ending with full-fledged, camera-ready proposals. Students are introduced to issues of finance, scheduling, and organization; they learn to keep budget and concept on track. May be taken sophomore year. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
  • COM FT 353 Production I

    An intensive course in all the fundamental aspects of motion picture production. Students learn to use cameras, sound recording equipment, and editing software and then apply these skills to several short productions. Emphasizes the language of visual storytelling and the creative interplay of sound and image. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Egleson COM 323
  • COM JO 250 Fundamentals of Journalism

    Required of journalism majors. The goal is for students to acquire fundamental newsgathering and writing skills needed to thrive as a journalist working in any medium. The course is based in the classroom, but students are expected to learn and adhere to professional newsroom standards. Focuses on essential practices and principles that apply to reporters, photographers, bloggers, producers, and editors at newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and online media. Emphasizes news judgment, storytelling, and reporting skills as well as writing clearly and quickly. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CO 201.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, W 9:00 AM-11:30 AM Klarfeld COM 208
  • COM JO 305 Basic Photography for Non-Majors

    Students learn the fundamentals of 35mm digital photography from the basics of image capture to processing finished photographs. No previous experience in photography is required. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, W, R 10:00 AM-1:00 PM Smith COM 301A
  • COM JO 309 Feature Writing

    The goal of this course is to help students develop the skill and craft of feature writing for newspapers, magazines, websites, and blogs. Along with the principles of solid reporting and fidelity to accuracy, we examine the techniques of creative non-fiction, including narrative, style, and voice. Students work on storytelling, voice, style, description, anecdote, pacing, and narrative. Part of the course is operated as a writer's workshop. Students will email copies of selected work to one another, which will be critiqued in-depth by the class as well as by the professor. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM JO 310.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
  • COM JO 310 Beat Reporting

    Students learn to cover a city neighborhood or a nearby community beat. Students branch out across the city and suburbs to cover courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting. Students are encouraged to develop their own sources and story ideas with the goal of professional publication in the Boston University News Service. Students produce stories, photos, audio, and video for the Web. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM JO 250.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, W 10:30 AM-1:00 PM Mulvihill COM 211
  • COM JO 525 Media Law and Ethics

    An examination of the many ethical issues and dilemmas that face reporters, editors, and producers, and how to resolve them with professional integrity. Danger of actions for contempt or defamation, laws of copyright, and intellectual property. 4 cr.

    Prereq: Required of all journalism majors. Recommended to be taken after COM JO357.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, W 1:30 PM-4:00 PM Lehr CAS 223
  • MET MG 431 International Marketing

    Organization of the marketing function in international business. How government policies and practices affect marketing. Comparative marketing strategies for doing business abroad. Examination of case studies. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Goncalves KCB 104
  • SMG MK 468 Advanced Marketing Strategy

    Provides the insight and skills necessary to formulate and implement sound marketing strategies and marketing plans. Includes case analysis, guest speakers, and a marketing management simulation where students take the role of brand manager. The simulation allows students to make decisions and see results on key topics such as segmentation, positioning, managing a brand portfolio, integrated marketing communications, and marketing channels. Other key topics explored in the course include strategic planning, customer decision making, life cycle, market response, competitive behavior, new product development, and product line management. 4 cr.

    Prereq: SMG MK 323.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 5:30 PM-9:00 PM Hibbard SMG 240
  • SMG MK 469 Communications and Digital Media Strategies

    Marketing communication strategy has moved beyond advertising to include interactive marketing, sales promotions, direct marketing, public relations, and more. Focuses on developing marketing communication strategy that integrates these tools for more efficient and effective communication. Topics include the establishment of objectives based on a situation analysis, developing subsequent messages, creative and media strategies, effectiveness testing, and client/agency relationships. 4 cr.

    Prereq: SMG MK 323.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 8:30 AM-12:00 PM Utter SMG 228
  • SMG SM 105 Introduction to Marketing

    How is it that some products succeed and some fail? In many instances, the difference is in their marketing strategy. Examines key areas of marketing including product development, advertising, promotions, pricing, and retailer decisions. Uses a combination of in-class exercises, real world examples, cases, lecture, and discussion. This course is intended for non- business majors. It may not be taken by SMG students for credit nor can it be used by Boston University students toward the Business Administration minor. Non-SMG students may register for this course directly via the Student Link. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM King SMG 220

Summer 2: The Internship Phase
(July 6 - August 14, 2015)

For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.

Communication Internship Opportunities

Internship placement opportunities are available at television and radio stations; news services; advertising, marketing, and public relations agencies; newspapers; and magazines.

Internship Placement

  • Internship placement for 35 hours a week
  • Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience
  • All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
  • Visit our Placement Process page for additional information

Summer Study Internship Course
(May 22 - August 14, 2015)

The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Friday mornings throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic track and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.

Meet a Communication Student

Student: Gabrielle Bernstein

Courses: Production I; Storytelling for Film and Television

Internship Site: Boston Neighborhood Network Television

On the Job: My internship was at a local television station that tapes shows for non-profit organizations. I directed, filmed, and worked audio for the shows. It was a very hands-on experience. I felt the pressures of a workplace and learned how to handle that stress and how to remain focused.

Perspectives: I wanted to have a productive summer, and the program allowed me to take classes and intern, all while having a great time. The coursework was challenging and engaging, my internship was enjoyable, and I loved the city and the people. In addition to academics and the technical skills required for my internship, I learned a lot about myself. Over the summer, I grew as a writer, a student, and a person.

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