Communication & Creative Media

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.

Summer 1: The Academic Phase

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

    An introduction to the field of public relations: its theoretical origins, scope, and principles. Discussion focuses on researching problems, setting objectives, identifying audiences, designing messages, choosing communication channels, and evaluating results for all types of organizations. Ethical decision making, on-line communication, and career opportunities are also analyzed via case studies in the field. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Shanler PHO 201
  • COM CM 311 Professional Presentations

    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 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Downes COM 109
  • 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 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Quigley COM 213
  • COM CM 317 Introduction to Advertising

    Explores the history, nature, function, and social and economic aspects of advertising: ethical responsibilities, psychological appeals, marketing, media research, product analysis, creative strategies, and agency operation. Students prepare comprehensive advertising plans, including marketing strategy and speculative advertising campaigns. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Cakebread COM 217
  • 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 M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Elasmar COM 208
    SA2 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Jalette COM 111
  • 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; First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Clark COM 212
  • COM CM 345 Public Relations in Non-Profit 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 T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Downes COM 215
  • COM CM 380 Theory and Process of Communication

    Focuses on the processes and consequences of both interpersonal and mass communication and how they differ. Discussions include the nature of verbal and nonverbal communication and the role of language in cognitive processing. Review of the factors that have shaped the nature of contemporary media, their content, and their audiences. Examines theories of the process and effects of mass communication and how these relate to the goals and activities of professional communicators. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Hurley COM 213
  • 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 (e.g., business, arts, sports, and politics). 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM CM 301 and COM CM 331.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM D'souza 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 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Quigley COM 317
  • COM CM 502 Promoting Creative Ideas Online

    Teaches students how to market their creative works online. Students learn to identify targeted marketing and distribution platforms for new websites, video channels, series, and blogs, etc., and how to use social media to find an audience, generate buzz and identify potential funding sources. Students also learn practical entrepreneurial tools needed to organize their creative work as a business venture. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Luber COM 215
  • 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 M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Shanler COM 317
  • 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, press releases, proposals, editorials, and profiles. Weekly written assignments and writing workshops offer 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 210
    SA2 Independent M, T, R 1:30 PM-4:00 PM Atkinson COM 109
  • 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 M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Hall COM B05
  • 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.

    Prereq: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Bernstein COM B31
  • 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 Congosto Mar COM B31
  • COM FT 522 Writing Situation Comedy

    Intense writing workshop learning how to write professional sitcom scripts. Elements of character, dramatic story structure, how comedy is created, how scenes build and progress a story, formal story outlines, dialogue, the business of sitcom writing, pitching, arc, and comedic premise are analyzed. The class becomes a sitcom writing team for a current hit series and writes an original class spec script to understand the process of group writing employed on most sitcoms. Also, students write their own personal spec scripts with individual conferences with the professor. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM FT 310.Grad Prereq: COM FT 709 or COM FT 711.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Braudis 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 journalists 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 across all media formats. 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 Rosenberg COM 214
  • COM JO 303 Visual Journalism

    Required of journalism majors. An introductory course designed to provide students with a basic working knowledge of the media required for professional journalism, including photography, sound, video, and editing for production of multimedia packages. No previous experience in visual media is required. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, W, R 1:00 PM-3:30 PM Marinovich COM B27
  • COM JO 305 Basic Photography for Non-Majors

    Students learn the fundamentals of digital photography, from the basics of image capture to processing finished photographs and introduction to their use in digital media. 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 B27
  • COM JO 310 Beat Reporting

    Required of all journalism majors. Students advance their reporting skills by learning to cover a city neighborhood or a 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 develop their own sources and story ideas with the goal of professional publication in the Boston University News Service or another news site. The purpose is to hone your reporting skills, develop sources, and build both competence and confidence. Students produce stories, photos, audio, and video for the Web. 4 cr.

    Prereq: COM JO 250.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, W, R 9:30 AM-12:00 PM Williams COM 211
  • CFA AR 389 Graphic Design Elective

    Covers the basic principles of design, composition, and form making. These topics are investigated holistically, beginning with their historical origination, contemporary application, and finally in the context of individual practice. Projects and class meetings are structured to help develop a design process and critique skills. The goal is to provide a rigorous understanding of the foundational principles and skills that serve as a strong base for all future design course work and practice. Working knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite is helpful; software will not be taught. Laptop required. Materials and printing costs are extra. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent M, T, W 9:30 AM-12:30 PM Mallia FLR 409
  • CFA AR 530 Design Ignites Change

    A studio course that cultivates social entrepreneurship. Students study their ecosystem, define a need, and affect change through a designed engagement in their local environment. Students work collaboratively to research, develop, design, and execute a public awareness campaign that fosters a meaningful social experience. The objectives of this course are to develop social stewards, to launch an idea, to work collaboratively, to understand the role audience plays in designed experiences, to create a design campaign that spans multiple mediums in order to reach wide-ranging audiences, and to use design as a tool for education and action in the public sphere. Laptop required. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor Location
    SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-5:30 PM Coogan FLR 409

Summer 2: The Internship Phase

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 & Creative Media Internship Opportunities

Internship placement sites in past years have included television and radio stations, news services, newspapers, magazines, and advertising, marketing, and public relations agencies.

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

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 & Creative Media Student

Student: Cinthya Pereira

Courses: Principles and Practices of Public Relations; Writing for Communication

Internship Site: Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.

On the Job: I worked at a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing environmentally focused programs to the Greater Boston community. I assisted with the planning of a large event which required attendance at meetings at Boston City Hall. I met with business managers regarding possible charitable donations and also helped to manage the organization's social media sites. I even co-starred on live television to promote and discuss our big event!

Perspectives: The experience allowed me to understand the ins and outs of planning a large scale, non-profit event. The connections I made will be helpful in the future. The program is a perfect way to get a feel for what you want to do career-wise.