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Mass Communications, BA

Mass communications engages students broadly in theory and techniques. Students also develop an understanding of the influences that mass communications exert upon the individual and society by way of such elements as the social structure, the technology, the economy, the politics, and the media culture. 

View the convergence journalism course curriculum

View the public relations and advertising course curriculum

View the TV, Radio and Film coursE Curriculum View the course descriptions 

The concentration areas are as follows:

Convergence Journalism

Introduction

In the era of YouTube and podcasts, lots of people are passing themselves off as journalists. But there are certain traits that separate the pros from the amateurs — and Delaware State is an outstanding place to learn them. Our Convergence Journalism students have access to state-of-the-art radio and television broadcasting facilities, as well as the digital multimedia technologies of the future.

Our student-run television station (Channel 14) and radio station (WDSU) serve as educational laboratories where students can learn direct, practical lessons. In addition to developing excellent writing, reporting, and editing skills, Convergence Journalism majors acquire the technical knowledge to work behind the camera or the soundboard. They gain professional experience during two off-campus internships at local news outlets such as WDOV (1410 AM) and WHYY (Channel 12).

Students graduate with job-ready skills, industry contacts, and a resume that reads like a pro’s.

Professional Prep

Because they get so much hands-on experience, Convergence Journalism majors cultivate various marketable, industry-specific skills. These include

  • news writing and editing
  • media research techniques
  • media law and ethics
  • video and audio production
  • digital multimedia

In response to the rising popularity and significance of online journalism, our program emphasizes the digital convergence of mass communications media, preparing students for the jobs of the future. Our graduates go on to careers in all aspects of convergence journalism, getting jobs as reporters, editors, production professionals, and front office managers.

Faculty

Delaware State’s Mass Communications instructors teach from experience. All have spent years in the communications industry and are able to convey both the theoretical and practical concepts that students need to build their careers. Our faculty includes radio veterans such as Andy Harris (the general manager of Dover ratings leader WDOV-AM) and longtime radio and television personality Ava Perrine. The mass communications faculty also includes documentary filmmakers, public relations professionals, online journalists, and veterans of the newspaper and television industries.

Research and Experience

All concentrations in the Mass Communications department emphasize experience-based learning, and the Convergence Journalism degree is no different. Our students spend hundreds of hours producing reports for WDSU and Channel 15, and gain many additional hours in professional work settings during their two off-campus internships. Our program includes an in-depth focus on research, introducing students to the methods and tools involved in reporting.

In addition, our students can interact with professionals by getting involved in campus chapters of the Black Broadcasters Alliance, National Association of Black Journalists, and other organizations.

Some undergraduates from the Mass Communications department have participated in the McNair Program, winning research stipends and presenting their findings at national conferences. All Mass Communications students have the opportunity to present original research on campus every spring during Honors Day.

Public Relations and Advertising

Introduction

In Delaware State’s Public Relations and Advertising program, students learn by doing. The program is built around hands-on, project-based assignments that simulate real-world PR situations. It culminates in an off-campus internship that yields professional contacts, builds student resumes, and provides the job-ready skills that employers look for in new hires.

Students develop superior writing skills and learn to write for a range of media, including print, broadcast, and the Internet. They also learn layout and design, while working with state-of-the-art digital graphics technology. Above all, they cultivate a sense of how to communicate strategically — how to motivate an audience, influence public opinion, and change behaviors.

Professional Prep

Our public relations graduates have a successful track record of employment. In addition to landing jobs with advertising firms and public relations agencies, Delaware State grads have found work as in-house publicists and writers for corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Others have gone into the radio, television, and newspaper industries.

The Public Relations and Advertising program cultivates a broad range of industry-specific skills, including

  • public relations writing
  • branding and campaigns
  • public opinion research
  • organizational communications
  • news writing and editing
  • layout and design

Delaware State has a campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), where students can network with working professionals. The campus chapter also sponsors resume writing and interviewing workshops.

Faculty

Delaware State’s Mass Communications instructors teach from experience. All have spent years in the communications industry and are able to convey both the theoretical and practical concepts that students need to build their careers. In public relations, the faculty includes David Skocik, author of Practical Public Relations for the Small Business and an active official in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The mass communications faculty also includes documentary filmmakers, online journalists, and veterans of the newspaper, television, and radio industries.

Research and Experience

Students gain extensive public relations and advertising experience during their two field work experiences. The first of these, an on-campus practicum, takes place during the junior year, and another (an off-campus internship) consumes the entire second semester of the senior year. These first-hand experiences play an invaluable role in helping students land their first job and transition into the workplace.

Some undergraduates from the department have participated in the McNair Program, winning research stipends and presenting their findings at national conferences. All mass communications students have the opportunity to present original research on campus every spring during Honors Day.

TV-Radio-Film Production

Introduction

Delaware State’s TV-Radio-Film Production program attracts a lot of attention on campus, thanks to the prominence of student-run station WDSU, also known as “The Hive.” On the air since 1978, WDSU gives students an extensive hands-on education in broadcasting and audio production. This practical experience enables students to develop the technical, creative, and management skills necessary to establish a career in the radio industry.

The program includes two off-campus internships at professional radio stations, where students can establish professional contacts and acquire some workplace smarts. And in the classroom, they explore mass communications from a theoretical perspective — and learn how radio evolved into (and remains) a medium that can influence public opinions, tastes, and attitudes.

WDSU carries a full range of programming, including news, music, sports, and politics.

Professional Preparation

TV-Radio-Film Production majors develop a wide range of skills that translate directly to the workplace. These include

  • broadcast writing
  • sound production
  • radio station operations
  • news gathering and reporting
  • media research techniques
  • telecom management
  • media law and ethics

With the rise of the Internet and online broadcasting, the radio industry is changing. Our program emphasizes the online convergence of mass communications, preparing students for the jobs of the future. Our graduates go on to careers in all aspects of the radio business, including technical production, on-air talent, and front office management.

Faculty

Delaware State’s mass communications instructors teach from experience. All have spent years in the communications industry and are able to convey both the theoretical and practical concepts that students need to build their careers. Our faculty includes radio veterans such as Andy Harris (the general manager of Dover ratings leader WDOV-AM) and longtime on-air host Ava Perrine. The mass communications faculty also includes documentary filmmakers, public relations professionals, online journalists, and veterans of the newspaper and television industries.

Research and Experience

Between their on-campus work at WDSU and their two off-campus internships, Delaware State graduates acquire hundreds of hours of direct experience behind the microphone and at the soundboard. In addition, our students can interact with professionals by getting involved in campus chapters of the Black Broadcasters Alliance, National Association of Black Journalists, and other organizations.

Some undergraduates from the Mass Communications department have participated in the McNair Program, winning research stipends and presenting their findings at national conferences. All Mass Communications students have the opportunity to present original research on campus every spring during Honors Day.