oldmainThe College of Communications at Penn State is the largest accredited mass communications program in the country.

For students, that means a professionally oriented program with an abundance of hands-on opportunities and classes that offer personal interaction with faculty memPS03bers. It’s a major university with a small-school feel.

With four departments, five majors, hundreds of possible internships and a supportive network of thousands of alumni, students have an unlimited number of opportunities to engage and find success.
Students can major in: advertising/public relations, film-video, journalism, media studies or telecommunications.


The film-video major offers opportunity for the in-depth study of film and video production, incorporating idea development, writing, production craft (cinematography, sound, editing), production management and business aspects.

PS04Narrative, documentary and experimental forms are explored in a program of study that supports critical thinking and the development of ideas. Emphasis is on discovering the ability to make creative, aesthetic and content decisions, while developing a sense of personal style.

Graduates leave the program with an understanding of all aspects of the film and video processes. They are prepared to work as writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, sound designers and editors, and apply their education to mainstream entertainment, multi-media, public television, education, and corporate and commercial communications.PS05


The journalism major offers a broadcast journalism emphasis that allows students to hone their skills in multimedia, radio and/or TV. With two digital, state-of-the-art TV studios in the College of Communications and strong working relationships with the Big Ten Network, PBS and many other networks, undergraduates have the opportunity get hands-on almost as soon as they arrive on campus.

PS07Broadcast journalism students cover breaking news, craft longer-form stories and produce award-winning programming. For example, the student-produced “Centre County Report,” a half hour news program, airs each week on Campus Cable and across more than two dozen counties in Pennsylvania and New York as part of an agreement with WPSU-TV.

Several student clubs and organizations produce their own TV shows in the campus facilities. In addition, the presence of two student radio stations on campus -- including ComRadio, the Internet-based station heard all over the world -- means students can find many opportunities to prepare for their careers.PS08

Graduates of the program consistently find positions with TV network affiliates across the country -- from Elmira, N.Y., to Fort Meyers, Fla., and other markets -- as well as major cable or TV networks or production companies.


Telecommunications impacts everyone every day. It encompasses a wide variety of electronic media, including radio and television broadcasting, cable and satellite, the Internet, and wired and mobile telephones.

The department trains students for careers in the telecommunications industries and is an internationally recognized center for research on telecommunications issues. Our overarching goal is to prepare informed, responsible professionals for leadership roles in telecommunications and to conduct research and outreach that improved the functioning of telecommunications in modern society.

Students in the major explore fundamental theories and current industry practices, with an emphasis on developing the skills necessary to become industry leaders. Through hands-on, real-life experiences students conceive and complete projects such as webcasts of the annual Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) and the Homecoming parade. Those events are viewed by thousands of people all over the world.

In the rapidly evolving telecommunications field, students are prepared to work work in the telecommunications industry in a variety of capacities. Alumni have secured positions with companies such as AT&T, Cartoon Network, Disney, ESPN, CBS, Google, HBO, MTV, NBC, NFL Network, Universal Music Group, Verizon and VH!1, as well as local radio and TV stations.


Students work with professional-grade, state-of-the-art hardware for class assignments and other projects. They include:

PS02• ComMedia is a 24/7 newsroom and multimedia production facility used by students that houses a state-of-the-art, high-definition television set for news and sports productions. Students can produce live shots from a number of on-campus locations. While in the field, students use high definition ENG-style or prosumer cameras. These cameras record on an SDHC flash media, making a truly tapeless workflow possible.
•       The Equipment Center at Innovation Park, which houses audio and video equipment for use by students for class assignments.
•       A dedicated “shooting space” at Innovation Park that features more than 1,300 square feet of adaptable space with a green screen, lighting grid and windows with blackout blinds — as well as black curtains that encircle the room. All of those factors provide flexibility for setting up many scenes and shots.
•       The Finestra Digital Editing Lab, a state-of-the-art facility for video post- - production. The lab is generally open and staffed for 70 hours per week and a many as 98 hours a week toward the end of a semester.
•       Carnegie Cinema is a general-purpose classroom used for film series, for visiting filmmakers, for analysis of films in film classes that require a high level of control for sound and quality, and for production classes.
•        The Pro Tools Studio is equipped to help film and video students edit, mix and master their sound. The attached sound booth can be used for re-recording dialogue and recording clean sound effects and voiceovers.
•        The Carnegie Film Lab is an unstaffed, 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week video editing resource for junior and senior film-video students. There are nine editing stations available with Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium software installed. Students use portable firewire drives in this lab so they can easily move their projects and media to other editing stations and/or other editing facilities and computer labs.
•        The Digital Broadcast News Laboratory is designed for students in broadcast journalism. The lab consists of two rooms: an on-air broadcast studio and an editing lab.
•        A television studio named for WJAC-TV. It is equipped with latest-in-the-industry HD digital technology in both the control room and studio. The studio lab provides students with the opportunity to gain both "on-air" and "behind-the-scenes" experience.


Penn State’s main campus, with a mailing address of University Park, PA, is located not far from the geographic center of the state of Pennsylvania.dorm

First-year students at University Park are required to live on campus and are guaranteed housing.

Penn State offers a full and vibrant student life to complement its high quality academic experience. From the resources available to help students be successful to clubs and organizations for most any interest, Penn State has an active, spirited student body with a strong sense of community.


Each summer the College of Communications conducts week-long programs for aspiring filmmakers and journalists.

The sessions are led by full-time Penn State faculty members, and the sessions allow students in ninth through 12th grade to get hands-on experience in the University’s facilities.

Students in the journalism camp cover timely stories using multimedia methods and film students put together films from start to finish during the sessions. Along with the hands-on work and interaction with faculty, students hear from professionals working in the respective industries.

For more information, visit http://comm.psu.edu.camps online.


Each year the University receives more than 100,000 applications.
Students apply and get accepted to Penn State, and then declare a major halfway through their sophomore year.

In the College of Communications, film-video is a controlled major. Students seeking to major in film-video must submit a portfolio for review by a faculty committee. The portfolio-review process places a premium on artistic and creative accomplishments, potential and motivation—a common procedure in other film programs across the country.

Journalism and telecommunications are not controlled majors.

For information about the College of Communications, Penn State, the application process or any program, call (814) 863-1484 or visit http://comm.psu.edu/ online.