Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication

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  • Course description

    The mission of the Department of Mass Media is to prepare competent, well-trained, and liberally educated men and women in the converging field of mass media. Students will gain knowledge through theory, practical and applied learning which will provide the valuable education and experience needed for a career in this challenging field.

    Program DescriptionThe mass communication curriculum is designed to whet your appetite by enabling  you to enroll as a freshman in a series of beginning-level courses: Introduction to Mass Communication, Visual Communication and the BCU-Radio practicum. We then begin to shape your writing skills. As a sophomore, you will enter our newswriting sequence (print and broadcast). At the beginning of your junior year, now that you have mastered the art of writing, you enter the advanced level coursework in media ethics and law, computer graphic design and video production.  By the end of your junior year, as a pre-professional, you are ready for courses that are more advanced and internships. By the time you graduate, you will have the beginnings of an impressive resume, a media portfolio and practical experience in the field. Upon graduation, you will have the basic tools, talent and experience necessary to be highly competitive for the many entry-level media slots.

    Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication (57 credits)

    MCOM 101      Introduction to Mass Communication (3)       
    MCOM 200      Newswriting I (3)
    MCOM 201      Newswriting II (3)       
    MCOM 216      Basic Photography (3)
    MCOM 220      Visual Communication (3)       
    MCOM 225      Graphic Communication (3)
    MCOM 300      Ethical and Legal issues in Mass Media (3)     
    MCOM 307      Public Relations (3)
    MCOM 331      Broadcast Writing and Production (3)            
    MCOM 312      Advance Newswriting and Copy Editing (3)
    MCOM 332      Television Production (3)         
    MCOM 315      Advanced Video Production (3)
    NEWM 325      Web site Production (4)           
    MCOM 440      Research in Mass Media (2)
    MCOM 445      Senior Portfolio (1)      
    MCOM 490      Internships/Work Experiences (3)

    One of the three following courses:

    MCOM 310    Color Photojournalism (3), MCOM 315    Digital Video Production (3), NEWM 420    Digital Storytelling (3)

    Practicum                      Electives
    All students will take MCOM 31, 32, 33, 51, 61        
    MCOM 52, 53              BCU Radio Practicum II (1)
    MCOM 31, 32, 33 Cliff News Practicum I (1)           
    MCOM 62, 63              BCU    TV Practicum II (1)
    MCOM 51        BCU Radio Practicum I (1)
    MCOM 61        BCU TV Practicum I (1)

    Minor Requirement: Six courses approved by the department chairperson of which two must be from the 300-level courses.

    Internships and Career Placement

    You also will gain necessary practical experience by working with professionals in the field. Each student completes two internships.

    A career in mass communications can take you just about anywhere. Successful department of mass communications alumni include: Mike Wankum, Emmy award-winning weatherman, WLVI-TV, Boston, Mass.; Ron Demers, weather director, KTIV-TV, Sioux City, Iowa; Matt Shill, publications coordinator, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.; Katie Seuntjens, graphic designer, Long Lines, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; Richard Lichlyter-Klein, web programmer, The News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill; Kristen Hansen, news producer, “Live at Daybreak” WOWT-TV, Omaha, Neb.; and Matt Steichen, sports editor, Austin Daily Herald, Austin, Minn.


    Integrated Multimedia Center

    The Integrated Multimedia Center (IMC) is the central hub for all mass communication.    It is connected to the BCU radio studio and the BCU Radio/Cliff News staff office. The IMC is a fully digital production area.    The facility has film, slide transparency and photo scanning capability; digital non-linear video and audio editing; CD-Rom production; web page design; and is digital versatile disc (DVD) capable. Video production is accomplished on Final Cut Pro software.  The student newspaper, the Cliff News @ Briar Cliff University, is produced and placed on the Internet via the World Wide Web on a weekly basis. Photographs are captured on 7 Nikon D70 digital cameras and edited in Adobe Photoshop. The facility serves as a digital darkroom where students can print to one of three Epson 4000 color inkjet printers up to 17’ wide on roll paper.

      The lab includes a color laser printer for documents up to 11” x 17” which is useful for graphic design courses and majors. Dual flat-screen computers in the "quad" allow students to work in close communication with each other.    The workstations are networked together via the computer network (LAN), thus allowing file-sharing and transferring of media from one station to the next.   All 16 computers (both PC and Macs) have CD-ROM burners and are DVD capable.    The lab is accessible 24 hours a day by authorized students (students majoring in graphic design, mass communications and new media or students enrolled in courses that require the use of the lab).   

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