Mass Communication

The Communication curriculum begins with a thorough introduction to the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations upon which all communication activity is based. Students begin in Pre-Communication, and after successfully completing three required Pre-Communication courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher, may proceed to the upper-level General Communication major or select a concentration in:

  • Mass communication* - includes courses in professional and journalistic writing and news as strategic communication; the symbols created by mass communication and the role of mass media in society; and the translation of theory into media production in telecommunication areas such as video production, editing, and programming.

Points of Pride

  • The School of Communication at Purdue is consistently ranked among the top programs in America in The Gourman Report.
  • Communication majors are encouraged to take advantage of internship and study abroad opportunities, and their curriculum and faculty support these important experiential enrichment opportunities. 
  • Fast Track and Fast Track Te Informa are Purdue University's student news television.  Students and faculty produce and create all shows.

*Regardless of communication concentration of interest, choose communication on the undergraduate admission application.


  • Advertising
  • Professional sales
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Customer service/employee relations
  • Recruitment
  • Reporting
  • Editing
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Public relations
  • Writing
  • Lobbying
  • Fund-raising and development
  • Media production, editing, or performance
  • Personnel placement, training, and evaluation

Plan of Study

"C-" or better required in all COM major courses, including pre-com. 

PREREQUISITE: Students must complete COM 11400 and achieve a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale in the three Pre-Communication courses before declaring this or any major in communication. NO additional communication courses from the plan of study can be taken prior to admission. Only on Pre-Communication course may be repeated one time for admission purposes.

A. The following courses to satisfy Pre-Com requirements (9)

COM 10200 Introduction to Communication Theory
COM 20400 Critical Perspectives on Communication
COM 31800 Principles of Persuasion

B. The following General Communication Course (3)

COM 30400 Quantitative Methods for Communication Research

C. Mass Communication Core (12)

COM 25000 Mass Communication & Society (Ind. and Society)
COM 25200 Writing for Mass Media
COM 43500 Communication and Emerging Technologies
COM 32900 History of Mass Media or COM 33000 Theories of Mass Media

D. FOUR of the following electives (12)

COM 25100 Communication, Information, & Society
COM 26100 Introduction to Digital Video Production
COM 31100 Copy Editing
COM 32900 or COM 33000 (whichever is NOT taken in C)
COM 33200 Television Production
COM 33700 Advanced Digital Video Production*
COM 35100 Mass Communication Ethics
COM 35100 Mass Communication Law
COM 25900 Public Affairs Reporting*
COM 40600 Web Production
COM 40700 Introduction to New Media/Social Media Production
COM 40800 News Magazine Production*
COM 40900 Video Journalism
COM 41100 Communication & Social Networks
COM 44700 Documentary Production
COM 49700 Special Topics in Mass Communication (may be repeated 3 times for credit)

*Refer to MyPurdue for pre-requisite requirements

E. Choose TWO additional 30000-level or above courses in COM that are NOT listed in areas A through D (6)

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print plan of Study

Brian Lamb School of Communication

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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