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Media, Communication, and Technology

Misinformation, social media algorithms, media ethics, technology regulation, AI policy, online identity, civic engagement, and digital democracy – these are the communication issues that move our world.  

They are also at the center of the BA in Communication Studies. Students in this major will gain a rigorous foundation in the analytical skills and theoretical tools that are needed to engage in the world’s most pressing problems and pursue a career in charting the future of media and technology. Our students take courses that uncover the political, social, cultural, global, and historical dimensions of communication and technology and conclude their degree by undertaking a capstone research project where they work closely with the faculty to deepen their understanding on a topic of their choice.  

Careers are a strong focus for students in the Communications Studies program. If you want to be a thought leader at your future organization, this BA will prepare you with the exceptional skills of critical thinking needed to examine new media in a democracy.  

Our faculty are some of the world’s leading experts in internet research, communication policy, critical data studies, games studies, science and technology studies, and the political economy of technology.

Minor in Communication

Explore the convergence between communication, culture, policy and technology. With Washington, DC as your classroom, this liberal arts-oriented major draws on the strengths of the School of Communication's journalism, strategic communication, and film & media arts curricula to teach practical skills, and adds scholarly rigor in the form of guided research and analysis into cutting-edge issues at the forefront of today's social and political changes.

Our program leverages top talent and institutions in the nation's capital for internships, mentoring, and guest lecturers. Our world-class faculty members are leading "scholar/practitioners," combining the strength of doctoral-level educational credentials with rich professional expertise in the communications industries, in order to bring real-world case studies and projects to the classroom setting. Their excellence in the classroom and deep commitment to personalized mentoring have helped launch thousands of rewarding careers.

Save Time and Money

Get a head start on your advanced degree with SOC's combined bachelor's/master's program and have up to six credits from your bachelor's degree count toward your master's. You may apply for admission to the program during the second semester of your junior year. Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration. An undergraduate degree in communication is not required.

How to Apply

Meaningful Real-World Experience

Our Dean's Internships offer exceptional School of Communication students significant opportunities to earn bylines, production credits, and professional recognition for their work.

World-class partners such as Bloomberg BNA, Discovery Communications, The Washington Post, National Geographic Fox, and National Public Radio reserve exclusive opportunities for our best and brightest students, connecting you with meaningful real-world assignments that provide experience and future pathways to jobs. 

After working part-time during the academic year, Dean's Interns are often invited back by their host partner to work full time for the summer or after graduation. Dean's Internship opportunities are announced throughout the year as opportunities arise.

The same intellectual rigor that defines our bachelor's degree majors is also a hallmark of our Minor in Communication. Whether your interest is in journalism, public relations and strategic communication, film and media arts, or foreign language and communication media, this minor will add research and policy expertise, give you a broad-based understanding of communication's role in society, and afford you hands-on, real-world work opportunities.

Since you apply to American University as a whole, not to any specific school or college, you may choose any major, and you may also choose any minor offered by AU. Formal admission to the minor requires a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). You'll need to complete 18 credit hours with grades of C or better, including two required courses (6 credits) and four electives (12 credits) across a range of communication disciplines. A minimum of 9 credit hours must be at the 300-level or above, and at least 12 credit hours must be unique to the minor.

 Advanced Study at Your Convenience 

The School of Communication makes continuing on for your advanced degree a simple, straightforward process. You may apply for admission to our combined bachelor of arts/master of arts program during the second semester of your junior year (after completing 75 credits, but before you have completed 90 credits). Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration. An undergraduate degree in communication is not required.

You may apply for combined degrees in Political Communication, Strategic Communication, Film and Video, Journalism and Public Affairs, Game Design, or International Media.

More information about admissions requirements can be found here.

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89 percent

of Communication Studies Majors Participated in an Internship

Bringing Community Stories to Life

Ellana Sloan, SOC/BA '17

Every person you meet has a unique and powerful story.

The first time Ellana Sloan worked at an off-location shoot was one of the most exciting days of her Dean's Internship at NBC4-Washington. She acted as the main assistant to NBC4's creative services producer, helping to finalize the shooting agenda, set up the scene, and time dialogue. Even minor tasks such as checking white balance or holding reflectors took on extra meaning because they were all part of bringing the story to life. For Ellana, it was exciting to capture people's emotions on camera.

Students Taught by Leading Experts
Over 700 students have benefited from our alumni mentoring program since 2002.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Communication has a distinct advantage over comparable institutions in the myriad experiential learning opportunities offered to students. Internships are a way of life here. Undergraduate and graduate students can receive course credit for one internship, but most students have two or three, thanks to faculty and alumni who share their professional contacts.

We have an active and effective alumni mentoring program that will help you bridge the gap between the classroom and the professional world. Through our Dean's Internships, we work with world-class partners to connect highly-qualified students with meaningful real-world assignments that create future pathways to jobs. And we have two full-time career advisors to help you land internships and plan your career!

No, you'll apply to American University as a whole. You'll be able to indicate your intended major on your application, but your admission decision will not be affected by the major you indicate. You can change your mind after you apply. Because it's so easy to change your major, however, we recommend that you indicate a major within the School of Communication, even if you're not 100% certain. That way you'll be acclimated to our community right away.

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