Our Distinctive Approach to Communications Education

With a commitment to nurturing the creative, sustainable, progressive, and enlightened practice of communications in all its forms, the Park School is a leader in preparing students not just to get a job—but to create the future of communications. Learn how to tell stories that move people, make ethical decisions, and lead emerging media into the next generation.

Our courses are complimented by our student-led media organizations where you can apply what you just learned in the classroom or studio -starting your very first semester.

DAY ONE - YOU're ON!

As an undergraduate student, you are accepted directly into your major and are immediately placed in classes that provide you with the conceptual, creative, and technical tools to begin your journey.  You'll get hands-on instruction in creating media, learn the theory behind developing sound strategies, and explore the history and contemporary challenges in the field.   If you've already been producing media in high-school, we won't put you on hold.  If you haven't had the opportunity to explore media yet, that's ok.   In either case, it's important to jump right into experiences that will help you decide which of the hundreds of areas of specialty best fit your talents and goals.

Our graduate students continue pursuing their jobs or entrepreneurial/artistic practice while being fully enrolled in either our low residency MFA in Image-Text or our online M.S. in Communications Innovation.  Each program begins with an intensive introduction in Ithaca to your intentionally small cohort and your faculty, and you continue to collaborate closely over the course of the degrees.

CO-CURRICULAR STUDENT MEDIA GIVE YOU A TASTE OF THE "REAL WORLD"

Our co-curricular media organizations run like their professional counterparts.  Each has a full-time advisor who is totally dedicated to mentoring their student executives and staff.  Unlike classes, you're not required to participate, nor do you get credit.  Students are chosen for positions based on their merit by other students leaders - so you quickly learn how to work in teams, develop new skills, pitch your own ideas, and discover your strengths.   Any IC student can be involved in any of these:

  • ICTV - A student-led television production organization offering over 20 shows a week on Spectrum cable and streaming live - from news and sports to game shows, scripted drama, cooking shows, and more. 
  • WICB 91.7 FM - is our FCC licensed, non-commercial modern rock station that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year . Consistently ranked as the market’s favorite radio station and named on of the top 5 college radio stations by publications such as the Princeton Review we stream on iHeartRadio, iTunes Internet Radio, TuneIn Radio, and our own iOS app.

  • VIC  Radio is Ithaca College’s internet-only radio station operated by a full student staff of DJs, newscasters and sportscasters; it's the home to the “best of what’s next” in indie-alternative music.

  • The Ithacan - Our nationally award-winning newspaper publishes a weekly print edition has daily multimedia updates.

  • Park Productions - is Park’s professional video and film production unit where students can work as paid producers and crew on projects for clients. 

  • Park Promotions - A student-powered creative service team that provides promotions and graphics design and social media coverage for Park events and initiatives. 

  • The Studio - An incubator for student-developed entertainment media, it provides opportunities to tell stories, create content, and produce projects across multiple media platforms. 

MORE UNDER ONE ROOF

Not sure which major is right for you? Or are you interested in more than one aspect of communications? No problem!  Check out our guide on selecting the right major for you.  We offer 10 undergraduate majors -- far more than most other colleges - and it's easy to try out different disciplines and courses and to transfer to another major within the School or to add a minor.

    EXPERT FACULTY FOCUSED ON YOU

    Learn from more than 55 full-time faculty like photo Professor Mahreen Khalid who are professionals and scholars - active and nationally recognized for their work but also dedicated to teaching excellence.  Their books, articles, and consulting projects impact not only the scholarship of communications, but also industry practice.  And their films, exhibits, and and TV shows are on the international circuit.  Most importantly - all the faculty you'll see profiled here are your instructors - many of them in your first semester classes.

    PROFESSIONAL FACILITIES

    The Park School invests over $250k each year in upgrading our equipment, software, and facilities.  You'll work in studios, editing rooms, computer labs, and collaborative spaces that are likely better than you'll find at your first jobs.  TV Studio B has the news set and lighting designed by the same professionals that designed the ABC World News set .  Upper-level film, TV and documentary students frequently check out over $100k of field production gear for their shoots.  Students doing research on social media analytics and media buying use the same software that they'll find in advertising and PR agencies.  And our Innovation Lab has equipment and software for virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, and advanced animation.

    Internship-Based Study Away 

    Our Los Angeles and ICNYC programs are semester-long experiences centered on internships. Students typically spend about 30 hours a week fully immersed in the work of their internship sites, and then take 1-2 courses at our centers in the late afternoon or early evening, so that they remain full-time students keeping up their progress to graduation within 4 years.  Many students study away more than one semester and still graduate on time.

    WE BRING THE WORLD TO ITHACA

    You can live in the #1 college town in America in the beautiful Finger Lakes, while also having opportunities to connect personally with leading scholars and practitioners.  Typically there are 4-5 guest speakers just in the Park School each week, - people like digital/social media entrepreneur, Laila Ali,  the daughter of the famous boxer and civil rights activist, Muhammad Ali who continues to provide opportunities for our students in Los Angeles. 

    Among the visitors to Park in just the fall 2018 semester were:  NY Times columnist David Brooks,  Gillian Wenzel, '17, an advertising strategist focusing on diverse and LGBTQ audiences, emerging media entrepreneur / investor Ed Rivera, MSNBC business reporter Kelli Grant, - PR firm CEO Leza Raffel, Amy Kule, event design and management entrepreneur &  former head of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade,  The B&H Edu Advantage Team who brought a mini trade show to us, demonstrating the latest gear by leading photo and video manufacturers, and Kellan Davidson ’11, presenting opportunities for students to apply for the  GoogleFiver program -  a one year gig inside Creative Lab in NYC.