So Many Possibilities in a World that Demands Media Content

Communications/media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy.  Never before has so much media content been produced and consumed across a variety of ever-expanding emerging platforms.  

In the Park School, you’ll immediately be immersed in fascinating dialogue about big ideas while engaging in hands-on media production. You’ll get a taste of the career you think you may want in your first few weeks. You’ll prepare yourself to get a job that you love and to work in careers that have not yet been invented. 

Which major is for me?

Don’t stress. It’s common for students to change their minds and their majors as they start taking courses and are exposed to the wide range of opportunities. As long as you’re in good academic standing and you do it before your junior year, it’s easy to change majors and graduate on time. 

Here's how to approach your choice: 

  1. Look through the majors and courses in our catalog and see which courses appeal to you. 
  2. Then check out our degree programs in the Park School to learn more about the faculty, student activities, and alumni profiles.  
  3. Visit us, or contact April Johanns, our Coordinator of Student and External Relations, who can put you in touch with faculty or members of the deans' teams who can answer your questions.
  4. Apply to the major that you feel best suits your goals. Because in Park you'll be taking several courses in your major in your very first semester, you'll quickly find out not only if you like studying about a particular area but also if you like the lifestyle in the careers for which that the major typically prepares you. Our advisors, professors, guest speakers, and alumni are here to help. If you decide to change majors within Park, it literally only requires you to fill out an online form.
  5. Can’t decide which major is right for you? Explore whether the Park Pathways program provides an option. 

"I love to be on camera or behind the mic."

As a first-semester student, Tara Lynch was on the field reporting on Bombers Football live for ICTV.

First semester student Tara Lynch on the field reporting on Bombers Football live for ICTV.

Television & Digital Media Production  gives you many opportunities to work both in front of and behind the camera. 

Our minor in Live Event Design & Management is a great add-on to a Television-Radio degree if you want to produce TV coverage of live events; you can add a minor during the second semester of your first year at IC.

If you dream of being the next David Muir (he's a 1995 Park alumnus) and anchoring ABC World News, consider our journalism program.

Sports Media prepares you to be that play-by-play announcer or sidelines reporter and gives you skills in media relations and public relations. (Related major offered by IC’s School of Business: Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Management.)

"I'm the go-to person for planning events."

IC TEDx conference

Our students have the opportunity to learn how to design, produce, and manage live events such as concerts, conferences, live broadcasts of sporting and cultural events, fundraising and charity initiatives, and corporate meetings and trade shows.

Live events such as concerts, sports, fundraisers, product launches, and corporate meetings and trade shows are a growing part of the communications industry. Our Communication Management and Design degree incorporates courses in event planning and prepares you to be the person who designs and manages communication strategies for businesses and non-profit organizations. If you're interested in experiential marketing such as pop-up stores, street teams, sponsored events like parades or cultural shows, or virtual reality experiences, look at our Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing Communications major which combines the creativity of advertising and public relations with the business goal-oriented aspects of marketing.

Our minor in Live Event Design and Management provides access to courses in event planning, interactive/immersive design, set design, and experiential learning through internshipsit's a great add-on to any of our majors at IC. You can add a minor during the second semester of your first year.

"I like to write."

Students working on a newspaper assignment

Students can put their classroom skills into practice by writing for the Ithacan or pitching script ideas to ICTV or The Studio.

Do you like to seek out and report the facts?

IC’s Journalism major incorporates courses that teach you to investigate and write news stories for print, broadcast, and digital outlets.

Or are you more interested in developing creative stories?

As a Writing for Film, Television, and Emerging media major, you’ll learn how to write scripts and tell stories across platforms, from traditional feature films and TV series to games, immersive media, and web series. (Related major offered by IC’s School of Humanities and Sciences: Writing.)

Or perhaps you like to explain concepts or persuade an audience by writing speeches or presentations or ads.

The Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing Communications major will prepare you for jobs that create social media advertising, influencer marketing content, and publicity materials to promote brands while Communication Management and Design will prepare you for jobs in business or not-for-profits, where you can write content for websites, brochures, educational materials, and executive or sales presentations.

"Give me a camera—I love to create images and sound."

Student with an RED camera

Park students have access to professional-level gear such as 4K RED Weapon Helium and URSA cameras, 16 mm film cameras, live streaming remote multi-camera setups, audio recording and editing studios, a remote truck, and 4K post-production systems.

If you want to focus your college study on media production, we have several degrees for you to consider.

Television & Digital Media Production offers coursework in field and studio TV production, editing, special effects, and audio, and will give you a well-rounded overview of the business of broadcast and streaming media. 

Two degrees involve film and photography, and both start with essentially the same coursework: In Cinema & Photography, you choose after your first year to concentrate either in filmmaking or photography. In Film, Photography, and Visual Arts, you pursue both film and photography through your senior thesis and combine these with study in art and art history. (Related majors offered by IC’s School of Humanities and Sciences: Art, Art History.)

In either of these degrees, you can focus on animation, sound or picture editing; narrative or experimental film; or entertainment/commercial practices.

Our Documentary Studies and Production degree teaches you how to tell the most important stories of our time using the power of visual media. This program combines film, journalism, television, and photography so that you the have visual storytelling skills to engage audiences on important issues. You will learn how to produce, shoot, edit, research, and report on stories that matter.

"I've always been involved in sports, music, pop culture, or theater."

Students at the Emmy awards

Park School students can intern at entertainment events such as the Emmys and Country Music Association Awards, at museums and theaters, and for pop culture magazines and TV shows.

Many students parlay their passion for

"I often find myself in leadership positions."

CMD senior Alyse Harris at the podium

Student body president and Communication Management and Design senior Alyse Harris.

While there’s no particular major that will land you immediately in the executive suite of a corporation or Congress, the talents that make you good at leading others can be honed in IC’s Communication Management and Design major. You can learn about how to become a better leader or how to become a professional who advises leaders on their communication strategies. Courses like organizational communication, presentation design, government and stakeholder relations, crisis management, and leadership communications give you both the theory and the hands-on skills to start leading clubs and the student government while you're here on campus, thus enabling you to build your own leadership profile.

"I love exploring the latest technology."

Students at the Consumer Electronics Show

Two of our students received funding to attend the Consumer Electronics Show, where they were able to experience the latest in emerging media technologies.

While all of Park's communications programs incorporate contemporary media technologies, our Emerging Media degree combines coursework in computer science, interface design, media production, and user testing/audience research. It culminates in labs that prepare you to work in spaces such as the interdisciplinary teams at tech firms that imagine, create, and market products such as apps, VR and immersive experiences, video games, and interactive stories. Graduates of this degree have gone onto careers in educational technology, consulting, and tech firms such as Twitter.

"I have a real passion for a particular cause or special interest—like diversity, fashion, fitness, or food."

A student presenting his work for Habitat for Humanity

A student presenting his work for Habitat for Humanity.

The greatest number of jobs in media are not in "show business" but in other kinds of organizations promoting products or causes.

The Communication Management and Design major is designed for students who want to create and manage the "voice" of a company including its strategies, media, and digital-social media presence. Many alumni work in support of specific causes such as political issues or candidates at non-profits doing fundraising and donor outreach, communicating about sustainability and health issues, or promoting economic development such as local tourism boards. Students specifically interested in diversity and inclusion can prepare for careers in human resources as diversity trainers, recruiters, and consultants.

In Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing Communications, majors learn to communicate with purpose, building brands and promoting causes, by combining the creative and analytical components of advertising, public relations, and marketing to promote a brand or product or organization. Students examine what makes an audience tick, what they want, and what key pop culture trends may influence them. Students then create authentic, engaging communication campaigns that feature traditional and digital advertising, publicity, social media, and interactive experiences like pop-up stores, virtual reality apps, and sponsored events such as music festivals like Coachella.

IC’s Journalism and Documentary Studies and Production programs combine courses in reporting and media production with a minor area of study outside of communications so that you have content expertise to inform your reporting. For instance, you can prepare to be a documentary film producer focusing on environmental issues or a financial news reporter or multimedia content creator covering women's and racial equity movements. IC offers 76 minors, including women’s and gender studies, politics, environmental studies, and sociology. You can add a minor during the second semester of your first year at IC.

Still Not Sure Which Major is Right for You?

If your believes your academic interests revolve around communications and media, but you’re not sure which Park School major is right for you, Park Pathways may be an option. 

Learn More About Our Programs

If you haven't connected with anyone yet, set up a visit through our Office of Admission. They can point you in the right direction to start your journey. 

You can also contact April Johanns, the Park School of Communications Coordinator for Student and External Communications, to set up a time to visit a class or to talk with a faculty member or associate dean by phone or video-conference.