Undergraduate Catalog 2016 - 2017


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Department of Communication

Professors: J. Akrami, J. Beal, S. Ferris, J. Lee, C. Lum, I. Olaye, D. Peck (chair), W. Sandmann, C. Williams

Associate Professors: R. Bartone, E. Birge, L. Brown, G. Guerrieri,                     L. McLaughlin-Vignier, K. Obadike, R. Quicke, J. Rhodes, E. Stroppel, K. Yoo

Assistant Professors: M. Crick, S. Oh, J. Owlett, L. Ramos , K. Smith


The mission of the Department of Communication is to provide academically based communication courses aligned to William Paterson University's central mission of preparing students for "careers, advanced studies, and productive citizenship in an increasingly global economy and technological world." Through our B.A. in Communication, the department offers an integrated introduction to the communication arts and technologies, including filem, video, audio and theatre, through a humanizing course of study in concert with introductory and advanced production-oriented classes.

The BA in communication describes, at its most general level, the creation, transmission, and evaluation of messages at all levels, for commercial or noncommercial purposes, and prepares individuals to apply the principles of communication to work in varied media. This includes instruction in modes and behavioral aspects of human communication, the formal means by which society organizes communication, and the role of communication in culture.

Concentration Programs within the Major

The BA in Communication encompasses an integrated curricular structure leading to a single degree. As of fall 2008, students may choose from the following concentrations within the major.

Communication Studies provides students the opportunity to study interpersonal communication from behavioral, humanistic, and scientific perspectives. This includes instruction in the theory and history of communication, the development and application of intercultural and international communication practices, as well as relational, team, and leadership communication competencies in business, education, and social settings. A concentration in
communication Studies provides a number of career opportunities.  We help students develop the ability to speak and write clearly and effectively, do research and understand more about the world around them, be critical consumers of information,m and be critical thinkers.  These skills provide the basis for success in many paths following graduation, including business, educational fields, and international relations and negotiations.  Communication Studies also serves as an effective means of preparing for a career in law or for advanced graduate study.

Journalism/Public Relations students are introduced to the methods and techniques for gathering, processing, and delivering information in print, digital, and broadcast media. The concentration includes instruction in news writing, reporting, editing, media laws/ethics, and public relations principles and practices. Students produce television news shows, publish a campus newspaper, and create public relations campaigns. Students may choose from the following tracks to better customize their course of study based on specific interest areas:

Honors Societies

Lambda Pi Eta, the National Honor Society in communication, is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and an affiliate of the National Communication Association. Lambda Pi Eta recognizes and rewards student excellence in the field of communication. Membership is open to any communication major who has a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, a minimum communication GPA of 3.25, and demonstrates an active commitment to the field of communication. Full members must have 60 credits; associate membership is available to those with fewer than 60 credits. The Beta Xi chapter of Lambda Pi Eta is a student-run organization, which provides opportunities and support for academically related activities. For more information, please contact Professor Matt Crick Department of Communication, 973.720.2655.

The Society of Motion Pictures & Television Engineers(SMPTE) sponsors student chapters at colleges, universities, and institutions where courses are offered in technical areas of film, video and television.  Student chapters provide students with the opportunity to meet industry leaders and professionals, and to interact outside of the classroom with other students and faculty who have an interest in the motion imaging industry.  Currently, the William Paterson University SMPTE student chapter does not require a minumum GPA and any Communication student can join.  the national SMPTE organization provides scholarship opportunity and a variety of activities, seminars, and educational events in the tri-state area.  For more information, please contact Dr. Matt Crick, Departmetn of Communicagtion, 973.720.2655.


The Department of Communication offers two types of internship opportunities for students through COMM 3300 & COMM 3301.

External internships are open to juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Students receive credit for interning at any of a large number of media outlets, including the major news networks and comedy and talk shows in Manhattan, as well as public relations agencies, newspapers, film production companies, Fortune 500 corporations, and theatre companies. Permission from the internship coordinator is needed for students to enroll.

Internal internships offer students credit for working on campus-based media outlets, such as radio and television, theatre, and campus offices, such as PR and Administration. Permission from the instructor in charge of the specific area and the internship coordinator is needed for students to enroll.

Curriculum Tracks

Broadcast Journalism

The broadcast journalism track gives students an overview of the theory and history of television news, and focuses on the research, writing, and production skills associated with putting together the various parts of a TV network-style news program. Students learn to: write and produce TV news stories, both in the newsroom and also using cameras, editing, and sound equipment; do "live" video reports from remote locations; assemble a news show rundown; supervise preproduction of a TV news program; and supervise the program as it airs. In this way, students are prepared for internships at the major TV news networks and ultimately for TV industry jobs.


The journalism track prepares students for professional careers in the newspaper and related industries and for advanced study. The curriculum enables students to become sophisticated consumers of news media and includes instruction in news writing, reporting, editing, and media law/ethics. Emphasis is placed on integrating new media throughout the track's curriculum. Students prepare for internships and entry-level positions at newspapers through writing for the student newspaper.

Public Relations

The public relations track prepares students for employment in public relations and related industries and for advanced study in the field of public relations, corporate communication, management, or business. The curriculum provides students with an understanding of the broad career opportunities available in the field and explores the various definitions of public relations as a management function. Rigorous applied public relations practice includes public relations writing and oral presentation, audience analysis, media outreach, strategic integrated communication, program development, and crisis management. The program encourages participation in an internship or cooperative experience where students gain valuable experience by applying their public relations skills and knowledge in a professional setting.

Media Studies

The media studies track takes a generalist approach to understanding the social, economic, political, cultural, aesthetic, legal, and ethical dimensions of communication media. Courses are designed to introduce students to an international and multicultural appreciation of the role of media technologies in a global society. Students have the opportunity to blend their critical studies in media with hands-on creative studies through elective media production courses. Students considering careers in the various media industries would benefit from this broad understanding and the program's emphasis on the critical analysis of the role of media in a society characterized by rapid media change.

Media Production

The media production track introduces students to the methods and techniques used to create aural/visual messages in a variety of mass media. Sequences of introductory and advanced courses in theory and practice of film, television, and radio provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the aesthetics and techniques of media production and prepare them to function as professionals in different media fields. The production facilities in the track allow students hands-on practice in two television studios, a radio station, a film production lab, a digital audio production lab, and several digital video and audio editing rooms.