INTEGRATED MEDIA AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
BACHELOR OF ARTS

Effective communication can take you far.

Your professors in the Department of Communication will work with you to create the academic path that results in the career of your dreams. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning. When you study Integrated Media and Strategic Communications, your professional and personal goals matter, and you’ll take an active role in building a plan that provides the skills and experience needed for success in the modern business world.

No matter which classes you chose, this program is centered around the powerful skill of storytelling. Journalists use it to deliver compelling news; corporate communication specialists use it to shape an organization’s image; and social media strategists use it to engage followers and build brands. You’ll learn the skills to be a strong storyteller and content creator through non-fiction writing, multimedia, video production, public speaking, and data collection and expression.

Your experiences in the program will also prepare you to strategically tailor your message to a variety of audiences through different media platforms, both digital and traditional. The versatility of this degree allows students to pursue a number of careers in traditional media, writing, multimedia, social media, and strategic or corporate communication. Some of our students also choose to advance their study of communication through graduate school, where they often specialize in mass communication, journalism, communication and technology, and corporate communication.

Fast Facts

  • Hands-on experience begins as soon as freshman year with access to Laker Student Media. This multi-platform student-led organization creates content for a cable TV station, YouTube, and Spotify
  • A professional development course sets our graduates up for success; Students learn to perform deep-dive job searches, practice interviewing, create online resumes and digital portfolios, and develop professional skills

  • Our alumni have become social media managers, television, radio and print journalists, public relations executives, event planners, business owners, teachers, lawyers, and advertising and sales executives

  • Many companies waive the experience requirements to hire our students right after graduation due to the practical experience of working with real-world clients through in-class projects and internships

The Social Media and Web minor integrates with a student’s chosen major to harness the power of convergence and analytics by training students to use emerging technologies and web-based communication. Combined with their major field of study, the Social Media and Web minor prepares students to be skilled practitioners in the new media landscape. The courses enable students to participate in and adapt to cyberspace’s virtual forum through proper protocols informed by communication theory. Students who are majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Website Design in the Art Department. In contrast, Graphic Design Majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Communication.

Required Courses

  • ART 128: Basic Computer Design
  • COM 260: Introduction to Social Media
  • ART 221: Digital Imagery
  • ART 321: Intro to Website Design

Minor Electives Clusters

  • ART 225: Computer Illustration Technology
  • ART 325: Intermediate Website Design
  • ART 326: Advanced Website Design    

OR

  • COM 240: Digital Video Production I (sophomores)
  • COM 201: Contemporary Media Literacy 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify critical information relating to the history, laws, and ethics of communication and the individuals responsible for shaping it.
  • Explain and apply general theories and research methods used in communication.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in oral communication in both small and large group settings.
  • Write clearly and correctly in style appropriate for the audience and objective.
  • Develop an understanding of and practice skills in current and emerging communication technologies relevant to the student’s area of interest.
  • Demonstrate accumulated knowledge within professional settings and situations.

LAKER TV

The student-run station features student-produced programming, class projects, coverage of major campus events and information about the Erie community.

STUDENT NEWSPAPER

Students are assigned as editors and writers to deliver a weekly online and print newspaper featuring hard-hitting news, feature stories, sports, editorials, opinion pieces, polls, photography and advertising.

CAREER OUTCOMES

Our grads have been hired by The New York Times, the U.S. Army, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Busch Gardens, JP Morgan, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, iHeartMedia, and Estee Lauder.

Communication majors at Mercyhurst have a number of opportunities to get involved with their peers and professors outside of the classroom through clubs and organizations.

Laker Student Media

This student-led organization creates media for a variety of platforms, including YouTube and Spotify. Members utilize Laker TV studios, a video production lab that telecasts on Spectrum Cable in the City of Erie, and a Digital Audio Lab for creating podcasts and streaming audio. The club features multiple branches including audio/radio, blogging, gaming, TV production, new digital communication platforms, sports broadcasting, broadcast journalism, and videography/photography. It provides not only fun in working with other like-minded creative students but helps the student build his/her media portfolio. All majors are welcome to join.

The Merciad

The Merciad is a student-run newspaper and digital news site founded in 1929. Students publish a physical newspaper as well as digital content regularly throughout the academic year. Scholarships are available for editor positions. This club can help students improve their writing, editing, and photography skills and create content for a professional portfolio. All majors are welcome to join.


Contact Us

Brian Sheridan, M.A.
Chair, Department of Communication
Office: Hirt 107
Phone: 814-824-2464
Email: bsheridan@mercyhurst.edu