A female Newhouse student works in a computer lab

Undergraduate Coursework

Our communications courses help provide Newhouse students with a common base of greater knowledge of the world as well as skills in the art of expression. Communications (COM) is not a major option, but we do offer a minor in public communications to non-Newhouse students.

Our required communications courses for both undergraduate and graduate students cover a wide range of topics, including media law, applied media research, practical grammar, multimedia storytelling and diversity.

Required COM courses:  (primarily taken in the first year)

  • COM 101: Practical Grammar for Public Communications. Grammar may seem unimportant in a world of tweets and text messages, but following the rules of writing dramatically impacts one’s credibility with audiences. This course helps get all students up to professional standards.
  • COM 107: Communications and Society. This course provides students with a more critical understanding of the role of the mass media in American life and of the demands on the professionals who create and distribute media content. It also gives students a better idea of the career paths open to them in their studies at the Newhouse School, and upon graduation. 
  • COM 117: Multimedia Storytelling. Regardless of major, professional communicators now must be aware of how to tell their stories across multiple platforms and in a variety of ways. This course gives all Newhouse students hands-on practice in some key techniques of telling stories using words, audio and video.


We offer COM law courses for journalism, advertising & public relations, and television-radio-film students. Communicators need to know the key laws that impact their work and set the boundaries for what is legal as well as what is ethical.


As the United States becomes more diverse, media professionals need to know how to communicate in culturally competent ways as well as to understand the important role media play in influencing how we see one another. These courses provide students with perspectives to understand the media in an increasingly diverse communication environment.

A sampling of other COM courses:

  • Trendspotting Digital Media
  • Beauty and Diversity in Fashion Media (part of the fashion and beauty communications milestone program)
  • Real News, Fake News: Literacy for the Info Age