Welcome, Class of 2025!

Welcome to Newhouse! This page serves as a resource for information about courses, advising, registration and other academic topics.

For more information on first-year student events at Syracuse University, you can check out the University’s First-Year and Transfer Programs webpage.

Additional Information

COM 107: Communications and Society

All incoming Newhouse students will take the introductory COM 107: Communications and Society course together in the fall semester. We hope this will help us build a strong sense of community from the very first day.
In order to teach all of you this fall in groups of moderate size, eight faculty members will each teach a section of COM 107.  Each section will be slightly different in tone and content, given the varying professional and scholarly interests of the instructors.  However, each section will cover the same basic material and use the same books and assigned readings. Paper assignments will be the same across all sections, and all students will have the same number and type of exams. The faculty members who will be teaching COM 107 want you to undertake some summer reading, viewing, and listening that will prepare you to do well.
Please regularly visit any reputable news website, particularly those run by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (you will be able to get free digital subscriptions to these two news sites through the SU library). You might also visit the websites of foreign news producers such as the BBC or China Daily, Al Jazeera, Jerusalem Post, or sites from a particular part of the world. Stretch yourself.  Go to news sites curated by professional editors exercising professional news judgment, and make sure to pay attention to the difference between journalism and opinion. Think about how contemporary news sites sustain themselves economically.  Go where you have not previously gone in your web surfing.
Listen on occasion to “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Weekend Edition” on your local National Public Radio station or online.  Listen not only for content, but particularly for how sound is used to tell the story effectively to audiences who only hear the news.
Notice how effectively (or not) your local news organizations cover your community and reflect its diversity in print, online and on TV or radio. Follow events in the media industries by reading the Business section every Monday in The New York Times (or read it online).  Pay particular attention to the media stories, of which there are many. 
University students all over the world are familiar with social media–TikTok, Twitter, Instagram. Facebook, Snapchat, etc.  Their impact on societies has been revolutionary. If you use a different international media networking site, like Weibo, consider how it may be similar to or different from these U.S. examples.  This unique information will be an asset to our class discussions and to your career development.
Read a variety of magazines (in both hard copy and online), not just those from the mainstream media, but also those in the alternative press such as Wired, National Review, The Nation, or Mother Jones.  Look online at sites such as vice.com, slate.com, colorlines.com, salon.com, FoxNews.com, vox.com, blavity.com; at fact-checking sites such as Factcheck.org and PolitiFact.org and at the multimedia pieces on mediastorm.org. Compare and contrast how they are covering the key issues and events unfolding this summer.
We want you to get into the habit of knowing what is going on in the world around you. If you get to campus and you don’t know much about how the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy are potentially prolonging the pandemic; how the 50-50 split in the Senate affects President Biden’s legislative agenda; how investigations into the January 6th insurrection may impact the 2022 elections; how tensions with China may impact trade concerns; how the actions of prominent athletes are focusing attention on mental health issues following the pandemic; and how nations are dealing with extreme weather brought about by climate change, then you are not paying enough attention to the news.

Newhouse Grammar Competency Test (GCT)

The Grammar Competency Test (GCT) will assess your understanding of American English grammar and usage as you enter the Newhouse School and will be administered online Sunday, August 29 and again in October for those who did not successfully pass on their first attempt. The examination consists mostly of questions that reveal your ability to detect errors and properly apply the rules of Standard American English that you learned in middle and high school.

Students will be given 80 minutes to complete the test.  Instructions regarding this online test will be sent to students prior to opening weekend.

For questions and concerns please feel free to contact Professor Brad Gorham at bwgorham@syr.edu or Roy Terry at roterry@syr.edu

As you prepare to take the GCT, keep in mind that last-minute “cramming” is seldom beneficial; however, careful review and practice during the weeks before the test can lead to success. Fortunately, handbooks, workbooks, and websites are available to help you. The following list is not exhaustive, but it includes print and online resources that many have found useful.

Two optional GCT Review sessions will be offered. Monday, August 9 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, August 17 at 5 p.m. Please contact nhadvise@syr.edu for Zoom meeting links.

Guides and Handbooks
These grammar guides and handbooks contain definitions, explanations, and examples.  Some include brief exercises.   

Barrett, Grant. “Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking” Berkeley: Zephyros Press, 2016. 
This is a companion to Lisa McClendon’s workbook (see below). Barrett’s little volume explains the basics of English grammar but lacks the exercises found in McLendon’s companion workbook. Terms and concepts and clearly defined and well-illustrated.

Casagrande, June. “The Best Punctuation Book, Period: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson,” Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014. 
In this engaging handbook useful in all SU courses requiring formal writing, the author describes the punctuation rules of Standard American English and the specific conventions preferred by the AP, APA, MLA, and University of Chicago styles. 

Collins, Tim. “Correct Your English Errors: Avoid 99% of the Common Mistakes Made by Learners of English,”  2nd ed. New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2018.
Those for whom English is a second language will find this guide especially useful.  It deals with the rules of grammar but puts special emphasis upon common issues of diction (word choice), syntax (word order), and idiomatic usage. 

Elliott, Rebecca. “Barron’s Painless Grammar,” 4th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2016. 
Although many of its examples and illustrations are designed to appeal to middle- and high-school students, this volume is nevertheless valuable as a review of grammar for college-level users. 

Lester, Mark, and Larry Beason. “The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage,” 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2018.
The authors provide good explanations with illustrations of both correct and incorrect practices.  About two thirds of this volume is devoted to finding and correcting mistakes.

Woods, Geraldine. “English Grammar for Dummies,” 3rd ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2017.
Written in a light-hearted, engaging style, Woods’ handbook is one of the more thorough guides to effective writing now available.  Note: She does not give attention to the peculiarities of AP style, so some of what she says regarding punctuation does not apply to much of one’s writing in the Newhouse School.

The workbooks listed here all provide definitions and explanations but in their content are heavily weighted toward exercises and quizzes that reinforce learning.

Lester, Mark. English Grammar Drills. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2018.
This volume contains over 150 exercises designed to help users identify and correctly use a wide range of grammatical elements. Online resources that support the book are available at no cost.

McLendon, Lisa. “The Perfect English Grammar Workbook,”  Berkeley: Zephyros Press, 2017.
Following the same outline as Barrett’s Perfect English Grammar, this workbook, which has been selected as the required text for COM 101 for the spring 2021 semester, contains both explanatory definitions and exercises.  The exercises are brief and to the point, and they provide unambiguous examples to help users apply grammatical principles. 

Woods, Geraldine. “English Grammar Workbook for Dummies,” 3rd ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
In some ways similar to the author’s handbook in the same series, this volume is filled with exercises and answer keys that include helpful feedback.  Included with the book is access to online quizzes that can help you test your understanding.

Kaufman, Lester and Jane Strauss. “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,” 12th ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
This compilation of explanations and exercises focuses upon the grammar issues most of us find most troublesome.  

Woods, Geraldine. “English Grammar Workbook for Dummies.” 3rd ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
In some ways similar to her handbook in the same series, Woods’ workbook is filled with drills and answer keys and helpful feedback. Included is access to online quizzes that can help you test your understanding.

Web Resources
Three online resources have been widely used by students at the Newhouse School.

Grammar Bytes!
This popular website, created by Robin L. Simmons, Professor of English and Humanities at Valencia College, describes itself as “Grammar Instruction with Attitude.”  Continually growing with the addition of new handouts, exercises, videos, and PowerPoint presentations, it has become an extraordinarily accessible tool for students seeking a better understanding of how our language works.

The Punctuation Guide
A one-stop online compendium of punctuation rules and advice, The Punctuation Guide is easy to use, concise, and authoritative. 

Purdue Owl
Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab provides assistance with a multitude of the issues college-level writers face. For its grammar discussions, click on “General Writing” on the site’s home page. 

Other Grammar Resources
Two other relevant study helps are available to you in PDF form.  To receive them, simply email Professor Roy Terry at roterry@syr.edu.  

“Frequently Confused Words and Expressions.” 
This compilation lists homophones and frequently misconstrued terms that Newhouse students have identified as troublesome for them.  Several of these appear on the GCT.

“Irregular Verbs in Standard American English.”
Most of us struggle with at least some irregular verbs.  All that are used in American English are included here, and when past tenses and past participles can have multiple forms, those preferred by standard dictionaries are identified.

COM 117: Multimedia Storytelling

Half of our incoming students will take this skills-based class in the fall, and half in the spring semester. 

COM 117 is a required introductory production course for all Newhouse majors. In this course, you’ll work in teams to produce a variety of short films that tell three different kinds of stories: stories that persuade, stories that document, and stories that entertain. Basic story structure is taught, as well as how to write and prepare stories for multimedia production. You’ll learn digital videography and editing for sound and picture. Whether you see yourself as a photojournalist, a screenwriter, an advertising executive, a television director, a public relations manager, an investigative reporter, or a graphic designer, you need to understand how to use story concepts and the tools of storytelling to communicate to an audience. You’ll be assigned a lab time to edit, mix, and finalize your projects. You will be given time in class to screen productions to your fellow students and hear their feedback.

For this production class, you must have a portable computer that meets the school’s technology requirements.

Each student will be required to have their own smartphone no older than four years old with a working camera and microphone. Additional film production apps specific to your OS will need to be purchased once class has started as this class will also use smartphones as the camera of choice.

Audio and video editing require a lot of storage, as such you will need a portable hard drive to save your projects on. We require no less than a 2TB portable drive that you will use throughout your years at Newhouse. It should be USB 3 and Thunderbolt-enabled.

Professor Seth Gitner can address any questions at smgitner@syr.edu.

Using your Syracuse Email (SUMail)

We will be sending all communications to your Syracuse University (@syr.edu) email account, SUmail. Important information will be directed to that account and not to the email account you used in your application.

Email communications will go only to you and not to your parents and/or guardians. Be sure to check it often!

Additional Resources

Newhouse Undergraduate Advising Office

Newhouse School Technology Requirements

Newhouse Visitors Center

Syracuse University Accepted – First-Year and Transfer Programs