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Communication Arts

Overview of the Program

The communication arts major offers a mix of practical and theoretical coursework that prepares students for the converged media environment of the 21st century. All students take a core of communications courses and then choose from a number of electives depending on their career interests in such fields as online or print journalism, public relations and digital media. Communication arts majors should be interested in writing, and in careers that require highly developed writing skills, especially for multiple story-telling platforms. Successful students are those with a broad range of interests, who display a curiosity about their world and who aren't afraid to ask questions. Ideally, students should regard themselves as "people-oriented" to be successful in this field. Journalists of the future will need a variety of skills to compete in this new era of convergent journalism. Writing, researching, interviewing and editing remain at the heart of the communication arts program, and students are prepared to use other communication tools that are essential skills for tomorrow's "mojos" or mobile journalists. Students learn to shoot and edit video in the visual media production class. They learn to write blogs, use social media tools to report, and to post fast-breaking news to the web in Online Journalism. In the Seminar on Media Issues, they confront the ethical questions and concerns raised by this new way to communicate. They are able to apply what they learn both in student media and in real-world internships.

The latest addition to the communications program is an integrated marketing communications (IMC) major. IMC is an interdisciplinary major offered jointly by the communication arts and business administration programs. The major provides a solid grounding in the skills of public relations, marketing and social media strategies for effective communication with a variety of audiences.

The communication arts major provides excellent preparation for students interested in law school. It is also a good major for students who enter Hood College as "undeclared" majors.

Many students complete double majors, combining communication arts with majors such as French, management, psychology and a variety of other pro- grams. Students who have an interest in communications but whose primary interest is in another academic area may complete minors in public relations or journalism. In addition, the writing minor includes a number of communications classes.

In addition to academic qualifications, the communication arts program faculty have extensive professional and practical experience in their fields. Faculty members are accessible and interested in the needs and goals of individual students. In addition, their professional backgrounds enable them to provide students with outstanding guidance and advising.

Internships

Internships or practicum experiences are required for all students in the communication arts program. Students complete internships in the Frederick, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas, as well as in other states and countries. Journalism internships can be in the print or broad- cast fields, and public relations students can arrange internships with a variety of organizations.

Hood students have completed internships in the following locations and organizations:

  • Agri Vision
  • Apco Worldwide
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • Celebrate Frederick
  • Comcast Sports
  • Community Foundation of Frederick County
  • Downtown Frederick Partnership
  • Frederick Arts Council
  • Frederick Keys
  • Frederick Magazine
  • Frederick News-Post
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hagerstown Herald-Mail
  • Love and Associates
  • Maryland Ensemble Theater
  • Maryland State Police
  • Meritius Health
  • National Geographic Online
  • Office of the Governor (Maryland)
  • 3 Roads Communication
  • Voice of America
  • WAFY-AM, Frederick
  • Washingtonpost.com
  • WBAL-TV, Baltimore
  • Weber Shandwick-Baltimore
  • Weinberg Center for the Arts
  • WFMD-AM, Frederick
  • WHAG-TV, Hagerstown, Md.
  • WYPR-FM (NPR), Baltimore

Some students complete more than one internship in order to gain experience or explore different areas of interest. The maximum number of credits from internships that can be applied toward the degree is 15. Transfer students usually complete internships during the summer term, but internships are available throughout the academic year.

Extracurricular Opportunities

All students can join the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), a national pre-professional organization in this field. In addition to the practical and professional contacts and experiences available, there are many opportunities for leadership within this organization.

All students at Hood—not just upper-class students—can gain experience on the student newspaper, The Blue and Grey, and to pursue leadership positions on the paper. This helps students develop writing and publication experience, which is useful in pursuing career opportunities or graduate school admission.

The latest addition to the Hood media mix is Blazer Radio, a student- run Internet radio station that offers students from all disciplines the opportunity to produce their own radio programs ranging across multiple musical genres and broadcast formats.

Alumni Success Stories

Hood communication arts graduates can be found everywhere. Some students continue their education in graduate school, while others go directly into employment in their fields. Examples of recent placements include:

  • Bechtel Corporation
  • DAP Corporation
  • Discovery Channel
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Fleishman-Hillard International
  • Fox 45 News Baltimore
  • Frederick County Bank
  • Frederick County Chamber of Commerce
  • Frederick News-Post
  • Gazette Newspapers
  • Hill and Knowlton
  • Kansas City Star
  • KLAS-TV (CBS) Las Vegas
  • Maryland Special Olympics
  • Maryland State Police
  • Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
  • Meritus Health
  • Most Magazine
  • National Public Radio
  • The New York Times
  • Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University
  • PNC Bank
  • Sandy Spring Bank
  • University of Baltimore School of Law
  • University of Maryland Law School
  • University of Missouri Graduate School
  • University of Montana Law School
  • U.S. Peace Corps
  • WAVA-FM, Washington, D.C.
  • WFMD-AM, Frederick
  • WTOP-AM, Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the major.