Media and Communication
Personal Attention/Unparalleled Experience
With thousands of successful graduates, the Media and Communication major offers students the opportunity to work with faculty in small seminar and lab classes, engage in faculty research, and be mentored into the media professions. By attending a liberal arts college in the third largest city in New York State, students will be well prepared professionally as they enjoy all the benefits of a personal and supportive environment. Located just minutes from downtown Rochester, New York, our students participate in internships, service learning initiatives, and networking opportunities.
A Comprehensive Education for Media Professionals
The media industries have undergone unprecedented growth in the last decade with renewed emphasis on creating content to persuade, entertain, or inform—for any specific platform. Our program has evolved to meet the changing needs of these industries. Our students tell stories: a short-form video narrative, a talk show for cable television, a feature story for print, or Twitter coverage of a live event. Our students also design advertising and public relations campaigns that reach across multiple media platforms.
The Media and Communication major features about 140 majors, with eight full-time faculty and additional adjunct professors who work within the media industries most of our students plan to enter. With an enrollment at St. John Fisher College of 2500 students, class sizes in Media and Communication range from 10-30 students, with the majority with an enrollment between 15 and 24.
Before joining academia, our professors held jobs as PR professionals, web designers, newspaper editors, magazine writers, and video editors. As award-winning academics, their research includes work in children and video game design, community and citizen journalism, the BBC and British news coverage, diversity in higher education, fan culture and science fiction television, and shifting paradigms of television consumption practices.
To achieve success, students all learn to write professionally and develop technical skills in either video production or design. They also learn to analyze and critique media research and present their work in a variety of formats, including oral presentations, social media postings, and video essays.
Areas of Focus
Media Management: Students study public relations, advertising, and media economics to prepare for careers as PR professionals, corporate communicators, advertising strategists, and copywriters for a range of companies from Fortune 500s to startups.
Video and Film Production: Students study video production across genres and production venues to create narratives, documentaries, ads, and independent films to find work with production companies and television stations or to prepare for further study in film and television.
Interactive Media and Design: Students study design for the web, interactive media, and print in preparation for work in public relations and advertising firms or smaller startup companies. Students interested in video game design or data visualization often consider a double major with Digital Cultures and Technologies (also housed in the Department of Media and Communication).
Journalism: Students study journalism and nonfiction storytelling from a variety of genres (news, features, film criticism, sports) and platforms (print, video and documentary, web, and social media), developing skills as writers, interviewers, designers, and videographers.
Communication and Media Studies: Students will find coursework in media law, group dynamics, visual communications, media and politics, film analysis, and television history that prepare them for a variety of professions or to pursue graduate work in communication, law, or business.
Experiential Learning in the Rochester Area and Beyond
All students develop a professional portfolio reviewed by media professional prior to graduation. They also have the opportunity to show off their work at multiple showcases, including presentations before real world clients and exhibitions of student films presented on campus and at the Rochester Fringe Festival. Students may complete a senior project during their senior year, which provides time and mentorship in an independent project focused on career goals.
Our internship program places students throughout the greater Rochester area, with students finding summer opportunities in New York City and beyond. Interns work at public relations and marketing firms, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, network and public television stations and production houses, and web design companies. Our Media Practicum course allows students to experience the work environment at several Rochester-area businesses; Advertising Strategy and Production is taught by the professionals at Jay Advertising, a nationally-known advertising agency located near campus.
Our students may study in Washington D.C. or Los Angeles (through Syracuse University's L.A. Semester), or participate in specialized study abroad programs that include filmmaking in Prague, interactive media production in Ireland, and marketing and public relations study in Italy.
State of the Art Facilities
Our facilities include a fully equipped television studio and control room and student work space with convenient editing stations. We also offer a full range of cameras, microphones, lighting equipment, as well as a 360° camera, a GoPro, and a drone.
Our students also have 24 hour access to the Media Arts Center which includes the full Adobe Creative Suite for graphic, web, and interactive design, including Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The lab also includes software and computer languages for computer graphics and data visualization.