Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media and Design

Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media and Design

Captivate Your Audience Through Science and Technology

The first step in effective communication: using the right tools to reach your audience. The Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media and Design blends the art of storytelling with the science and technology behind emerging modes of communication.

At Clarkson, you'll work in a wide range of fields, learning to build compelling experiences that move readers, listeners and viewers. Whether you're writing text, capturing video, building a website, launching a social media campaign — or all of the above — you'll learn what techniques work best and when to use them.

Our curriculum offers forward-thinking approaches to solving problems across disciplines such as science, technology, the arts, healthcare and beyond. And, you'll do it while getting the kind of hands-on experience and attention that's possible only in a small, close-knit department like ours.

Why Major in Communication, Media and Design at Clarkson?

Social media. Web design. Podcasts. Video streaming. VR. Information design.

Every one of these platforms gives you the chance to reach more humans than at any time in history. But, it takes specialized skills to maximize the potential of each. With a BS in Communication, Media and Design, you'll gain the expertise to jump into any of these booming areas.

Small classes allow you to get hands-on experience while working closely with faculty. You'll learn how to use cutting-edge applications and technologies to design and produce a wide range of media. And, our flexible curriculum lets you focus on the areas that interest you most. You'll even have the opportunity to study an outside field, such as digital arts, psychology or marketing.

The result: by the time you graduate, you'll have advanced skills in social media, graphic design, writing, web design, digital video, storytelling and web design. And a chance to make an immediate impact in any of these rapidly growing fields. 

What You'll Learn

Clarkson is a place for makers. In this program, you'll combine technical know-how with foundational classes in communication, public speaking and rhetoric.

  • Digital video production
  • Environmental communication
  • Front-end development for the web
  • Public relations
  • Short film screenwriting
  • Social media
  • Sound design
  • Science journalism
  • Typography and design
  • User-experience design

The Communication, Media and Design undergraduate bachelor's degree program encompasses 36 of the 120 credit hours required for a bachelor's degree.

This provides you with the opportunity to pursue multiple majors, minors or concentrations while working toward your communication degree.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.

  • FY100  First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

Communication, Media and Design Core Requirements

Students majoring in Communication, Media and Design are required to complete the following courses:

  • COMM210 Theory of Rhetoric for Business, Science & Engineering
  • COMM217 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • COMM490 Senior Communication Internship
  • COMM499 Communication Professional Experience

Communication, Media and Design Core Electives

The following are electives students are required to complete for the Communication, Media and Design major.

300-Level Communication, Media and Design Course
Students must complete one communication, media and design course at the 300-level from the following:

  • COMM312 Public Relations
  • COMM313 Professional Communications
  • COMM314 Placemaking, Marketing and Promotion
  • COMM330 Science Journalism

400-Level Communication, Media and Design Course
Students must complete one communication, media and design course at the 400-level from the following:

  • COMM410 Theory & Philosophy of Communication
  • COMM412 Organizational Communications & Public Relations Theory
  • COMM428 Environmental Communication

Courses with Technology Expertise
Students must complete at least 6 credits with information technology expertise.

Mathematics/Statistics Electives
Students must complete at least 6 credits from the mathematics (MA) and/or statistics (STAT) subject areas.

Science Electives
Students must complete at least 6 credits, including a lab course, from the biology (BY), chemistry (CM), and/or physics (PH) subject areas.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives
Students majoring in communication will have approximately 42 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives.

Free Electives
Students majoring in communication will have approximately 42 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

Communication, Media and Design electives (21 credits) chosen from the following:

  • COMM100 2D Digital Design
  • COMM217 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • COMM219 Introduction Social Media
  • COMM226 Short Film Screenwriting
  • COMM229 Principles of User-Experience Design
  • COMM245 Writing for New Media
  • COMM310 Mass Media & Society
  • COMM322 Typography & Design
  • COMM326 Feature Film Screenwriting
  • COMM327 Digital Video Production I
  • COMM329 Front-End Development for the Web
  • COMM345 Information Design
  • COMM360 Sound Design
  • COMM391-395 Special Topics
  • COMM420-425 Communication: Independent Study (1-9 credits)
  • COMM427 Digital Video Production II
  • COMM429 Full-stack Development
  • COMM447 Design-Driven Innovation
  • COMM448 Portraying Innovation Through the Lens
  • COMM449 Narrating Innovation
  • COMM450 Leading Innovation
  • COMM470 Communication Internship
  • COMM480 Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship in Communication & Media (1-3 credits)

You don't have to wait to land a job to get real-world experience. Take advantage of our partnerships near campus and beyond to put your skills to work in a co-op or internship. Some places our students have worked include:

  • Adirondack Explorer
  • ESPN Radio
  • Grassy Waters Conservancy
  • Hospice of St. Lawrence County
  • Interactive Media Consulting
  • North Country Children's Museum
  • WCNY Television

Learn more about co-ops and internships.

At Clarkson, your classroom projects can have legs. Our students have designed VR components for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and built campus-wide social media campaigns that have raised $275,000.

In 2022, a short horror/thriller directed by two students was accepted to the Lake Placid Film Festival. In 2023, a sophomore dual major student in communication, media and design and innovation and entrepreneurship was accepted into the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). And beginning in 2023, student researchers/developers will help design a collaborative VR environment for learning about neuroscience, funded by Unity and Meta (Facebook's parent company).

Learn more about research at Clarkson.

Pick the brains of industry experts who routinely visit campus to share their knowledge with our students. Get a real-time look at the industry, ask questions and network with leading figures such as:

  • American game designer Brenda Romero
  • Crowdfunding experts Shawn Neal and Jeff Wenzel of the Woodshed Agency
  • Digital artist Jonathan Monaghan
  • Emmy award-winning filmmaker Tony D’Annunzio
  • Marketing expert David Meerman Scott
  • OK Go musician Damian Kulash

You don't have to work hard to get involved — over 200 clubs and organizations are waiting for you to explore. You could go on-air with our student radio station, shoot and edit video for our student-run TV station or work on real-world client projects for our web-development team.

Explore Clarkson's clubs and organizations.


As a creator, you'll learn quickly how important it is to become a businessperson. In this minor, you'll study topics including accounting, economics, finance, law, organizational behavior, operations management and marketing. Learn about the business minor.

Product Development and Marketing

Explore the concepts and tools that bring new products to market — and convince people to buy them. You'll build a portfolio showcasing your ability to identify opportunities and reach consumers. Learn about the product development and marketing minor.

Literature and the Arts

We've expressed the human condition through literature and the arts for thousands of years. Explore books, film and drama to get a better understanding of different cultures and points of view. Learn about the literature and the arts minor.

Your professors are as active outside the classroom as in it. Our award-winning faculty are web developers, digital artists, technical innovators, activists, media theorists and designers. Learn more about our faculty and staff.

I have definitely been able to apply the skills I’ve acquired from my COMM classes, specifically my writing and multimedia design capabilities.

Jennifer Bateman '23,  Communication, Media and Design, BS in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Career Possibilities

The media landscape is changing every day. The communication, media and design program will prepare you for what's next. And, your skills will be in demand: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communication jobs are expected to grow by 6 percent by 2031.

This degree prepares you for roles such as:

  • Film and media producer
  • Public relations representative
  • Social media producer
  • User experience designer (UXD)
  • Virtual reality developer
  • Web developer

Recent Employers

Our grads go places you've heard of your entire life. In 2020 and 2021, every student who graduated from the communication, media and design program either found a job or went to graduate school. Some of the places you'll find fellow Clarkson alums include:

  • 20th Century Studios
  • American Lung Association
  • CA Technologies
  • CVS Health
  • Gap, Inc.
  • General Electric
  • Harpoon Brewery
  • IBM
  • Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
  • MapQuest/Verizon Location Services
  • MetLife
  • NBA
  • PepsiCo
  • Procter & Gamble
  • USA Hockey
  • Walt Disney Attraction Technology 

Contact Us 

Department of Communication, Media & Design
Phone: 315-268-6484

Want to learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media and Design? Contact the Department today with your questions.

Center for Excellence in Communication Lab

Our Center for Excellence in Communication (CEC) lab got a $200,000 overhaul in 2022. Work with the latest software for digital design, audio and video editing, 3D modeling and more. Dedicated spaces provide facilities for user experience design and usability testing, sound design and advanced 3D animation.

Learn More About Communication, Media and Design at Clarkson

Explore classroom spaces and learn more about the expectations and benefits of Clarkson's Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media and Design. 

Find Your Voice

Have a story to tell? A degree in communication, media and design from Clarkson can show you how. Reach out to us today to take the next step.