The mass media program at ISU consists of two tracks:
- Management, Promotion, & Sales
- Media Arts
As a mass media major, you will learn about the history of the media industries while practicing the business and creation of media in their coursework and hands-on experiences at our student media outlets:
Why Study Mass Media?
There has been explosion of digital media outlets and platforms over the last decade adding to the already established radio, TV, and newspaper industries. Media companies need educated talent to create content and manage business operations.
You will leave our program with real-world experiences so you can make contributions to the field. Plus, we have a large and involved alumni network eager to provide opportunities to fellow Redbirds.
- Effective oral and communicating skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Effective writing capability
- Creativity – using sounds, color, imagery and art
- Reporting and computer skills
- Knowledge of computer software
- Ability to create influential and entertaining messages
- Strong research capabilities
- Critical thinking skills
- Attention to detail and well organized
- Individual and a good team player
- Understanding of different cultures
- Demonstrate curiosity, confidence, assertiveness, creativity, initiative, tact, competitive spirit, enthusiasm, persistence, and diplomacy.
- Display appropriate talents for public performance and appearance such as sense of humor, verbal and written communication skills, imagination, showmanship and an outgoing personality.
Being Successful in the Field
- Develop excellent technical and computer skills, especially internet proficiency and knowledge.
- Engage in related extra-curricular opportunities available at ISU.
- Seek opportunities for experience in any performance situation such as drama, debate, public speaking, music or athletics in order to demonstrate talent as well as ability to handle pressure.
- Secure an internship for any area of mass media endeavor.
- Consider shadowing or informational interviewing as a means through which to gain information, develop contacts, build mentoring relationships, and gain entry into a competitive field.
- News Reporting
- News Producing
- News Videography
- Weather Forecasting
- Major networks
- Commercial broadcast stations
- Public television stations
- Cable television
- Private production companies
- Business corporations
- Gain work experience with campus or local television stations.
- Seek part-timeor volunteer opportunities with independent production companies.
- Participatein drama club – directing, acting or technical crew.
- Develop excellent writing, reporting and editing skills.
- Volunteer to announce sporting events on campus or at local high schools.
- Consider taking courses in political science, economics, sociology or any applicable field for news broadcasting careers.
- Read trade publications.
- National networks
- National public radio
- State or regional networks
- Major, medium, and small market stations
- Gain campus or local radio experience.
- Secure internships.
- Announce sporting events.
- Host music programming for parties and social events.
- Coordinate, program, and promote musical events.
- Gain performance experience through music, drama, or public speaking.
- Create a demonstration tape to be used as a sample of vocal and speaking talent.
- Web Design/Development
- Web site Maintenance
- Internet based companies (e.g., Yahoo)
- Large corporations
- Colleges and universities
- Companies specializing in webcasting services and technology
- Gain expertise in computer and Internet technology.
- Learn how to design Web sites.
- Seek certifications in networking, Web site design, or related areas.
- Media Planning
- Media Buying
- Account Services
- Print Production
- Art/Creative Directing
- Television and radio stations
- Newspapers and magazines
- Internet based companies
- Advertising agencies
- Corporate advertising departments
- Media (research, marketing)
- Specialty advertising firms
- Obtain sales experience through part-time work or internships.
- Volunteer to sell advertising space for campus newspaper, radio, or television station.
- Take courses in business to increase financial knowledge base.
- Complete internship with advertising agency or market research firm.
- Compile portfolio of writing,graphics, and ideas for creative development.
- Gain knowledge/experience withsoftware and technology applicable to media.
- Take course in statistics, datainterpretation, writing, and advertising.
Non-Broadcast Video Systems
- Freelance or private video production companies or videographers
- Large corporations
- Universities and colleges
- Post-production companies
- Professional associations
- Non-profit organizations
- Obtain entrepreneurial knowledge and experience through starting a small businessor taking business courses.
- Volunteer to do video editing/production for campus videographers or television stations.
- Gain contacts in the specific industry of interest (e.g. develop relationships with wedding photographers in order to build wedding videography business).
- Enter video contests.
- Cultivate artistic talents.
- Seek internships with post-production or editing companies.
- Ad Taker
- Advertising Copywriter
- Advertising Director
- Audio Engineer
- Camera Operator
- Communication Consultant
- Community Affairs Director
- Executive Director
- General Manager – TV/Radio
- Maintenance Engineer
- Managing Editor
- Media Buyer
- Media Coordinator
- News Director
- On-air Personality
- Personal Director
- Personal Manager
- Production Assistant
- Production Manager
- Program Director
- Radio and TV Journalist
- Set and Props Manager
- Staff Announcer
- Technical Writer/Communicator
- Training Specialist
- TV Copywriter
- TV Traffic Supervisor
- Video/Film Operator
Career Industry Liaison
Applying to Illinois State
Applying by our priority deadline is encouraged for best consideration for your academic program and for scholarships. Start your application today!
Middle 50% GPA
2.70 - 3.52
To find the course equivalencies at an Illinois community college, please review our Course Articulation Guides.
- Introductory-level composition (ENG 101)
- Introductory-level speech (COM 110)
- Introduction to Mass Communication (COM 160)
- Convergent Media Writing (COM 161)
Middle 50% GPA
2.70 - 3.52
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.
Students with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or above will be automatically accepted into the Communication major or minor of their choice. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed weekly.
If your cumulative GPA is below a 2.5, you are still welcome to apply. You will be given the opportunity to submit a personal statement with your application asking you to reflect on this prompt:
In 250-300 words, explain the reason you would like to change your major/minor to Communication. Your personal statement should reflect formal writing and address the following topics:
• Why is this major/minor change desired?
• What career do you hope to pursue with your new major/minor?
• What will you bring to the major/minor as a student?
For students applying with a cumulative GPA below a 2.5, relevant coursework will also be taken into consideration before a decision is made (this includes coursework in COM, ENG, and other social sciences and humanities-based classes).
For all applicants, admission decisions will be communicated via campus email.
Students who are currently a declared major in the School of Communication and are looking to switch their major to another communication major need to complete the Internal Major Transfer Request Form. Contact your academic advisor for a copy of this form and to discuss the process further.
For questions related to applying to the School of Communication, please contact Julie Navickas, Director of Student Success & Recruitment at email@example.com.