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College of Communication and Information

131 Moulton Hall
Academic Advising Offices:

Communication Studies
135 Taylor Hall

Journalism and Mass
204 Franklin Hall
Visual Communication Design
231 Art Building


The disciplines represented within the College of Communication and Information emphasize different aspects of communication and information theory, research, use and practice. Yet, they all focus on the elements and means of creating, managing, using and evaluating messages, and on information components and processes that are central to communication interaction.

The evolution of digital and electronic media has blurred the distinctions and narrowed the traditional differences between and among communication and information disciplines. The College of Communication and Information provides a coherent and unified structure for the cohesive, collaborative and convergent study of human interaction and information design, production, processing, management, exchange and evaluation, while retaining the unique perspectives and content foci of programs within each of the constituent schools.

The college includes four schools: Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design.

The college links programs with a pedagogical and research interest in new technology for information and communication uses, distribution and content. In addition, the School of Communication Studies houses the Communication Instructional Resource Lab and the Communication Research Center. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication houses two centers: the Center for Scholastic Journalism and the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access. The School of Library and Information Science houses the Center for the Study of Librarianship and the Center for the Study of Information and Religion, and the School of Visual Communication Design offers workshops created for graduate students tackling multidisciplinary design research and for industry professionals engaged in interactive design methods and technology.


School of Communication Studies

The communication studies program involves the study and practice of human communication. Coursework examines intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and public communication in various organizations and professions. We study human communication processes through language, nonverbal, argumentation and persuasive interactions. The traditions of humanistic and social scientific communication theory are infused into the program.

Undergraduate communication studies majors will complete a 15-hour core and select one of four concentrations of 15 hours in the 45-credit major. The concentrations are applied communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication and public communication.

The COMM Program
The program in communication studies is intended to enable students to lead meaningful and productive lives in interpersonal, organizational and public settings, and to prepare for a variety of careers in the professions of government, public or social service, business, industry and counseling. For those intending to continue with graduate study, the program leads to careers in college or university teaching and advanced positions in the public and private sectors.

Graduate Program
The School of Communication Studies offers programs of graduate study leading to the Master of Arts degree.The M.A. degree program is intended to provide a broadspectrum of knowledge about human communication. It is intended for those who wish to continue graduate studyin communication beyond the master's level, to teach atthe secondary, community college or small-college level, to continue preparation for professional careers, or to prepare for nonacademic careers in which a broad understanding ofcommunication theory and research is desirable.

The M.A. program focuses on the social and behavioral study of communication theory and research. Students may pursue work in health, instructional, interpersonal, mediated,organizational, mass and public communication, and new technologies/social informatics.For more information, visit the school's Web site at

For additional studies beyond the M.A. degree, refer to the CCI PhD program description.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers professionally oriented programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to prepare students for positions in mass communication.

The school’s responsibilities include training students for careers, providing leadership for persons currently working in the mass media and helping to increase public awareness of the role of the media. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the benefits of both a strong liberal arts education and professional training. Journalism and mass communication requirements make up approximately 25 percent of the students’ program, with requirements in other areas and elective courses constituting the other 75 percent.

Faculty members have substantial professional experience in the mass media in addition to teaching and academic qualifications. Also, a number of area professionals teach as adjunct faculty.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication provides professional service and leadership through seminars and professional workshops for journalists. Faculty members are active in a number of professional organizations and serve as consultants to groups in mass communication.

Journalism and mass communication majors supplement their coursework with an internship in their field of specialization. Other opportunities for practical experience include news, production, management, sales, performance and advertising positions on the campus newspaper, the Daily Kent Stater,  and its online edition; the campus television station, TV-2; the campus radio station, Black Squirrel Radio; and the campus magazine, the Burr, and its online edition.

Students also may participate in student chapters of six national professional organizations: American Advertising Federation, Journalism and Mass Communication Honorary Kappa Tau Alpha, Public Relations Student Society of America, National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Women in Communications.

Programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree are available for students interested in a variety of electronic media. The students may look to possible careers as radio-television performers, program production personnel, producers, broadcast sales promoters and advertisers, and broadcast copy and script writers. Other options include careers in nonbroadcast and new media utilization of audio and video communication in industrial training and in public communication. Careers are applicable to both commercial and public broadcasting operations.

B.S. degree programs also are available for majors in advertising, electronic media, news, public relations and visual journalism.

Students who major in the news sequence select one of three areas of study: newspaper journalism, magazine journalism or broadcast journalism.

Students in any journalism and mass communication major may elect a minor outside or within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Degree Requirements
In each of the baccalaureate degree programs, students must satisfy the 36-hour minimum stipulated in the Kent Core.

A 2.75 overall GPA at Kent State and a 2.75 GPA in JMC courses are required for graduation for both JMC majors and minors. A 2.75 overall GPA is also required to enroll in JMC courses. Students who fall below a 2.75 overall will be allowed to remain in JMC courses for which they are already registered for one more semester. They will be given one semester to bring their overall GPA up to the school minimum. Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to enroll in JMC courses until their overall GPA reaches the school minimum. In addition, no grade lower than a C- (1.70) in a JMC course will be counted toward graduation or as a prerequisite for a subsequent class.

Students must earn a B- (2.70) or better in JMC 20004 Media Writing to move on in their major. If they fail to earn a B- (2.70) or better in JMC 20004 after two attempts, they are not permitted to continue in the journalism and mass communication program.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited nationally by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition, the school holds memberships in the Ohio Newspaper Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Broadcast Education Association and the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more than 50 years, the school has sponsored the Northeastern Ohio Scholastic Press Association to encourage and guide the practice of journalism at the secondary school level.

Graduate Program
Graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts degree also are available. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers professionally oriented graduate study in Journalism and Mass Communication and public relations leading to the Master of Arts degree. This program prepares students for careers in a multi-platform media marketplace characterized by free enterprise and freedom of expression.

The Reporting/Editing concentration allows students to select from these options:
  • Convergence
  • Journalism Education
  • Broadcast
  • Magazine
  • Newspaper
The public relations and media management concentrations are designed primarily for students with professional media experience who desire to move into PR or management positions. For those with strong professional backgrounds, an individualized program of study is also available. The degree program is designed to provide professional preparation and enhancement both for students who have undergraduate degrees and/or professional experience in journalism and mass communication and those without such background and experience. While the emphasis of the program is professional, students who wish to structure their M.A. program to provide a foundation for future study of journalism and mass communication at the doctoral level may do so by completing a thesis as the capstone requirement.

Information on the program and on application procedures is available from the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication or by visiting the School’s Web site at
Library and Information Science

Graduate Program

The school offers a graduate program, accredited by the American Library Association, which leads to a Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) degree. An American Library Association-accredited master’s degree is the basic requirement for professional employment in most libraries and information centers.

The School of Library and Information Science (S.L.I.S) prepares students for positions of leadership in librarianship and the information professions. The master’s and advanced certificate programs emphasize the preparation of students for professional service in academic, public, special and school libraries and other types of information agencies.

For more information about the School of Library and Information Science, prospective students may request an information packet by contacting the School of Library and nformation Science or by visiting the school’s web site at
School of Visual Communication Design

The mission of the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD) is to provide a comprehensive and superior professionally oriented education in the study and practice of visual communication design that will complement university studies in the liberal arts, humanities and sciences. The intention and emphasis of the visual communication design degree programs is the preparation of students for the graphic design and illustration professions; specifically, to develop technical proficiency, aesthetic sensibility and design expertise in the organization of imagery and typography to communicate information in two-dimensional form by graphics for print, video and interactive electronic multiple media, and in three-dimensional form through packaging, exhibition and environmental graphics. In support of this mission, a liberal education is a necessary foundation or catalyst to the development of perception, intellect, imagination, skill and knowledge of the history of the visual communication design field.

The School of Visual Communication Design offers three undergraduate degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science and a combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Arts (or Master of Fine Arts). Stand-alone degrees of the Master of Arts and the Master of Fine Arts programs are also offered.

The Admissions Office will process all applications with respect to the general qualifications for admission to the university for new freshmen and transfer students.

The School of Visual Communication Design recognizes that competence in visual design as well as intellectual capacity are necessary qualities in students who plan to prepare for a career in visual communication design. Therefore, the right is reserved to require evidence of achievement in design and related areas from all students endeavoring to enroll for the first time as majors in the school. Early admission is recommended.

Transfer Students

Students meeting the general requirements of the university for transfer admission will be admitted to the program. Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In most situations, completion of the VCD basic coursework is a necessary prerequisite to further study. The director of the School of Visual Communication Design may impose additional requirements considered reasonable and necessary. Transfer credits are evaluated consistent with the university policy, although each student will be evaluated individually in terms of his or her ability to perform within the program. A transfer applicant’s strengths and deficiencies will be considered and his or her transfer credits will reflect that consideration.

The Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Information Architecture and Knowledge Management

Graduate Program
The Master of Science degree in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) is an interdisciplinary degree that provides opportunities for students interested in graduate studies and research in the broad range of information-related disciplines and professions. The program rests on a set of core courses that provide a broad and solid foundation for specialized work in these three concentrations:

  • Health Information Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • User Experience Design

Through these concentrations the program offers focus and flexibility for students to fashion a course of study that suits their interests and career objectives. This flexibility is essential to the nature of the program because of the transdisciplinary character of information, the emerging and evolving roles for information professionals, and the rapid and dynamic growth of information technologies, products, systems, services and networks. The major faculties contributing to the degree are the:

  • School of Communication Studies
  • Department of Computer Science
  • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • School of Library and Information Science
  • Graduate School of Management
  • School of Visual Communication Design

While information architecture and knowledge management have emerged as fields of study and career concentrations, their use in the degree title is intended to designate significant points on a spectrum of current and emerging information and knowledge professions and to draw upon and balance the strengths of the participating disciplines.

As a new career path surfaces, IAKM works to develop curriculum to meet its demands. The current options for study in IAKM reflect the current needs in the professional landscape with concentrations in Health Information Management (HIM), Knowledge Management (KM), and User Experience Design (UXD). Health information management sets standards for electronic health records, facilitates the rapid evolution from paper-based to electronic records and the integration of hospital, patient, and physician systems. Knowledge management is a discipline that turns an organization’s intellectual assets, including its recorded information, its memory, and the expertise of its employees into greater productivity and increased competitiveness. User Experience
Design involves the use of information architecture and interaction design to create a user experience that helps information seekers solve their information needs efficiently and effectively, primarily in web-based environments, but also through emerging technologies. For more detailed information on health information management, knowledge management, and user experience design in IAKM, visit the Web site at

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