Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 47.7 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 47.7 k / Year(s)  
13 place StudyQA ranking:6615 Duration:4 semestrs

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The Communication Program helps students understand the nature and process of communication in various forms of media. It enables students to explore how messages are created and adapted to audiences and to examine the implications of those messages for individuals and society. Students examine the history and theory of social and mass communication, public policy as it relates to mass communication and popular culture, concerns about the relationship between communication and social change and social control of communication in society, and the structure, management and social function of communication organizations, policies and industries.

The Annenberg School for Communication offers students a firm grounding in various approaches to the study of communication and its methods drawn from both the humanities and the social sciences. It is an intellectual common market built on more than forty years of interdisciplinary dialogue 

Course Requirements

A. Introductory Courses
Students must complete two of the following three courses, all designed to introduce students to major Communication theories, research, and substantive topics of study. If a student completes all three introductory level courses, the third course may count toward the intermediate requirement.

COMM 123: Communication and Popular Culture (Paxton)
COMM 125: Introduction to Communication Behavior (Jordan)
COMM 130: Introduction to Mass Media and Society (Turow)

B. Research Methods

Students must complete at least one course providing a basic introduction to the principles and techniques of qualitative and/or quantitative social research methods. The requirement can be met in one of three ways:
COMM 210: Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (Bleakley/Gibson)
COMM 498: Experimental Methods of Inquiry (Mutz)

Alternatively, an equivalent qualitative or quantitative methods course completed through another department. Below is a non-exhaustive list of approved courses (some may carry prerequisites):
ANTH 454: Quantitative Analysis of Anthropological Data
CRIM 150: Evidence Based Crime and Justice Policy
ECON 103: Statistics for Economists
ECON 104: Introduction to Econometrics
MKTG 212: Marketing Research
PSYC 020: Probability and Statistics
PSYC 3xx: Various Research Seminars
SOCI 100/HSOC 100: Introduction to Sociological Research
SOCI 120: Social Statistics
SOCI 128: Introduction to Demographic Methods
SOCI 221: Sample Survey Methods
SOCI 222: Field Methods of Sociological Research
STAT 111: Introductory Statistics
STAT 112: Introductory Statistics
URBS 200: Introduction to Urban Research Methods
URBS 330: GIS Applications in Social Science
Courses not included on this list require prior departmental approval. A course syllabus must be submitted to the Director of Student Services for review. The School has the right to deny the request.

C. Intermediate Courses
Students must complete four intermediate level lecture courses and seminars that apply communication perspectives to particular domains of concern, issues, or industries. They are intended for beginning Communication students. Open to all students. Communication majors must take 4 courses from 100-200 level courses.)
(Advanced courses— see below—may substitute for intermediate-level courses.) All Communication courses that are numbered between 100 and 299 count toward the intermediate requirement.

200 Level (Intermediate Level I Lecture Courses and Seminars. Open to all students.)
COMM 203: China Today (Yang)
COMM 204: Hollywood Films Industry (Decherney)
COMM 211: Media Activism Studies (Pickard)
COMM 213: Social Media & Social Life (Gonzalez-Bailon)
COMM 225: Children and Media (Jordan)
COMM 226: Introduction to Political Communication (Jamieson)
COMM 230: Advertising and Society (Turow)
COMM 237: Health Communication (TBD)
COMM 240: Film Forms and Contexts (Messaris)
COMM 262: Visual Communication (Messaris)
COMM 270: Global Digital Activism (Yang)
COMM 275: Communication and Persuasion (Cappella)
COMM 290: Special Topics in Communication (Various Faculty)
COMM 291: Putin's Russia (Platt)
COMM 292: WARNING! Graphic Content - Political Cartoons, Comix and the Uncensored Artistic Mind (Booth)

D. Advanced Courses
Students must complete four advanced Communication courses. Advanced courses are classified as those numbered 300 through 499. Undergraduates are generally ineligible to register for graduate level courses. Students who may have an interest in a specific graduate course are advised to make inquiries well in advance of the registration period.

300 Level (Intermediate Level II Seminars. Open to all students. Recommended for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.)
COMM 300: Public Space; Public Life (Marvin)
COMM 301: Introduction to the Political Economy of Media (Pickard)
COMM 309: Washington Politics and the Media (Felzenberg)
COMM 320: Urban Ethnography (Jackson)
COMM 321: Big Data & Social Research (Gonzalez-Bailon)
COMM 322: History and Theory of Freedom of Expression (Marvin)
COMM 323: Contemporary Politics, Policy and Journalism (Hunt)
COMM 332: Survey, Research & Design (Dutwin)
COMM 339: Critical Perspectives in Journalism (Zelizer)
COMM 341: Children’s Media Policy (Jordan)
COMM 362: Visual Communication Lab (Messaris)
COMM 374: Communication and Congress (Felzenberg)
COMM 375: Communications and Emergency Response (Felzenberg)
COMM 377: Philosophical Problems of Journalism (Romano)
COMM 378: Journalism and Public Service (Romano)
COMM 379: Comparative Journalism (Romano)
COMM 385: Media Activism and Social Change (Garry)
COMM 386: Non-Profit Communication Strategy (Garry)
COMM 388: Ritual Communication (Paxton)
COMM 390: Special Topics in Communication (Various Faculty)
COMM 395: Communication and the Presidency (Eisenhower)
COMM 397: New Media and Politics (Winneg)

400 Level (Advanced Seminar Courses. Juniors and Seniors only, except by permission.)

COMM 402: The Arab Uprisings: Local and Global Representations (Kraidy)
COMM 403: Comparative Political Communication (Moehler)
COMM 404: Media and Politics (Mutz)
COMM 405: Facing Race: Race and Caricature in the Historical Imagination (Pearl)
COMM 412: Spiritual Communication (Jackson)
COMM 417: The Politics of Digital Media Policy (Pickard)
COMM 418: Nothing New Under the Heavens: The History of “Old” Media (Pearl)
COMM 419: Communication, Culture & Revolution (Kraidy)
COMM 422: Televised Redemption (Jackson)
COMM 423: Communication and Social Influence Laboratory (Falk)
COMM 426: Communication and the Bible (Pearl)
COMM 433: Communication and Democratization (Moehler)
COMM 439: Media Criticism (Zelizer)
COMM 462: Digital Media Lab (Messaris)
COMM 464: International Communications (Price)
COMM 470: Freaks and Geeks: People on Display (Pearl)
COMM 485: Globalization and the Music Video (Kraidy)
COMM 490: Special Topics in Communication (Various Faculty)
COMM 498: Experimental Methods of Inquiry (Mutz)

400 Level (Internship, Independent Study and Theses Courses. By approval only.)

COMM 491: Communication Internship (Haas)
COMM 493: Independent Study (Various Faculty)
COMM 494: Honors & Capstone Thesis (Hardy, Woolf)
COMM 495: Capstone Thesis (Various Faculty)
COMM 499: Senior Honors Thesis (Various Faculty)

E. Cognate Courses
Three courses from other schools and departments that support a student's research interests in Communication. Advance approval by the Director of Student Services is required.

Students must meet the following requirements before they can apply to the major.

  • Completion of at least two of the following introductory courses: Communication 125, Communication 130, or Communication 123;
  • Completion of a third Communication course;
  • A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in all University of Pennsylvania courses;
  • A major grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

To become an Annenberg Communication Major, you must first be accepted to the College of Arts and Sciences

Like other Ivy League schools, Penn does not award scholarships based on academic or athletic merit. All aid is based solely on financial need.

The average financial aid package for incoming awarded freshmen is $44,843.


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