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Professional Communications

Bachelor of Science Degree

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Professional Communications prepares its graduates for employment with companies and organizations in all of those fields that rely on effective communication, including mass media (newspapers, radio, television), website and social media, health delivery systems, the biopharmaceutical industry, marketing and public relations firms, colleges and universities, sports organizations, and non-profits.  Employees in these positions are responsible for creating proposals, articles, presentations, marketing materials, educational materials, grant applications, legal documents, and financial reports, drawing on skill in conducting background research and the ability to write well.

The curriculum in this program reinforces the ability of its students to write effectively while providing the opportunity for hands-on practice in the use of all forms of communication in this rapidly evolving field.  Core courses in the major range from advanced writing and editing, research techniques, and communications theory to digital media and methods, media in communications, and writing for electronic media.  This preparation is supplemented by support courses in advanced Psychology, Speech, and Visual Communications and the availability of elective courses in various specialties of professional communications. 

Students in this curriculum gain a broad academic background through the completion of both General Education requirements and various Arts & Sciences electives.  Additional breadth of preparation is achieved through the completion of a Concentration consisting of 12 credits in courses in a specific academic area outside of Professional Communications (English, Speech, Sociology, Psychology, etc.).

The capstone of the program is a senior internship placement in a local company or organization that provides direct experience and the opportunity to apply the skills gained in the program in a professional environment.

Professional Communications (BS) Program Mission:

The mission of this program supports the mission of the college by encouraging its graduates to be imaginative, critical thinkers and successful problem solvers.  Its inclusion of a broad preparation in the arts & sciences is intended to provide its students with an appreciation of culture, ethics, aesthetics, citizenship, cultural diversity, and the interrelationships among the applied arts and sciences, technologies, and society. The curriculum is designed to produce graduates who meet the needs of regional employers, thereby promoting the economic, social and cultural development of the region.

Professional Communications (BS) Program Outcomes:

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Communications will have -

  • Mastery of a full range of communications skills which are needed in every company and organization and that can lead to successful career paths in a wide range of businesses, industries, and organizations.
  • A foundation in the liberal arts and sciences that will encourage them to aspire to be exemplary citizens, scholars, professionals, and leaders in society, consistent with the mission of the College.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to identify, gather, synthesize, and cite information and sources to support the preparation of professional documents and presentations of all types.
  • Students will be able to organize and produce written documents and oral presentations in a variety of professional formats using language that is lucid, concise, precise, grammatically correct, and appropriate to the topic, audience, and occasion.
  • Students will be able to effectively revise and edit documents for both content and organization based on the application of standards of grammar, mechanics and syntax.
  • Students will be able to deliver effective oral presentations following appropriate practices, including the utilization of audio-visual materials or technology to enhance their presentations.
  • Students will be able to create and update web-based media for optimum effect, making use of the technology associated with electronic media.

Admission to Farmingdale State College - State University of New York is based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

Contact Information

Professional Communications

Dr. Saman Talib
Knapp Hall, Room 30
Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

Fall 2022

Subject to revision

Liberal Arts and Sciences (54 credits)
EGL 101 Composition I: College Writing (GE) 3
EGL 102 Composition II: Writing About Literature 3
Humanities (GE) 3
English or Humanities 3
Mathematics (GE) 3
Natural Science (GE) 3
Mathematics or Science 6
Foreign Language - Level II (GE) 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (GE) 3
Social Science Electives 6
American/Other World/Western Civilization History (GE) 3
The Arts (GE) 3
General Education Electives (GE) 6
Liberal Arts and Sciences Electives 6
Program Discipline Courses (will be offered at least once each academic year) (39 credits)
EGL 301 Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary 3
PCM 305 Media in Communications 3
PCM 311 Introduction to Writing for Electronic Media 3
PCM 313W Communications Theory 3
PCM 315 Research Techniques 3
PCM 328 Advanced Writing and Editing 3
PCM 450 Professional Communications Internship I 3

Four courses selected from the following six Additional Core Courses:

PCM 320 Communications in Business 3
PCM 324 Report Writing and Technical Communications 3
PCM 325 Writing in Health and Disease 3
PCM/SMT 326 Sport Writing 3
PCM 329 Legal Writing and Analysis 3
PCM 340 Special Topics in Professional Communications OR
RAM 303 Research Experience 3

Two courses selected from among the following four offerings:

PCM 420 Advanced Technical Communications 3
PCM 425 Documentation Procedures 3
PCM 426 Culture and Communication 3
PCM 428 Grant Writing 3
Required Support Courses (12 credits)
PSY 331 Industrial/Organization Behavior 3
SPE 331 Advanced Oral Communications 3
VIS 116 Digital Media and Methods 3
VIS 242 Publication Design II 3
Concentration (12 credits)

At least four courses in a discipline outside Professional Communications.

Free Elective (3 credits)
Elective 3
Total Credits: 120

Curriculum Summary

Degree Type: BS
Total Required Credits: 120

Please refer to the General Education, Applied Learning, and Writing Intensive requirement sections of the College Catalog and consult with your advisor to ensure that graduation requirements are satisfied.

Many courses have specific prerequisite(s), co-requisites and sequence requirements. Please consult with your academic advisor for additional information.

EGL 101 Composition I: College Writing

This is the first part of a required sequence in college essay writing. Students learn to view writing as a process that involves generating ideas, formulating and developing a thesis, structuring paragraphs and essays, as well as revising and editing drafts. The focus is on the development of critical and analytical thinking. Students also learn the correct and ethical use of print and electronic sources. At least one research paper is required. A grade of C or higher is a graduation requirement. Note: Students passing a departmental diagnostic exam given on the first day of class will remain in EGL 101; all others will be placed in EGL 097. Prerequisite is any of the following: successful completion of EGL 097; an SAT essay score (taken prior to March 1, 2016) of 7 or higher; an SAT essay score (taken after March 1, 2016) of 5 or higher; on-campus placement testing.

EGL 102 Composition II: Writing About Literature

This is the second part of the required introductory English composition sequence. This course builds on writing skills developed in EGL 101, specifically the ability to write analytical and persuasive essays and to use research materials correctly and effectively. Students read selections from different literary genres (poetry, drama, and narrative fiction). Selections from the literature provide the basis for analytical and critical essays that explore the ways writers use works of the imagination to explore human experience. Grade of C or higher is a graduation requirement. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Core topics include methods of psychological research, the biological bases of behavior, principles of learning, memory and cognition, personality, and psychopathology. Other selected topics to be covered would include the following: motivation and emotion, life-span development, social psychology, health psychology, sensation and perception, intelligence, human sexuality, statistics, and altered states of consciousness.

EGL 301 Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

Students will master a study of descriptive and prescriptive English grammar and will become familiar with concepts of linguistics and semiology. Students will expand their vocabulary by learning the use of a broad range of words and by understanding their etymological roots, their appropriateness to situation and audience, and their function in smooth syntax. Students will develop skills leading to the use of precise, concise prose style. Mastery of grammar, vocabulary and style is essential to professional-level reading, writing, speaking, listening, and editing. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102 with a grade of C or higher

PCM 305 Media in Communications

Students will apply the Microsoft Office skills which they have acquired to the creation of a number of real world professional communication documents and presentations. Students in the Professional Communications program must use Office applications effectively, carefully considering the purpose, function, audience, and venue of individual projects. This upper division course provides a range of assignments that reflect real world writing and speaking projects. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102 and junior level status

PCM 311 Introduction to Writing for Electronic Media

Introduction to Writing for Electronic Media will give students an overview of the issues concerning electronic media, including legal and ethical concerns. Students will learn how to write for electronic media in hands-on training in the school's computer labs using industry-standard programs. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

PCM 313W Communications Theory (Writing Intensive)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the complete process of professional communication from clarification of the problem to the presentation to the final product. The elements of communication theory are covered, as well as the criteria by which to judge the adequacies of existing theories and the techniques for developing new ones. Students will have the opportunity to work with actual communications issues within industry and present their findings in a written, oral, or visual format. This is a writing-intensive course. Note: Students cannot earn credit for PCM 313 and 313W; PCM 313W can be used to fulfill the writing intensive requirement. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101 and EGL 102 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 315 Research Techniques

In this course students are introduced to information science, bibliographic practices, and research methods appropriate to finding, evaluating, and incorporating into documents both online and hard copy data and graphics. Students complete several research projects. Prerequisite(s): Upper division standing or permission of department chair.

PCM 328 Advanced Writing and Editing

In this course, students develop clean, concise, and precise prose style and master the use of professional symbols and techniques of editing in both hard copy and electronic formats. Students develop these skills in their own writing projects, those of fellow students, and those of other amateur and professional writers. This course includes the study of research, citation, and bibliographic formats for print and electronic sources. Prerequisite(s): Upper division standing or permission of department chair.

PCM 450 Professional Communications Internship I

This course is an internship in a business, civic, educational, government, or not-for-profit organization. Students participate by using their communication skills in real world situations. Prerequisite(s): Junior-Level status and permission of department chair.

PCM 320 Communications in Business

In this course students learn to compose business documents including correspondence, directives, proposals, persuasive and informative memos, and researched, analytical reports. The course emphasizes electronic research as well as professional prose style, oral presentation, and page formatting. Prerequisite(s): Junior level status or permission of department chair.

PCM 324 Report Writing and Technical Communications

A practicum in which students produce a variety of business oriented and technical documents. This course provides students with a survey of current practices and techniques appropriate to writing for forums, especially for technical journals, newspapers, and magazines. It is also designed to make students proficient at writing professional articles and reports such as new product information sheets, technical correspondence, periodic reports, summaries, process and technical descriptions, instructions and analysis, and to allow students to incorporate graphs, tables and other illustrative matter with textual content. Prerequisite(s): Upper division standing or permission of department chair.

PCM 325 Writing in Health and Disease

Students will develop skill in articulating oral and written health information for multiple audiences. The course emphasizes how to interpret medical studies, how to think critically about ethical issues in the health sciences, and how to assess communication problems between medical professionals and the communities they serve. Nutritional guidelines and food politics also are explored in depth. Using appropriate research methods, students will practice several expository forms common in health professions, such as patient instructions and articles. Students also will write a personal essay and public service announcement. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

SMT 326 Sport Writing

In this course students will learn skills in the identification of legitimate angles for sport stories, how to report sport events, develop sport feature stories, and write sport opinion pieces, both for print publication and the web. Students will submit written articles, be required to write on deadline, and develop skills in interviewing. Students will deconstruct published stories and acquire an understanding of the process of assembling a well researched and expertly-crafted sport story. Note: Students completing this course may not receive credit for PCM 326. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

PCM 329 Legal Writing and Analysis

PCM 329 is a course in which the student will learn the skills necessary to produce legal writing and analysis. Students will study current practices and contemporary models of legal writing, as well as legal research and the legal system. Students will compose various documents for discussion, review, and revision. A research project/appellate brief is required, which will include an oral presentation to the class. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

PCM 340 Special Topics in Professional Communications

Courses that range from 340-345 are special topics courses at the junior level. Students will learn the skills necessary to write in a particular genre or type required in a particular professional setting. Students will study current practices and contemporary models and will compose several thoroughly researched documents in this genre for discussion, review, and revision. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102 with a grade of C or higher and Junior Level status

RAM 303 Research Experience

This hands-on research experience with a faculty mentor is the culminating experience for students enrolled in the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) program. Students will be placed in research experiences on the Farmingdale Campus or off-campus in major universities, research laboratories, businesses, industry, government, horticultural gardens, and other settings that fit their academic interests and career goals.

PCM 420 Advanced Technical Communications

Students learn advanced techniques in composing reports, technical papers, oral presentations, business communication, and press releases. Students evaluate classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric and apply them to their own writing as well as the writing of others. Prerequisite(s): Junior level status or permission of department chairperson.

PCM 425 Documentation Procedures

Students learn to write instructions and explain processes in professional documents. They review style, editing, desktop publishing skills, and the overarching importance of attention to audience, purpose, and task. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department chair or PCM 328 and VIS 242.

PCM 426 Culture and Communication

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the various ways culture and communications are interrelated. Specifically, the course is designed to help students become more effective communicators in the multi-cultural world in which they live and work. To achieve this goal, students will study various theories about the relationship between culture and communication and apply these theories to solving real world problems that they may confront in communicating with people from other cultures. Prerequisite(s): One Sociology course, and 300 Level PCM Course or EGL 216 or EGL 102, or Permission of the Chair.

PCM 428 Grant Writing

This course is an intensive study designed to provide a complete overview of the grant writing process. Students will learn to research funding sources, write proposals, and negotiate with funding sources. Required assignments include searching for funding agencies, using various courses, and working in groups to complete a sample grant proposal. Students will locate funding sources and complete a grant proposal. Prerequisite(s): EGL 101 and 102

PSY 331 Industrial / Organizational Psychology

Students will explore how the science and practice of psychology is applied in the world of work and organizations. Among the topics that will be examined are the history and research methodology of industrial/organizational psychology, job analysis, employee selection, performance evaluation, training, work motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, group dynamics, and organizational development. The course will highlight emerging trends in the modern workforce and examine how these changes will impact research and practice in today's organizations. Students will examine the factors influencing cross-cultural diversity and globalization, the theoretical and practical implications of these workforce trends, and how current organizational theories and practices apply to cultures outside of the United States. Implications for the full range of topics discussed in the course will be examined including how cultural diversity and globalization affect employee selection procedures, group dynamics, preferences for leadership, training needs, work motivation, and organizational development. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

SPE 331 Advanced Oral Communications

This course is designed to develop effective and professional communication in the areas of communication theory, advanced presentation skills, and voice and diction. A major component of the course provides students with a personalized voice and diction diagnostic profile which informs each student of specific speech characteristics they present that deviate from Standard Eastern Dialect. Particular attention is given to New York Regional Dialect and foreign accent reduction. The course also introduces various theoretical systems of communication. There is a strong focus on the development and effective application of presentational skills in both public and group/team environments with an emphasis on professional settings. All aspects of the course contain written components which include student readings and reports as well as comprehensive speech outlines. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

VIS 116 Digital Media and Methods

The concepts and techniques of digital media are essential for the modern graphic designer. This course serves as an essential foundation for all subsequent courses in computer graphics. Students will gain an understanding of how this evolving technology applies to the visual communication industry and will be introduced to the hardware and software utilized within the field. The terminology that we use as designers when dealing with technology will also be stressed. Networking, printing, file sharing, on-line course management tools, etc., specific to the Visual Communication Department and Farmingdale State College campus will be covered. This course is required and must be taken in residence at Farmingdale.

VIS 242 Publication Design II

The continuing exploration of graphic design, typography and page layout as they pertain to publication design. This course is intended for students enrolled in the Professional Communications curriculum. Students will apply the concepts learned in prerequisite coursework to a variety of publication projects utilizing professional page layout software. Prerequisite(s): VIS 116

Last Modified 4/13/22