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 with 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 24 Free Elective credits.

The capstone of the program is an internship placement OR a senior project. The internship option provides students with direct experience and the opportunity to apply the skills gained in the program in a professional environment. For the senior project option, students work closely with a faculty to create a professional communications creative work or thesis.

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. Charles Adair
Knapp Hall, Room 30
Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

Fall 2024

Subject to revision

College Requirement (1 credit)
FYE 101 First Year Experience* 1

Liberal Arts and Sciences (33 credits)
EGL 101 Composition I: College Writing (GE) 3
EGL 102 Composition II: Writing About Literature 3
Humanities (GE) 3
Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (GE) 3
Natural Sciences and Scientific Reasoning (GE) 3
World Languages (GE) 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (GE) 3
US History and Civic Engagement/World History and Global Awareness(GE) 3
The Arts (GE) 3
SPE 130 Public Speaking (GE) 3
General Education Electives (GE) 3

Program Discipline Courses

(87 credits)

PCM 120 Human Communication 3
PCM 201 Foundations of Professional Communications 3
PCM 202 Communication Technology 3
PCM 203 Media Literacy 3
PCM 204 Survey of Communication Industries 3
PCM 211 Writing for Electronic Media 3
PCM 313W Communications Theory 3
PCM 315 Research Techniques 3
PCM 323 Strategic Writing & Editing 3
PCM 327 Rhetoric and Persuasion 3
PCM 333 Organizational Communication 3
PCM 334 Culture and Communication 3
PCM 410 Digital Media Production 3
PCM 412 Storytelling with Data 3
PCM 414 Digital Journalism 3
PCM 450 Professional Communications Internship I OR
PCM 455 Senior Project in Professional Communication 3
300-level Technical Electives** 6
400-level Technical Electives*** 9
Free Electives 24

Curriculum Summary

*FYE 101 First Year Experience is required for all first time full time students

Degree Type: BS
Total Required Credits: 120-121

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.

As a part of the SUNY General Education Framework, all first-time full time Freshman at Farmingdale State College (FSC) beginning Fall 2023, are required to develop knowledge and skills in Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DEISJ). Students will be able to fulfill this requirement at FSC by taking a specially designated DEISJ course that has been developed by faculty and approved by the DEISJ Review Board. DEISJ-approved courses may meet other General Education Knowledge and Skills areas and/or core competencies and thus be dually designated. DEISJ-approved courses may also earn other special designations such as those for Applied Learning or Writing Intensive.

**300 Level Technical Electives
PCM 305 Media in Communications
PCM 320 Communications in Business
PCM 324 Technical Communications
PCM/SMT 326 Sport Writing
PCM 329 Legal Writing and Analysis
PCM 340-345 Special Topics in Professional Communications
RAM 303 Research Experience

***400 Level Technical Electives 
PCM 411 Social Media Management
PCM 416 Writing for Health and Disease
PCM 420 Advanced Technical Communications
PCM 425 Documentation Procedures
PCM 428 Grant Writing
PCM 430-435 Special Topics in Professional Communications

FYE 101 First Year Experience

This course is designed to assist new students in acclimating, connecting, and adjusting to the college campus and experience. Through presentations, discussions and group work, students will become familiar with college resources and learn strategies for academic success. Students will also be introduced to the values and ethical principles of the College and encouraged to reflect on their role/responsibilities as college students. Topics include time management, study skills, stress management, goal setting, course and career planning, self-assessment and awareness, and the development of wellness strategies. Note: Students completing FYE 101 may not receive credit for FRX101, FYS 101, or RAM 101. Credits 1 (1.0)

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.

SPE 130 Public Speaking

This course prepares students in the following areas of effective expository and persuasive public speaking: audience analysis; topic selection; appropriate use and documentation of supporting material; organization and outlining techniques; aspects of delivery which include appropriate eye contact, posture, use of notes, elements of voice such as rate and volume, and the use of presentational visual aids. Group discussion and problem solving exercises will also be provided, and students will engage in peer feedback throughout the course.

PCM 120 Human Communication

This foundational course introduces students to the interaction of the individual & society in context of communication. Students will examine written & oral communication principles, common communication practices, & a selection of theories that underpin this interaction. An emphasis is put on recognizing the value of diversity & authenticity in communication competence. Students also conduct a critical analysis of the impact of historical societal structures on communication outcomes. Through this broad examination of human communication students learn to evaluate written & oral communication for substance, bias, & intended effect.

PCM 201 Foundations of Professional Communications

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of Professional Communication. Students will learn about various areas of study including clear writing, effective oral presentations, as well as the role communication technologies play in today's workplace. Students will also be asked to consider the ethics of communicating in the workplace. The course will give students the opportunity to discuss and apply important concepts and theories within the field of Professional Communication. Prerequisite: PCM 120

PCM 202 Communication Technology

This is a hands-on course through which students will become acquainted with the communication technologies they will be utilizing during their studies as well as careers. The course is designed to cover both important software and applications. Therefore, it will cover basic elements and theories of document layout, image editing, interaction design, and multimedia production. Students will learn how to effectively use these communication technologies in professional contexts. Prerequisite(s): BCS 102 or BCS 160 or PCM 120 with a grade of C or higher

PCM 203 Media Literacy

In an era of complex technology developments, rapid changes in digital communications have led to the spread of misinformation and the public's distrust of the media. The wide availability of digital multimedia holds implications for many aspects of society such as culture and politics. This Media Literacy course uses conceptual and sociological approaches to analyze and illuminate the shifts in media roles, audience roles, financial models, and digital platforms. In addition, discussions on post­-truth and cognitive biases provide helpful tools to become a more perceptive and thoughtful consumer of media content. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 204 Survey of Communication Industries

This course is designed to. give students an introduction to the development and current state of communication industries. The history and significance of industries such as mass media, digital media, advertising, and public relations will be covered in the course. Students will also learn of the employment opportunities available in these industries and how their course of study prepares them for these careers. Prerequisite(s): PCM 120 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 211 Writing for Electronic Media

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 using the appropriate writing strategies and industry-standard programs. This course is equivalent to PCM 311. You cannot get credit for PCM 211 if you have taken PCM 311. Prerequisite(s): PCM 120 or EGL 102 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 313W Communication 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. 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 323 Strategic Writing & 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. This course is equivalent to PCM 328. You cannot get credit for PCM 323 if you have taken PCM 328. Prerequisite(s): PCM 201 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 327 Rhetoric and Persuasion

This course familiarizes students with the theory and practice of rhetoric with a focus on utilizing rhetorical principles in contemporary professional communications settings. Students will construct and defend different types of arguments by determining opportune contexts, styles, and types of proof. They will also analyze arguments made via various media. Prerequisite(s): PCM 201 with a grade of C or higher.

PCM 333 Organizational Communication

This course provides an overview of theories and practices of management and communication. The focus is on how communication operates in organizations, the effects of communication on organizational life, and how communication can be made more efficient and effective in meeting personal as well as organizational goals. Students will apply their knowledge to real-world Professional Communication phenomena utilizing a case-study approach. This combination of theory and application develops knowledge and skills necessary for success in corporate communication environments. Prerequisite(s): PCM 201 with a grade of C or higher

PCM 334 Culture and Communication

During this course, students explore and analyze 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. This course is equivalent to PCM 426. You cannot credit for PCM 334 if you have taken PCM 426. Prerequisite(s): PCM 201 with a grade of C or higher

PCM 410 Digital Media Production

This course introduces students to advanced concepts in producing content for various digital media. Emphasis will be placed on the adoption and application of cutting-edge production applications to create customer-facing digital assets. Assignments include TV commercials, videos for social media, and photo essays. Prerequisite(s): Junior level status

PCM 412 Storytelling with Data

In this course students examine and utilize the storytelling power of data. Students will examine the role data plays in communicating information with particular attention paid to professional communication settings. Students will learn to use data as a powerful narrative technique, as well as how to effectively communicate insights to different types of audiences. This is not a course in how to create data visualizations. Prerequisite(s): PCM 315 and PCM 327 with a grade of C or higher

PCM 414 Digital Journalism

This Digital Journalism course strengthens the theoretical knowledge of the contemporary communications world, raises core aspects of media professionalism and ethics, and introduces activities that merge philosophical concepts with practical skill applications. Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to delve deeper into specialized media studies and projects, work in internships, and apply for entry-level communication positions in various industries. Prerequisite(s): PCM 323 with a grade of C or higher

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 455 Senior Project in Professional Communication

Students will identify a professional context for their project, analyze the audience associated with that context, and compose a proposal that identifies the scope and implications of their project. The majority of the semester is spent crafting and revising a series of professional deliverables in consultation with the professor. This course is equivalent to PCM 450. You cannot get credit for PCM 455 if you have taken PCM 450. Prerequisite(s): At least one PCM course at the 400 level with a grade of C or higher, except PCM 450

Last Modified 6/12/24