Welcome Communication Transfer Students!
We greatly value our transfer students’ contributions to our department. Our undergraduate advising program has a number of supports and structures in place to help you hit the ground running once you arrive here at UMass!
In Communication, we are aware that transfer students come to UMass and to the department with a thorough understanding of college, but less of an understanding of UMass. Our goal in your first few weeks is to get you up to speed with how UMass and the Department of Communication operate. To that end, we offer a 6-week, 1credit transfer seminar specifically for advanced transfer students. This course meets twice a week for half of the semester and includes an introduction to key components of the university: Introduction to the department, faculty, staff; academic and social opportunities in the department and across the university; and an introduction to key offices, stakeholders, and resources available for academic and professional support. You will meet your advisor and your cohort, who you will get to know in a small, discussion-based class.
All students in the Communication major are assigned an academic advisor, with whom they can schedule an appointment at any time during the semester. We encourage you to meet with your advisor at least twice per semester: Once during add-drop to review your schedule and once during pre-registration to make sure you are on target for the following semester. We also have a team of Peer Advisors who have drop-in office hours throughout the week. The Peer Advisors are an excellent resource for questions about the major, the university, your courses, great places to study, the best snacks, extra-curricular activities, and good short-cuts across this large campus! In your first semester, you are assigned a Peer Advisor who will reach out periodically to check in and make sure things are going smoothly. Many of our Peer Advisors are transfer students as well, so you’ll always have someone who is familiar with your experiences!
We Encourage Our Communication Transfer Students to Get Real World Experiences!
As a transfer student, time may feel particularly tight. It might feel like you do not have the flexibility to take on additional experiences, such as internships, study abroad, or research assistantships. We want you to know that’s not always the case! Working with your advisor, you will be able to see pathways towards these opportunities. Credited internships and some research assistantships can provide credit (or, in some instances, income!) towards graduation. You can complete General Education, Communication, and elective credit while studying abroad – and if you are feeling that you want to make the most of your time on campus, there are winter, alternative spring break, and summer study abroad options as well (many of which are cost-efficient) so that you can both be on campus and have the study abroad experience. Working with your advisor, you can see which options might be best for expanding your studies in multiple areas.
What Do Communication Majors At UMass Study?
The mission of the Department of Communication is to pursue research, teaching and outreach rooted in an understanding of communication as the primary process through which persons, societies, and cultures are formed and changed. We research communication processes at global, national, institutional, group, and interpersonal levels; we promote a consciously critical disposition in communication research, where familiar questions are expanded and recast, sometimes combining research methods and strategies that elsewhere would be considered unusual bedfellows (e.g. rhetoric and performance, content analysis and textual criticism; criticism and survey research). We aim to address matters of pressing social and cultural concern through the lens of communication as a process essential to our survival as a species and a polity.
We have a vibrant faculty with a broad range of research interests and expertise. More information about our faculty can be found here. Information about our curriculum can be found here and each semester we will share the current course offerings so that you can review what is available and read the course descriptions in preparation for enrollment. If you are interested in film studies, many of our courses can fulfill requirements for the interdisciplinary film studies certificate. You may also consider the Media Literacy Certificate, a unique opportunity to learn the theory and practice the work of media literacy. In fall semesters, we offer a 1 credit Professional Development course where you will refine your resume, cover letter, and professional pitch. You will also have the opportunity to hear from and meet many of our alumni who join the class to discuss their professional trajectory, how they have put their Communication degree to work, and share opportunities and advice for your professional path.
What Skills Will I Develop with a Communication Degree?
As a Communication student, you will refine your speaking, writing, research, and analysis skills. You will have a solid understanding of your local community as well as the larger global community in which we live. Through your classes, extra-curricular activities, work experiences, and social activities, you will refine your skills in research, analysis, and application of data; and critical thinking, speaking, and writing across a variety of forms, including research papers, news articles, blog posts, screenplays, and creative works.
What Careers Are Available To Me with a Communication Degree?
Sometimes students come to Communication worried that because our major is broad, they will have difficulty finding employment upon graduation. In fact, Communication graduates are extremely well prepared for professional employment or graduate school. As a Communication graduate, you will be able to think and speak clearly, will possess critical analysis and writing skills, and will have a solid grasp of the world around you. Employers across a range of industry look for the skills that are woven into our major. Our department sees experiential learning as a key component of our curriculum, so you will have many opportunities for ‘real-world’ work in civic engagement and service learning, which means you will be developing your professional and intellectual skills simultaneously. Our graduates work across a wide range of industries, including education, advertising, marketing and public relations, government and non-profit work, politics and activist work, TV, movie, and podcast production, and social media development. Many of our students will head to graduate school either right away or after