2019 - 2020 Student Catalog 
    May 29, 2024  
2019 - 2020 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, A.S.

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Contact Information

Program Requirements

Typical Program


Degree/Certificate:   Associate in  Science
HEGIS Code:           5008
SUNY Code:            861
Major Code:            CMST

The Career

The ability to communicate effectively through face-to-face and computer-mediated channels is essential for successful personal and professional relationships.  The Communication Studies curriculum provides students with the opportunity to develop competent communication skills while examining the fundamental role communication plays in the world around us. Students will learn communication theory and strategies for enhancing their communication, verbally and nonverbally, in a variety of contexts.  Courses in Communication Studies will allow students to build the skills necessary to create, send and interpret audience-centered messages while understanding the influence of culture and media on these messages. 

Although the Communication Studies degree program is intended to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for transfer into a four-year program, immediate employment in related fields is possible.  Generally, and with further education, a Communication Studies student can find employment in a variety of careers, including various media industries such as journalism, social media, public relations or marketing. In addition to these media pathways, graduates can pursue further education and subsequent employment in teaching, law, corporate training, management and other related fields.

The NCCC Approach

The Associate in Science Communication Studies degree program prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university.  The flexibility of a degree in communication studies allows students the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills he/she has acquired in a variety of programs and careers. Graduates may obtain media-related positions such as account executive, journalist, social media strategist and public relations specialist, however, can also pursue careers in sales, teaching, marketing, human resources, law and customer service.

Although some graduates begin their career immediately after obtaining their associate degree in Communication Studies, most graduates choose to continue their education at a four-year institution and embark on their career after completing their baccalaureate requirements.


Students admitted in fall, spring and summer.  Because of the sequencing of courses, it may take more than four semesters of full-time study if a student begins this program in a spring or summer semester.

Transfer Information

Upon completion of the AS degree in Communication Studies, graduates are encouraged to continue their studies at a four-year institution. Given the flexibility of a degree in communication, graduates can choose to transfer into diverse fields such as communication, education, media, sociology and law. Students most often transfer to SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Fredonia, SUNY at Brockport or SUNY at Geneseo.

Dual Admissions

Canisius College
Niagara University
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY College at Brockport
SUNY College at Buffalo
SUNY College at Fredonia
SUNY College/Empire State


Opportunities exist both on- and off-campus for students to gain practical experience in their chosen field. Students who wish to develop their writing and editing skills are encouraged to get involved with the SPIRIT, the campus newspaper. The SPIRIT gives students experience in writing, reporting, editing and layout/design. Video and audio production facilities, including a state-of-the art TV studio, enable students to produce professional-quality digital content for their assignments.  Both MAC and Windows computer classrooms are equipped with the latest software to provide students with hands-on experience utilizing various applications.

Alumni stress the value of internships and co-operative education experiences to develop skills. Internships can be arranged at local radio and television stations as well as other media industries such as advertising agencies, newspapers and public relations departments of local companies. Students interested in pursuing an internship or co-op should contact the internship coordinator for further information.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution; although, some students seek immediate employment
  • To complete at least seven of the ten knowledge and skills areas of general education
  • To develop the student’s verbal, spoken, written and visual communication skills and abilities within the frame work of a liberal arts education

Program Learning Outcomes

  • At the completion of this curriculum the graduate will:
  • Apply basic media-literacy skills to improve critical consumption of media content
  • Explain the evolving relationship between traditional media and social media and the impact this has on society
  • Develop an awareness of how cultural identities and perceptions of others impact verbal and nonverbal communication experiences
  • Apply relevant concepts of effective interpersonal strategies to relational, organizational and academic settings
  • Recognize how technology and computer-mediated channels have influenced the way we communicate
  • Produce written and visual material for video, print, and digital media forms
  • Demonstrate the principles and skills involved in researching, organizing, delivering and evaluating oral presentations
  • Explain how verbal and nonverbal communication principles can influence the effectiveness and appropriateness of a message       

Program Requirements (CMST)

  1. A total of at least 64-credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundation courses do not count toward the degree.
  2. Communication: A minimum of 18-credit hours to include:
    COM 101 - Introduction to Media Communications *
    COM 103 - Writing for the Media 
    COM 109 - Visual Communication  
    COM 110 - Publication Layout & Design 
    COM 201 - Public Relations  
    COM 210 - Intercultural Communication  
  3. Business: A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    BUS 229 - Business Communications  
  4. Digital Media: A minimum of 8-credit hours selected through advisement:
    DIG 100 - Media Arts Success 
    DIG 104 - Digital Video & Audio  OR
    DIG 110 - Introduction to Web Technology  
    DIG 105 - Social Media 
    DIG 200 - Digital Portfolio  
  5. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2-credit hours
  6. Humanities: A minimum of 12-credit hours to include:
    ENG 101 - Writing I *
    ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature  
    JRN 145 - Journalism I  
    LIT  ___  - Humanities General Education  elective wtih a LIT prefix
  7. Speech: A minimum of 6-credit hours to include:
    SPE 102 - Public Speaking 
    SPE 103 - Interpersonal Communication  
  8. Arts: A minimum of of 3-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___ - Arts General Education  elective
  9. Mathematics: A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    MAT ___ - Mathematics General Education  elective*
  10. Social Science: A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___ - Social Science General Education  elective
  11. General Education: A minimum of 6-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___ - General Education  electives selected from two categories - American History (AH), Other World Civilzation (OW), Natural Science (NS) or Western Civilization (WC)

Typical Program

First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16

Total Credit Hours: 16

Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16

Fourth Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students.  Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships. The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.


* Dependent upon the fulfillment of Academic Foundation requirements.

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