Major in Mass Communication

Discover Mass Communication at BHSU

Students of Mass Communication will explore visual-design, photographic image-making, written, broadcast and web-based multi-media processes using the most advanced computer-software, technologies and equipment in upgraded facilities.

Mass Communication students get hands-on experience by working with student organizations such as Shutterbuzz Photography Club, Swarm Advertising Solutions, Public Relations Club and the award-winning student newspaper The Jacket Journal.  Students also explore converged online media by working on BHSUmedia.com and at the newly upgraded photo studios and computer labs, as well as campus television and radio stations. Students participate in a full array of active internships and jobs-leading-to-careers, locally to internationally.

At BHSU, faculty-and-student partnerships are common in work on creative projects and research studies. Faculty have all been – and still are – working professionals in the communication field and well-published, well-displayed academics. The Mass Communication curriculum keeps up with the latest innovations and trends in the communications and technology industries to fill professional positions from art to business and news reporting to film-making.

Students enjoy a high level of career placement upon graduation due to the high demand for knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals in the viable and growing Mass Communication job market.

A minor is required for Mass Communication majors.

Discover Your Creativity

Mass Communication students will explore visual-design, photographic image-making, written, broadcast and web-based multi-media processes using the most advanced computer-software, technologies and equipment in upgraded facilities. Students enjoy a high level of career placement upon graduation due to the high demand for knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals in the viable and growing Mass Communication job market.

  • GAIN REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES by taking up an internship.
  • JOIN A CAMPUS ORGANIZATION: Campus organizations help majors and minors get extracurricular experience in their fields of study and network with other students.
  • GET A CERTIFICATE in journalism, photography, or social media.
  • A MINOR/EMPHASIS IS REQUIRED: Minor in integrated media, sports media, public relations, science communication, photography, or graphic communication.

Emphasis Breakdown

  • GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION: With state of the art computer design and imaging labs, students at BHSU will be well prepared for the exciting and dynamic world of graphic design and computer publishing. Graduates of this emphasis will find endless career opportunities ranging from creative/art designer, layout artist, logo designer, web designer, and more. 
    Contact Gina.Gibson@BHSU.edu for more information.
  • INTEGRATED MEDIA: Students will gain a broad understanding of contemporary mass media and their place in society. Hands-on valuable experience is offered with BHSU’s award-winning campus media: BHSUmedia.com, The Buzz FM, Jacket Journal, and KBHU-TV. Graduates will find opportunities in a variety of career fields, including writing, print and online publishing, reporting and editing, TV and radio broadcasting, film production, multimedia production, and designing online, mobile and social media applications. 
    Contact Scott.Clarke@BHSU.edu for more information.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: With almost 50 combined years of teaching experience, BHSU’s three photography faculty members specialize in different areas, from studio photography to photojournalism to darkroom printing and video. Students will gain a variety of experiences in the world of photography. BHSU is proud to provide students with outstanding facilities. Students will utilize 3000+ square foot studio space, the best darkrooms in the state, and four digital labs with Canon photo printers. Graduates from this emphasis will find opportunities in portraiture/weddings, photojournalism, advertising/commercial photography, DSLR video and fine art photography, many continuing onto graduate school to obtain their Masters in Fine Arts degree. 
    Contact Jerry.Rawlings@BHSU.edu or Steve.Babbitt@BHSU.edu for more information.
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS: Every business and organization has a need for Public Relations, and careers can be found in a number of fields. Graduates in public relations will go onto work in such organizations as public relations agencies, businesses, non-profit groups, social service agencies, medical facilities, educational institutions, government and political agencies, arts and entertainment companies, fashion industry, science and research institutions, sports teams, and more. Students will gain an understanding of how businesses and organizations communicate effectively. Students can internship with local, regional, or national organizations participate in a number of campus organizations, and will study under highly motivated faculty with real-world experiences. 
    Contact Mary.CatonRosser@BHSU.edu for more information.
  • SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: New to BHSU, students in this emphasis will merge science knowledge with mass media skills. Graduates will be able to pursue careers related to science in public relations, communication consultation, journalism, science outreach, and science policy. Students learn to effectively communicate scientific information to the general public through the use of mass communication styles, strategies and techniques. BHSU offers students the opportunity to work with science-based organizations throughout the country and right here in the Black Hills with the Sanford Underground Research facility. 
    Contact Mary.CatonRosser@BHSU.edu for more information.
  • SPORTS MEDIA: Students in the sports media emphasis will gain specialized knowledge and skills that will be will-suited to the fast-paced and growing industry of sports news and entertainment. Hands-on experience on campus will focus on offering an integrated apporach to learning media skills, including writing, audio production, photography, graphics, video, TV and radio broadcast. 
    Contact Scott.Clarke@BHSU.edu for more information.
Graphic Communication

 

Integrated Media

Public Relations

Science Communication

Journalism Certificate

Social Media Certificate

Sports Media

Photography

Get Involved on Campus

Jacket Journal & BHSU media.com

Open to all BHSU students, the Jacket Journal newspaper is an award-winning campus organization. Several 400-level labs and the Jacket Journal staff produce a hard-copy newspaper as well as the student campus media online website BHSUmedia.com. Editorial, production, photography, and advertising staff positions are available each semester.
Contact Mary.CatonRosser@BHSU.edu to learn more.

The Buzz FM

Bringing the best and only alternative to Spearfish, S.D. The Buzz is the university’s student run radio station. Students from any background or major are welcome.
Contact Scott.Clarke@BHSU.edu to learn more or tune in to 89.1 & 90.7 FM to listen.

KBHU-TV

Students experience television broadcasting by servicing the campus with informational and entertaining programs.
Contact Scott.Clarke@BHSU.edu to learn more.

Public Relations Club

BHSU Public Relations club is a professional development group for students focused on career enhancement, community involvement, conferencing, competition, and networking for internships and careers across the country. The group has regional and national affiliations that provide many opportunities for students to network with professional organizations, such as Public Relations Society of America.
Contact Mary.CatonRosser@BHSU.edu to learn more.

Shutterbuzz

Whether students are photography majors or simply someone who enjoys photography as a hobby, this organization is open to all. Get involved in regional or national trips, fundraisers, and small adventures for photographers at every level. Shutterbuzz is a student-run organization that brings photographers together.
Contact Skott.Chandler@BHSU.edu to learn more.

FIND YOUR CAREER

There are employment opportunities in a variety of sectors:
» Advertisement
» Audio/Video Specialist
» Broadcaster
» Commercial Photographer
» Creative/Art Designer
» Drone Photographer
» Filmmaker
» Fine Art Photographer
» Graphic Designer
» International PR Specialist
» Journalist
» Logo Designer 
» Multimedia Specialist
» News Editor/Writer
» Photojournalist
» Portrait/Wedding Photographer
» PR Agent
» Reporter
» Speech Writer
» Science Outreach Specialist
»Social Media Content Photographer
» Studio Product Photographer
» Radio Announcer
» Wed Designer

Q: How does a non-traditional Mass Communication major from Black Hills State University end up working at the premier underground research facility in the U.S.?

A: “In my case it was through an internship. At the time the Sanford Lab communications department was looking for interns who could help produce a video about the facility. It was the professors who recommended that I apply for the internship.”

MATT KAPUST, CLASS OF 2010,
MULTIMEDIA EMPHASIS
CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR AT SANFORD UNDERGROUND LAB

Clubs and Organizations

  • Jacket Journal and BHSUmedia.com
    Get involved with BHSU's award-winning Jacket Journal newspaper. The Jacket Journal newspaper is a student organization and all students are welcome to participate regardless of their major or emphasis. The MCOM 495 Practicum class and the Jacket Journal staff produce a hard-copy newspaper as well as the online version BHSUmedia.com The class is open to any student on campus regardless of their major or emphasis. Editorial, production, photography, and advertising staff positions are available each semester. Writers are always welcome to submit news and features. Photographs, graphics and comics are also accepted for review and possible inclusion. The newspaper offers the opportunity for forum and discussion, and encourages articles offering diverse voices, news from all colleges, departments, and programs, and Letters to the Editor as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information about Jacket Journal contact Mary Caton-Rosser
  • KBHU-FM 89.1 & 90.7 - The Buzz
    Black Hills State University's student run organization, 89.1 & 90.7 FM The Buzz. Bringing the best and only alternative to Spearfish, SD and the surrounding areas. Students from any background or major are welcome to be part of the fast growing and popular culture of radio broadcasting. For more information please contact Scott Clarke.
  • KBHU-TV
    Provides opportunities for students to experience television broadcasting by servicing the campus with informational and entertaining programs. The BHTV studio is located on the lower level of the E.Y. Berry Library. For more information please contact Scott Clarke.
  • Public Relations Club
    BHSU Public Relations Club is a professional development group for students focused on career enhancement, community involvement, conferencing, competition and networking for internships and careers across the country. The group has regional and national affiliations that provide many opportunities for students working with Public Relations Society of America. Check out the group on Facebook and Twitter. For more information contact Mary Caton-Rosser
  • Shutter Buzz
    Shutterbuzz is a student-run organization that brings photographers together. Whether you are a photography major or simply someone who enjoys photography as a hobby you are welcome to join. You can get involved in trips, fundraisers, and small adventures for photographers at every level. Contact Steve Babbitt for more information about Shutter Buzz

Internships

Internships play a vital role in the advancement of students' careers and personal skills. Students are able to gain valuable experience outside of the classroom by taking part in internships with local to international businesses and organizations. There are many exciting internships available for each emphasis within the Mass Communication major.

Facilities

Black Hills State University offers state of the art facilities across campus. We have some of the best resources and equipment for photographers in the region. Not only do the Black Hills offer a beautiful backdrop for any artist, we also offer studios and labs to create your perfect print.

Our labs feature both Macintosh and PC computers and we are always updating our software. Our labs now have the newest Adobe software and we are here to help you use technology as you attain your degree. Whether you are creating an interactive presentation, designing a logo for your future business, editing a photo in the digital lab, or producing a video – you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips on campus.

Mass Communication Faculty

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.