Journalism serves an essential role in democracy by keeping citizens informed of City Hall and the White House, of social movements and the environment, of the horror of terrorism and the celebration of an Olympics.
Journalists use words, images and multimedia to tell us about the world we live in, both at home and abroad. Elon's School of Communications emphasizes journalism in many forms – online sites and new media, newspapers and magazines, radio and television. While people now access content in multiple ways, journalism remains constant in its desire to hold up a mirror to society so we can see ourselves clearly and truthfully.
Journalism students are prepared to launch creative and meaningful careers in roles such as multimedia reporters and editors, photojournalists, television reporters and anchors, online news managers, Web editors and information designers.
"Elon professors taught me valuable technical skills that help me to be more than just a journalist, but an editor, producer, designer and videographer all in one. Elon knows what employers want, and they will give you all the tools needed to get you where you want to go."
Olivia Hubert-Allen ’09
Online producer, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)
With 1,000 students, the School of Communications is home to about 20 percent of Elon’s student body. The school’s goal is to guide students to think, write and produce meaningful information in this digital and global age. The school’s four majors reflect the four purposes of communication in society: journalism (to inform), strategic communications (to persuade), media arts and entertainment (to entertain) and communications science (to discover). Electives are offered in specialty areas such as sports communications, audio recording, photojournalism and documentary film.
Elon is one of 18 private universities in the nation with an accredited communications school, alongside Syracuse, Columbia, Northwestern, American, Hofstra and others. The School of Communications has more than 1,000 students and is ranked third largest among accredited private colleges and universities and the 46th largest of the 491 programs surveyed nationwide.
The School of Communications has 60 full-time faculty and staff members, ranging from a Pulitzer Prize recipient who teaches writing courses to 10 faculty members who have received teaching awards for excellence in the classroom. Professors combine years of professional experience with a passion for teaching and a commitment to helping students succeed.
Our undergraduate program is housed in the 48,000-square-foot McEwen communications building. Additional teaching and learning spaces are located on the second floor of Powell building to support our graduate program in Interactive Media. Our state-of-the-art facilities include six digital media labs equipped with Mac desktop computers and large screen monitors, two television studios with a centralized control room and engineering bay, 18 advanced video editing suites, a 24-track digital HD recording studio and control room, a digital audio production lab, and a high-definition film screening room with 7.2 surround sound. Students have free access to a large inventory of professional HD camcorders, DSLR still cameras, audio recorders, light kits, microphones, tripods, field monitors, camera dollies, stabilizers, grip equipment and much more.
Elon’s School of Communications is recognized nationally for its deep and innovative curriculum that emphasizes engaged learning and serving the public good. Students take a majority of their coursework in the arts and sciences. Within the major, journalism students explore the role of media in society, examine legal and ethical issues, get hands-on experience in technological convergence, and learn how to report, write, edit and design. We believe students learn journalism by doing journalism.
All students in the School of Communications complete one or more professional internships before graduation. The school has a full-time internship director to assist students in securing a quality internship. In recent years, Elon students have interned at various local and national newspapers, broadcast stations and corporate settings, including:
Communications students produce undergraduate research of significance, presenting their work at national conferences, United Nations Internet Governance Forums, the Federal Communications Commission, a U.S. Congressional hearing on digital television policy and many other venues.
Elon offers many opportunities to participate in student media and organizations, including the Pendulum student newspaper and Pendulum Online, Elon Student Television, WSOE-FM radio station, the Phi Psi Cli university yearbook, the Cinelon student cinema group, and the Live Oak Communications student-run agency.
Campus media have helped elevate the School to a Top 20 national finish in the Hearst Journalism Awards Multimedia Competition. The Pendulum was awarded first place in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists for Best Affiliated Website for a mid-size institution and was named an Online Pacemaker finalist three times by the Associated Collegiate Press. Students also won first place College Media Association national awards for Best Multimedia Package, Photo Illustration and Breaking News Reporting; and second place for Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper.
Two journalism students participated in the Carnegie-Knight News Foundation News 21 summer program and four students were selected for the Scripps Howard Foundation's 2013 Internship and Scholarship Program. Two students won scholarships from the Radio Television Digital News Association and Elon Local News won a Society of Professional Journalists first place award for Online In-Depth Reporting.
The student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was named Region 2 chapter of the year for the second year in a row. And the national committee of the Public Relations Student Society of America awarded the Elon chapter a Pacesetter Chapter Recognition award.
Two Communications students have been named national finalists in the Sprite Refreshing Films competition. Students also produced award winning documentary films, including Best Documentary Short in the California Film Awards, and the “People's Pick” award in the North Carolina Campus Compact Documentary Shorts Competition.
To get involved right at the start, first-year students can participate in FreshTV, which exposes them in a hands-on way to the wide range of student media opportunities. Later, students can choose to participate in the Elon in LA or Elon in NYC programs, nine-week summer experiences in which students take a course and work 30+ hours a week in an internship related to the entertainment industry.
Students with high academic achievement and media experiences in high school may be selected for the university’s Communications Fellows program. Fellows enjoy exclusive first-year experiences, plus scholarship assistance and a study abroad grant. Visit the Elon Fellows programs Website for more information.
More than two-thirds of Elon students participate in study abroad by the time they graduate – one of the highest percentages in the nation. Communications professors regularly lead study abroad courses to Europe, Asia and Australia, and have led the university’s Costa Rica and London programs.
Most journalism students go directly into media careers, while some pursue law school or other areas of graduate study. Journalism graduates are thriving in careers at such places as: