School of Communications

Media Arts & Entertainment

Broadcast media and cinema are the art forms of our time

We turn to the broadcast media for information, insight and entertainment. In times of crisis, television becomes our national gathering place. In times of normalcy, broadcast and new media can make us laugh, cause us to become sentimental, or inspire us to get involved in our communities.

Media arts and entertainment is a major with two curriculum concentrations. The broadcast and new media concentration emphasizes production, programming and management involving television, cable, Internet, radio, digital video and wireless communications. The cinema concentration emphasizes a narrative structure in communicating fact and fiction through words, sounds, images, actions and music, whether it’s a documentary or a work of fiction brought to the screen.

Media arts and entertainment majors are prepared to launch creative and meaningful careers in roles such as producers, directors, scriptwriters, cinematographers, video editors, Web editors, and broadcast and cable managers.

Our accredited school

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.

Outstanding faculty

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.

High-tech facilities

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.

Innovative curriculum

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, media arts & entertainment students explore the role of media in society, examine and ethical issues, get hands-on experience in technological convergence, and learn how to write, produce, edit and manage broadcast, cinema and new media.

Impressive internships

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, students have been interns at a variety of broadcast and cinema operations in North Carolina and across the nation, including:

  • VH1/MTV, New York
  • Spike TV, New York
  • Canal 11, Managua, Nicaragua
  • Lionsgate Entertainment, California
  • Abrams Artists Agency, New York
  • Fox Studios, California
  • Panavision, California
  • “Conan,” California
  • Fox Broadcasting Co., California
  • New England Sports Network, Boston
  • ESPN, Connecticut
  • Random House, New York
  • CBS Radio, New York
  • National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
  • NBC Universal, New York
  • The ACC, North Carolina
  • “Inside Edition,” California
  • EUE/Screen Gems, North Carolina
  • “Entertainment Tonight,” California

Research opportunities

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.

Student media

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.

Special opportunities

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.

Fellows program

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.

Study abroad

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.

After you graduate

Most broadcast and cinema students go directly into communications careers, while some pursue law school or other graduate study. Broadcast and cinema graduates are thriving in careers such as:

  • Production Assistant, ESPN/ESPNU – Charlotte, N.C.
  • Post-Production Coordinator, National Geographic – Washington, D.C.
  • Associate Producer, Fox Sports South – Charlotte, N.C.
  • Social Media Coordinator, Relativity Media – Los Angeles
  • Content Associate, ESPN – Bristol, Conn.
  • Field Associate Producer, Original Productions – Ponchatoula, La.
  • Production Assistant, County Music Television – Nashville, Tenn.
  • Associate Producer, Ellen Rakieten Entertainment – Los Angeles
  • Live Events Project Manager, FremantleMedia – Los Angeles
  • Video Production Fellow, Time Inc. – Birmingham, Ala.
  • Home Entertainment EST Coordinator, Turner Broadcasting – Atlanta